Pat Kruse, born in Oakland, California, is a birchbark & quill artist who lives on the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Reservation. He is a member of the Red Cliff Band of Ojibwe in Wisconsin and a descendent of Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe in Minnesota.
Working with birchbark for over 30 years, as a child he knew at an early age he wanted to be a birchbark artist. Coming from a family of birchbarkers, his mother is his greatest influence. Known for remaking old-style Ojibwe birchbark & quill basketry, he creates picturesques and other birchbark art. Pat teaches birchbark basket workshops, with students ranging from grade school children to elders.
In 2015, Pat was selected for the Native Artist-In-Residence at Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, MN. In 2016, he was selected for the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Fellowship, Vancouver, WA, and in 2018 was selected for the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Mentor Artist Fellowship, Vancouver, WA, for one year mentoring an apprentice.
Some awards he received include: “Favorite Artist” and “1st Place Birchbark Basket” in 2016 at Woodland Indian Art Show & Market, Oneida, WI; “1st Place-Wood/Stone Workings”, “1st Place-2 Dimensional Art” and “Best of Show!” in 2018 at Woodland Indian Art Show & Market, Sevenwinds Casino, Hayward, WI.
Pat’s birchbark art is in museum collections: National Museum of the American Indian-Smithsonian, Washington, D.C.; Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN; and Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, MN, to name a few.