“Om Tat Sat” -Dougie Padilla
Dr. Swami Lucky Dougie Padilla is a self-taught visionary artist of Norwegian/ Mexican/cowboy roots living in the wilds of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, and Pepin, Wisconsin, USA. In his 68 years, he has lived in a tent through a sub-zero winter; farmed soybeans; survived the psychedelic travails of Haight-Ashbury; created and lost a million-dollar-a-year business; trained with an armed, underground anti-war/Chicano power cadre during the Vietnam War; meditated and lived with his guru in India; done thousands of drawings and paintings; and founded/co-founded numerous organizations and businesses, among them Dougieland Studios, Art Jones Gallery, Art-A-Whirl, Grupo Soap del Corazón, The Borneo Group, Salon Artisimo, and Project Luna Brava.
Among occupations he counts artist and arts activist, farmer, blacksmith’s apprentice, small business owner, jade cutter, sportswear designer, psychic/tarot reader/healer, soccer coach, arts educator, yoga instructor, carpenter, house painter, nurse’s aide, roofer, single father, and census taker. He learned to sight sing Bach cantatas at age 11, lasted two embattled years in college (1966-8), wandered schizophrenic on the streets of Chicago, had his first heart failure at age 20, helped birth his daughter in a rural commune, and coached and played soccer until his foot didn’t work anymore (age 52).
He has studied life and spirituality with Ronnie Nelson, Jerry Gerasimo, Swami Vishnudevananda, Swami Venkatesananda, and Stephen Gaskin, among others. He sees the Cobra School, Manuel Mendive, Pharoah Sanders, Federico Garcia Lorca, Nikki de Saint Phalle, Howard Finster, William Blake, Rahasaan Roland Kirk, Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Lew Welch, Johnny Cash, Marc Chagall, Louise Nevelson, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Yusef Lateef, Dorothy Iannone, and Artemio Rodriguez as pillars of his aesthetic universe.
Padilla has shown at the Museé Halle Saint Pierre in Paris, France; the National Mexican Museum of Art in Chicago; the Minneapolis Institute of Art; The Fredrick Weisman Museum; the Plains Museum in Fargo; on the streets and in the cultural centers of Chile; and in countless galleries and arts arenas throughout the Twin Cities and the U.S.A.
Dougie Padilla has served on boards and committees of numerous arts non-profits. He has received the Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship; the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District Vision Award; several Ofrenda awards from CreArte, Chicano Latino Cultural Center and Museum; and the Jerome Foundation Travel Grant. He was named Minneapolis’ City Pages’ “Artist of the Year” and was nominated for a Bush Foundation lifetime achievement award.