fbpx
 
Blair Treuer installing "Portraits" at Watermark Art Center

BEMIDJI, Minn. — Blair Treuer is a non-Native woman whose husband and children are Ojibwe, and her new exhibit, “Portraits,” depicts her reflections as a white outsider to the Ojibwe cultural practices and beliefs that shape her Native family’s identity.

Watermark Art Center in Bemidji, Minnesota, hosts Treuer and her first gallery exhibit of “Portraits” at its January 10 opening. It will remain on display through March 28, 2020. Her work, which garnered national attention last year, is a collection of large images constructed with fabrics of different colors, patterns, shapes and sizes sewn together in a quilt-like fashion to create realistic portraits of her family.

She began her love affair with fabric when her children’s participation in an Ojibwe ceremony required her to make blankets as a part of their spiritual offering. She poured everything into their construction all the while teaching herself this new art form.  Through this process, she became a “storyteller who paints with fabric and draws with thread.”

In many of her pieces a recurring goldfinch theme is present. The goldfinch is the language bird in Ojibwe culture.

Beyond that, “Self Portrait,” a nude portrait featuring the artist with finches perched on antlers growing from the top of her head, was born from her unique perspective and represents the combination of both despair and hope that she feels as a mother and wife and her purpose in this world.

"Self Portrait" by Blair Treuer

“Self Portrait” received a semi-honorable mention from Art Olympia 2019 in their 3rd Biennial International Open Art Competition in Japan.  Meanwhile, “Maddy,” a depiction of family members partaking in the “sugar bush” or tapping of maple trees, received special recognition by Light Space Time’s  9th Annual All Women Online Art Competition. 

Watermark Art Center is located at 505 Bemidji Ave. N. Bemidji, Minnesota. The center can be reached at (218) 444-7570 and  watermarkartcenter.org. Visit blairtreuer.com for more information.

 

 

More Stories Like This

Phoenix Suns Celebrate Native American Culture in Full Colors
Casting Call Out for Netflix's "Rez Ball"
Here’s What’s Going on in Indian Country, Jan. 27 — Feb. 2
Here’s What’s Going on in Indian Country, Jan. 19-Jan. 26
Native American Projects are Getting a Piece of $34M in NEA Grants

Do you appreciate a Native perspective on the news? 

For the past decade-plus, we’ve covered the important Indigenous stories that are often overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the toppling of colonizer statues during the racial equity protests, to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW), the attacks on tribal sovereignty at the Supreme Court and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools, we have been there to provide a Native perspective and elevate Native voices.

Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation this month to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps us remain a force for change in Indian Country and continue telling the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked.  Please consider a recurring monthly donation of $5 or $10 to help fund us throughout the year. Whatever you can do, it helps fund our Indigenous-led newsroom and our ability to cover Native news. 

Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you. 

About The Author
Native News Online Staff
Author: Native News Online StaffEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Native News Online is one of the most-read publications covering Indian Country and the news that matters to American Indians, Alaska Natives and other Indigenous people. Reach out to us at [email protected]