Jim Nelson is a nationally acclaimed painter and storyteller of Lakota legends. Although not native by heritage, his formative years were spent in the shadow of Pine Ridge where he inter-mingled with his Lakota friends from an early age on, coming to know their culture as well as them. Today he paints from his heart, telling these stories and legends through the use of vibrant colors and symbolism. Everything in his work has a meaning.
Explaining the spiritual quality of his work, Nelson states: "I don't just paint a person or an animal; I paint the spirit of that person or animal. It is my hope that the viewer will feel a connection to that spirit and have a better understanding of this proud and noble people."
Today he is highly respected by native people for his ability and desire to carry on the legends of their culture. Through the years he has received many accolades for his work, which is now included in countless national and international private and corporate collections.