JD Challenger was born in Oklahoma and that is where his creative fire came alive when he was just a child. The young Challenger absorbed the culture and customs of the Native American friends he grew up with. Their stories and traditions fed his imagination and his early sketches showed the depth of his observations. When JD witnessed a Ghost Dance ceremony, he came face to face with his mission in life. “As I stood there watching the chanting and the dancing, I knew what I wanted to paint…nothing had ever seemed clearer.” Denise, JD’s wife, encouraged him to show his work to some of his Native American friends, one of whom was a holy man. The elder gave Challenger his blessing, saying, “There has to be a messenger and he doesn’t have to be one of our people. The Creator chooses His own messengers. Your path is to tell our story and educate people about the past and about what is still happening today.” JD‘s path has led him to paint the story of a people rich in heritage and tradition; a people whose stories are sometimes touching and poignant, often angry, always imbued with strength and demanding to be told.