|The late Jim Northrup by Ivy Vainio.|
The current exhibit features three local Anishinaabe artists who connect their ancestors' stories to their own -- Sarah Agaton Howes, Ivy Vainio, and Leah Yellowbird. Their individual visions come together in a celebration of contemporary Anishinaabe culture that is strongly rooted in tradition.
I've been a longtime fan of Ivy Vainio's photography and Leah Yellowbird's incredibly detailed images. I'm less familiar with Sarah Agaton Howes but I've noticed her workmanship in a few places I have been in recent years. I look forward to seeing more.
Ivy Vainio "The rewards I get from taking photographs at cultural events is that I am educating others about these cultures through this art form. I feel honored that people will allow me to be part of these family and cultural celebrations/community events and that I know that they appreciate my work and documentation of what’s important to them and the community."
|Patience, dexterity, innovation, and experience.|
While growing up we learned in school to cherish the our American heritage, that it was a great melting pot into which peoples from everywhere came and added their various flavors to the broth. Years later it dawned on me that this broth metaphor failed in one essential respect. Being American seemed to mean letting go of what we were and where we came from.
Wouldn't tossed salad be a better metaphor? In a salad the various compnents retain their original flavors and textures, yet uniquely contribute to the whole. Here in the Northland we our tossed salad culture far more vividly than I ever observed it growing up in New Jersey, especially in the arts. The strong influence of Scandinavian immigrants and indigenous peoples has been retained and is readily visible. American history did not begin with the American Revolution. Nor did its art.
If you live in the Twin Ports and have not yet been to the Kruk Gallery, this exhibit would be a good excuse to learn where it is.
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Do not forget tonight's Community Forum at the Underground. 5:30 p.m., downstairs in the Depot.
Meantime, art goes on all around you. Engage it.