Daniel Owen Stolpe
November 14, 1939 - December 12, 2018
Master artist and Native Images lithographer Dan "Coyote" Stolpe slipped out of his non-functioning body, and is running free at last and howling in the hills. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Dan's father introduced him to Native American teachers of Art and Culture through the Woodcraft Rangers, who influenced Dan for the rest of his life. "Everything was patterned after a tribal structure," Stolpe said. We learned about Indian life and lore and we had Indian guys teach us how to make Indian costumes and about Indian dance and drums. That's what got me interested."
Dan made his first drum when he was 14, and he was quietly playing that same drum during his final days of life.
Stolpe attended LA Co. Art Institute (OTIS) on scholarship until 1962, when he dropped out to Apprentice with artist Don La Viere Turner in Glendora, and then with Master Printer Joe Funk in Venice until 1966. Commissioned by the Smithsonian Institute, he moved to Washington DC to illustrate extinct birds for their magazine and for the Atlantic Monthly. In 1967 he dropped out again and moved to Washington State where he lived for two years with the Swimomish Tribe in northern Puget Sound, participating in their daily lives, folklore and Longhouse Rituals where he learned to walk the Red Road of Sobriety and had Shamanic Visions that radically influenced his art and direction. He made friends with Dennis Banks and supported the American Indian Movement (AIM).
In 1970 Dan moved to Santa Cruz with his printing mentor Joe Funk, where they established Dan's Native Images Studios, where he turned out a huge volume of work in a variety of mediums: monotypes, paintings, woodcuts, lithographs, etchings, and serigraphs.
Influenced by German Expressionism and Native American mythical themes, his work has been acquired and collected by over 80 National Museums, Libraries, Colleges and Universities including UCSC's McHenry Library, where Dan taught printmaking at UCSC for a dozen years and befriended poet William Everson, and illustrated his "Canticle for the Waterbirds."
Other Institutions collecting his work include Harvard, Yale, Princeton, the Library of Congress, the Fogg Art Museum, the Smithsonian Institute. Stolpe's work is collected by dozens of Museums and Galleries in the United States, Canada, and Europe.
Dan is survived by these relatives: sister, Sonja Chesley (Errol EerNisse), brother, Steve Stolpe (Sue), son, Matt Stolpe, daughter, Scarlett Lafroth (Ron Jennings), grandchildren, Sloan Lafroth and Kyle Lafroth.
A Celebration of Dan's life and work is being planned for the Spring in Santa Cruz. We will announce details prior to the event.
Tax deductible Donations may be made to the UC Santa Cruz Foundation Special Collections in Honor of Daniel Stolpe, Gift Administration, Carriage House, UC Santa Cruz, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064. View the online memorial for Daniel Owen Stolpe
Published by Santa Cruz Sentinel on Dec. 21, 2018.