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Cynthia Binger Boynton Lobby Gallery

Since 2004, The McKnight Foundation has used its lobby gallery to exhibit works that illuminate the range of involvements and interests of the Foundation's grantmaking program areas.


Now on view

Anishinaabe Arts Initiative


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"Sun Burst" by Debra Warren



The artworks selected for this exhibition celebrate the Anishinaabe Arts Initiative (AAI) program, administered by the Region 2 Arts Council and its Anishinaabe Arts Initiative Council, with funding from The McKnight Foundation. Located in Bemidji, MN, the Anishinaabe Arts Initiative program serves artists who are enrolled tribal members and descendants residing in Beltrami, Clearwater, Hubbard, Mahnomen, Lake of the Woods, Becker, Roseau, Cass, and Itasca counties. AAI grants support and promote traditional and contemporary American Indian arts in the region.

This year was the first year that the AAI Council awarded the Anishinaabe Arts Initiative Fellowship (AAIF). The goal of the AAIF is to award substantial financial support to an individual artist to facilitate artistic advancement for the Fellow and their art form. One $5,000 award is granted yearly. Bead worker Thomas Stillday of Ponemah is the 2017 Anishinaabe Arts Initiative Artist Fellow. We enthusiastically have his work on display in this exhibition.

Following is a list of the Anishinaabe Arts Initiative grant recipients and council members whose work was displayed in the original exhibition in Bemidji. Not all of the work was able to be shown at McKnight due to space limitations, but we are listing everyone out of esteem for the incredible artists. They include: David Manual, Calsandra Tyndall, Delina White, Lavender Hunt, Sage Davis, Bernice Mitchell-Diver, Wesley May, Joseph J. Allen, Debra Warren, Brian Dow, David Ben White, Celia Littlecreek, Robie Rock, 2017 AAI Artist Fellow Tom Stillday, Melvin Losh, Simon Zornes, Betsy May, Karen Goulet, Mary Guardipee, Debra Bearskin Hawthorne, Judy Toppings, Cherilyn Spears, Paula Littlewolf, Joy Eastman, and Pamela Iceman.

McKnight's Arts Program
The goal of McKnight’s arts funding is to support working artists who create and contribute to vibrant communities. The program is founded on the belief that Minnesota thrives when its artists thrive. In 2016, 10% of our annual grantmaking payout — roughly $8.7 million — was directed toward this goal. Learn more.

Gallery Hours
Weekdays, 8:00am - 5:00pm