Sunday, November 12, 2017

Local Art Seen: MAAMAWI -- AICHO Group Artist Exhibition

Friday evening the American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO) hosted an exhibition featuring 25 artists and more. AICHO has been enriching the region for many years, quietly serving an important and often underserved portion of our community. In recent years, their downtown facility -- formerly the YWCA building at 202 West 2nd Street -- has emerged as a significant center for the arts, blossoming like a desert rose.

The event, called MAAMAWI, also served as a fund-raising event and kickoff for the launch of AICHO's 2018 calendar. In addition to the works by 25 artists within the Dr. Robert Powless Center, the hallway outside featured the 12 original paintings and photography that is featured in the 12 months of the calendar.

Every event at AICHO serves as a reminder of the vitality of the community. Creative expression seems to be central here, and the new store within the complex shows both the variety and quality of the talent here. EdNote: Anyone who reads this (who is within reasonable driving distance) needs to make it a top-tier priority to visit the AICHO Gift Shop before Christmas this year. 

If you've never been to an AICHO art show, it often includes poetry, music and finger foods to hold you over till supper. (Many of us go there straight after work when the event is at 5 or 5:30.) In addition to the artists featured in the calendar and the gallery, Karen Savage-Blue contributed a series of pictures she's been making of crows, ravens and blackbirds. A couple years ago she produced a remarkable series of daily landscapes, small oil paintings, for a period of 365 days, reminiscent of Ellen Sandbeck's Buddha-a-Day series. Friday night we were treated to a month of birds.

Here are a few of additional images. I will share more tomorrow.

"Snake Battle"-- Steve Premo
"Sky Woman" -- Jonathan Thunder
"Moonlit Stroll" -- Rachel Weizenegger

For the record, the Ojibwe word Maamawi means "Together." 
You might say "Maamawi is the secret of our resilience."

Meantime, art goes on all around you. Make time to engage it.

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