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Jonathan Thunder: Maamai
On view through January 8, 2023
Muskegon Museum of Art
Muskegon, Michigan

Jonathan Thunder is a member of the Red Lake Ojibwe Nation who creates paintings and animated films that speak to popular culture, modern society, and his Ojibwe heritage. Boldly colored, comedic, and insightful, Thunder’s artworks offer a bold merging of contemporary culture and traditional heritage.

“Maamawi” (mom-ah-we’) is the Ojibwe word for “together,” and addresses our shared humanity. The paintings and films in this exhibition speak to ideas of connectedness to the land, life, and people. Whether experienced together or alone, the issues presented by Thunder are the inescapable connections of society, shared by everyone.

Jonathan Thunder grew up in the Minneapolis/St. Paul region. His work has appeared in local, regional, and national exhibitions and his short films have earned several awards. Most recently, Thunder became the first recipient of the Jim Denomie Memorial Scholarship in recognition of his commitment to excellence in art-making and community engagement. He is also a 2020 recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award for painting. His paintings and films were included in the 2020-2021 exhibition “The Art of People: Contemporary Anishinaabe Artists” organized by the Muskegon Museum of Art and Grand Valley State University Art Gallery (with guest curator Jason Quigno).

[Image: Jonathan Thunder, Suspension of Disbelief, 2022. Acrylic on canvas, 72″ x 48″]