Alumnus Receives McKnight Award
Visual artist Jim Denomie (B.A. ‘09) recently received the 2019 Distinguished Artist Award from the McKnight Foundation.
Visual artist Jim Denomie (B.A. ‘09) recently received the 2019 Distinguished Artist Award from the McKnight Foundation. The $50,000 award was created to honor a Minnesota artist who has made significant contributions to the state’s cultural life.
Denomie, a member of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Ojibwe, made his living in the construction trades before entering the U of M and enrolling in a required studio arts course. There, he rediscovered his artistic vision while renewing connections to his Native culture. “I met other Native people at the University of Minnesota who were hungry to go back and learn about our language and our ceremonies and our way of seeing,” says Denomie, who began exhibiting his paintings soon after graduating.
He is the first American Indian artist to be chosen for the Distinguished Artist Award since its inception in 1996.
Denomie, 64, lives in Franconia with his wife, Diane Wilson, a fellow artist and author of the memoir Spirit Car: Journey to a Dakota Past.