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"Dreaming Our Futures" exhibit at University of Minnesota showcases Indigenous artists

Nearly 30 Indigenous artists featured in "Dreaming Our Futures" exhibit at UMN
Nearly 30 Indigenous artists featured in "Dreaming Our Futures" exhibit at UMN 02:28

This video was shot and edited by photojournalist Tony Peterson.

MINNEAPOLIS — A vibrant and provocative art show is currently showing on the University of Minnesota campus in the Twin Cities.

The exhibit, called "Dreaming Our Futures: Ojibwe and Očhéthi Šakówiŋ Artists and Knowledge Keepers," features the work of 29 Indigenous artists. Those artists include Jim Denomie, Jonathan Thunder, Cole Redhorse Taylor, Moira Villiard and many more. The artists are all from the Midwest or have family or tribal connections to the land. 

Brenda Child (Red Lake Ojibwe) is the Northrop Professor of American Studies at the university and one of the curators of the exhibit. Child is also married to one of the Ojibwe artists featured in the show, Steve Premo.

"We have had great art traditions for years and years," Child said. "We even have fantastic fine artists — like George Morrison, Oscar Howe, Patrick DesJarlait — who are in our major art museums of the United States."

Piece of art featured in "Dreaming our Futures" Steve Premo

Child says Native American representation in places like the university is crucial.

"I'd really like to see that Native people when they come to the University of Minnesota — especially young people that we want to come here as college students — that they see themselves in exhibits," Child said. "There's more that we can do in Minnesota to understand Native peoples' history and their cultures and their politics. And understand that they are sovereign peoples who predated anything called Minnesota."

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The exhibit premiered in mid-January and is the inaugural event of the George Morrison Center for Indigenous Arts. The new center, named after the late Grand Portage Ojibwe artist and former faculty member George Morrison, is meant to support the "creation, presentation, and interpretation of Indigenous art in all its forms," according to the university.

Now on view at the Katherine E. Nash Gallery, Dreaming Our Futures: Ojibwe and Očhéthi Šakówiŋ Artists and Knowledge...

Posted by UMN Department of Art & Katherine E. Nash Gallery on Tuesday, January 16, 2024

You can see the exhibit through March 16. It's at the Katherine E. Nash Gallery on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis.

The exhibit will move on to the Rochester Art Center after its time in Minneapolis.

NOTE: Web producer Cole Premo, who edited this story, is the nephew of Ojibwe artist Steve Premo. 

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