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Artists painted a mural that aims to bring color and life to a community resource center in Duluth’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, utilizing Anishinaabe symbolism to shed light on the city’s Indigenous history.

About the Artists

Artists painted a mural that aims to bring color and life to a community resource center in Duluth’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, utilizing Anishinaabe symbolism to shed light on the city’s Indigenous history. The mural serves as a reminder that even in uncertain times, we shouldn’t forget the stories of the land we reside on and the people who were the first stewards of the Title Island.

Moira Villiard is a dynamic visual artist, Fond du Lac Band of Ojibwe direct descendent and Minnesota-based community organizer. She displays a high degree of proficiency in a variety of artistic genes, including portraiture, illustration, graphic and digital design and murals. Moira has also worked as a curator and arts educator concentrating on equity and justice issues including art access, creative placemaking, environmental sustainability, youth empowerment and acknowledgment of Indigenous land, culture and history.

Michelle Defoe, from Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe, is an Indigenous artist working toward revitalizing Anishinaabe traditional arts, using forms including beadwork, moccasin making, birch bark baskets, sewing blankets and ribbon skirts. She is also a painter whose work is inspired by dreams and cultural background. Her goal as an artist is to create social change and have a positive impact on her community.

“This mural and other murals that we've done have really tried to give people just a lot to pull from and a lot to process and to be able to see Native concepts as part of the community and not necessarily like this scary, intrusive negative thing,” says artist Moira Villiard. “But to be able to show that we make beautiful things and have beautiful stories and symbolism to share. It shows that both things can coexist. And it doesn't detract from the mainstream narrative, it actually adds to it.”

Snapshots

Art In This Present Moment

This project is part of Art in This Present Moment, an initiative of the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, with funding from the McKnight Foundation. We provided grants to 12 Minnesota-based nonprofit organizations to fund work by over 50 BIPOC artists who are changing and challenging dominant narratives through their craft.

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