Board of Directors

Meet the core group of individuals who share a common passion for creating a supportive, sustainable, lucrative, community-enriching center for artists and crafters on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Brendon Albers
Director & President
Martin, SD

Brendon Albers is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe who lives and works near the Pine Ridge Reservation. Brendon is a First People's Fund 2015 Artist in Business Leadership Fellow and 2016 Cultural Capital Fellow. Working primarily in Black Hills alabaster, his stone sculptures are collected throughout the US. In addition to studio work, Mr Albers loves sharing his passion for art through classes and workshops, especially with youth.

Photo Cathy Hewitt Photography


Natalie Hilleman
Director & Vice President
Ankeny, IA

Natalie studied English and Art History at the University of Iowa and editing, design and studio art at the University of Minnesota. Her career includes work as an editor, University program manager and business owner. Natalie has been traveling to the Reservation working with Lakota artisans since 2006 and is a co-founder of the Pine Ridge Art Center.

Natalie Hilleman

Almira Uemura
Director & Secretary
Ames, IA

Almira has been active through her church, St Andrews Lutheran, traveling to the Reservation from Ames, Iowa delivering truckloads of clothing and goods through Oyate Teka and Healthy Starts agencies, buying art, and helping with other projects since 2013. Almira is passionate supporter of Lakota artisans and the PRCAC. Almira’s 30 year career includes clerical work for the University of Minnesota, Mary Greeley Medical Center in Iowa, and the Middleton Public Library in Wisconsin. In addition to her work with Pine Ridge, Almira has served as Secretary for two other nonprofits, Empower Tanzania and FourFeathers Development.


Miranda Red Cloud
Pine Ridge, SD

In addition to carrying on the Red Cloud family quill work tradition, Miranda is employed at Red Cloud School, is studying business entrepreneurship at Oglala Lakota College, and is a proud Mom to three daughters. Miranda lives with her family in Pine Ridge.

Leonard Yellow Horse
Rapid City, SD

Leonard is a self-taught artist and started wood carving in 1991. He has been involved with the Art Center since it began in 2014. In addition to his cottonwood carvings featured on our online shop and in galleries in the Black Hills and the Southwest United States, Leonard also does larger tree carvings as well as construction work. Leonard plans to create a gathering place for artists on his land on the Reservation near Oglala and currently lives in Rapid City with his wife Lisa Marie and their three children.