Last Friday AICHO introduced its new exhibit, presented in the Robert Powless Cultural Center. The Long Night of the Floating Shell was named for the shell that manifested to guide the Anishinaabe in their journey to Minnesota as well as the significance of shells in Maya culture. This exhibit, open through July 19th, evokes a sense of journey, exploring the turbulent and triumphant experiences of contemporary Indigenous artists Zamara Cuyún and Jonathan Thunder. Thunder is from the Red Lake Nation in Minnesota and Cuyún is from the Twin Cities with roots in the Maya Highlands of Guatemala, but both were able to find common ground in their Indigenous perspectives.
Listen to an interview with Jonathan Thunder about the exhibit HERE.
Keep an eye out for the closing artist talk on June 22nd, 2019!
AICHO hosted the closing of the Exchange Exhibit on May 18th at the Dr. Robert Powless Cultural Center with an artist talk and reception. The exhibit ran from the 5th until its closing, with a focus on unifying 5 different communities from across Minnesota. The photos and videos of the exhibit span a two decade stretch and tell the stories of local communities in digital form. Forty pieces were presented, with featured artists from Red Lake, Leech Lake, Bois Forte, Saint Paul and Crookston, Minnesota. This multifaceted gallery was also a celebration of art itself, meant to encourage an appreciation for community-based arts, and the artists' stunning work represents this.
This exhibit was a part of the larger Exchange Tour, a series of exhibits and screenings dedicated to the sharing of stories and appreciation of the arts. Special thanks to In Progress, the nonprofit organization at the heart of the exhibition. More information can be found on In Progress and the Exchange Tour at http://in-progress.org.
The curators from each community are as follows:
Reyna Lussier- Red Lake Nation
Karen Norris-Barret- Red Lake Nation
Nicole Staples- Leech Lake Reservation
Christina Rodriguez- Crookston
Maria Arguelles- Crookston
Melissa Vang- Saint Paul
Katherina Vang- Saint Paul
Cecilia Martinez- Bois Forte Nation
We are grateful to all the participating artists and were glad to welcome their work to the Dr. Robert Powless Cultural Center.
At the start of May, AICHO was lucky enough to host several talented local musicians for the annual Duluth Homegrown celebration. The performances featured accomplished local bands Big Into and Big Science and talented solo artists Seyi Oyinloye and Teague Alexy, AICHO locals and guests flocked to the Robert Powless Center. A big thank you to the performers and audience members who came to the show!
Top left: Big Into. Top Right: Big Science. Middle: Seyi Oyinloye (We apologize for less than ideal photo quality). Bottom: Teague Alexy
See more about the bands at:
On Monday, in celebration of Earth Day, AICHO hosted a series of events for the downtown Gallery Hop. In the Robert Powless Cultural Center, Daniell LaPorte helped the kids and guests at AICHO turn their favorite T-Shirts into reusable and eco-friendly bags. These bags were then shipped out to be used by local institutions such as Super One Foods and the Whole Foods Co-Op. Guests also had the opportunity to experiment with screen printing, decorating their bags or other clothing and fabric. They were also introduced to our newest exhibit,Through Our Eyes, a combination of two previous exhibits that we have hosted. Through Our Eyes is a series of photographs taken by Gimaaji youth, outlining the world from their perspective in startling clarity.
Meanwhile, families were invited to participate in some art-making of their own. Working together, AICHO families created a beautiful sculpture of a bull (using only pom-poms!) which will be displayed in the building itself. Painting classes with Moira Villiard also produced a collectively painted banner. Overall, the Earth Day Gallery Hop was a huge success at AICHO.
On March fifth AICHO received 50,000 dollars in funding for the Niiwin Indigenous Foods Market from Essentia Health. Purchased in July of 2018, the building is now under renovations, with plans in the works for a grocery store supplying healthy and local Indigenous foods to the Duluth area. The store will also include a coffee shop that doubles as a meeting place and center for local education and is scheduled to open in early 2020.
In the mean time, the market will be hosting pop events for community education around Indigenous foods and their cultural and environmental significance. These events will be hosted on the last Thursday of every month at 5:30. On March 28, join us for Fight With Every Bite, a presentation focused on moving beyond colonialism through food and celebrating Indigenous sovereignty. The event is in partnership with Harvest Nation, an innovative aeroponic farming startup. See you there on the 28th for a presentation you can really sink your teeth into.
More Information on Niiwin at https://www.latest.facebook.com/NiiwinIndigenousFoodsMarket/
AICHO recieved yet another grant from the McKnight Foundation for the art program at Gimaajii which will help support the capacity of Native artists through November 2020. Miigwech!
Congratulations to Gimaajii Youth Patience for being nominated for the Duluth Branch NAACP’s 2019 Martin Luther King, Jr. “Drum Major For Peace” Award (Youth category). The award is given to those who actively work towards social justice and peace in our communities. Patience is respectful, and is always helping others. She was awarded an award for these attributes last year at her school. She also was part of an anti-bullying club, is a member of the World Beat Drummers, recently spoke at the Duluth School Board Education Committee, participated in a weeklong photography class this summer at AICHO and now represents that art exhibit, and she is active within the AICHO- Gimaajii Children’s programming. She is a treasure in our community, as are all of our youth. The awards will be announced at the MLK Rally at the DECC on January 21. Program starts at noon. Free and open to the public. Congratulations again to Patience and her family on this nomination.
Keep tabs on some of the exciting things happening at AICHO! Blog posts managed by our current intern, Roshan Emad-Syring.