James Black is a Southern Cheyenne Sundance priest from Watonga, Oklahoma, a small rural town in northwestern Oklahoma. Growing up in a traditional home and being influenced by the traditions of his people, his drawings reflected his surroundings. Black wanted to pursue art, but he did not want to do contemporary Native American art, such as drawing Indians with wolves and eagles. He knew that his people did more traditional pictographic drawings known as ledger art.
As Black studied and learned about this art form, he found out that it was more than drawing Indians fighting on horses, as ledger art tells the history of his people. The art form became more personal and inspired him to begin drawing and creating his own ledger art in 1993.
Today, he exhibits in many art shows and galleries throughout the United States, such as the Santa Fe Indian Market, the Heard Museum, and the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. He displays his work in the Howell Gallery in Oklahoma City, the True West Gallery in Santa Fe, and David Cook Gallery in Denver, Colorado. Black belongs to the Santa Fe Society of Artists and shows his works throughout the summers.
Black is proud to be a modern Cheyenne ledger artist and still continues to keep the traditions of his people alive with pride. Currently, he is attending the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico pursing a degree in museum studies