12 Sep Corwin “Corky” Clairmont
Fellowship: Path Breakers (2003)
Cultural Affiliation: Confederated Salish-Kootenai Tribes
Clairmont was born in St. Ignatius, Montana, on the Flathead Indian reservation, and now lives in Ronan, Montana. His career in art began at fifteen when he entered and won a contest to design his tribal seal—the seal is still used today. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Art from Montana State University in 1970, and in 1971, a Master of Arts in Art from California State University—Los Angeles. Clairmont remained in Los Angeles until 1984 as a printmaking teacher at the then Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design. In 1985, he returned to his reservation to work at the Salish Kootenai Tribal College, where he first worked in administration before creating the arts department that he directed from 1989 to 2016. From 2008 to 2013, he was a board member of the Montana Arts Council. Clairmont works primarily in printmaking, but he is also known for his conceptual and installation pieces that confront common Native American themes of colonization, sovereignty, and community.