For more information, please contact:Michael Bridgeman (608) 265-3855Artist's StatementBy Dawn Dark MountainI chose to portray a warrior of an age that would be appropriate for having recently served and returned from battle. His face reflects the strength of a warrior but also the experiences of war, which have marked him. He wears a soldier's uniform that is not specific to any particular branch of the service or time period. Along with his beads, which may be part of his talismans of protection, he wears a soldier's dog tags. He also wears a headdress, denoting warrior status, with a roach and eagle feather among its adornments. He holds a symbol of his warrior status with the tail feather of a golden eagle denoting courage and swiftness.The warrior is surrounded by the smoke and fire of war, and also by the healing smoke of the purification or cleansing ritual that would enable him to return to peaceful society.The borders are reflective of the beadwork designs that may once have been used by warriors of various tribes. They include plant designs, which might be associated with purification, feather and arrow designs associated with the warrior, and morning star designs that indicate new beginnings. The Thunderbird design on the bottom not only symbolizes the thunder of war but also recalls the 45th infantry division of World War II, which was largely comprised of Native Americans who took the Thunderbird as their insignia.