Odanah Artist-in-Residence Recipients Named at Minnesota Historical Society

Minnesota Historical Society announces Pine Ridge bead artist Randilynn Boucher and Ojibwe basket maker April Stone

The Minnesota Historical Society has announced two recipients for the 2017 Native American Artist-in-Residence program. The two Native artists are Randilynn Boucher, a Dakota and Navajo beadwork and textile artist who resides in Pine Ridge, South Dakota and April Stone, an Ojibwe basket maker who resides in Odanah, Wisconsin.

Each artist will serve a six-month paid residency and will study the collections at the Minnesota Historical Society and other institutions. They will also receive guidance developing community-based outreach in their home communities.

The program, which is in its third year, is designed to help revitalize traditional forms of American Indian art.

Randilynn Boucher is a Dakota and Navajo beadwork and textile artist who says she will focus on items related to Dakota/Lakota girls and women. She says she plans to study collection items and visit with elders to help preserve the knowledge of objects related to womanhood, such as cradleboards, bonnets, knife sheaths and bags. She plans to bring what she learns from collections and elders to the community through workshops and apprenticeships.

“Making the connection between the material art and the traditional knowledge and songs become more meaningful and relevant,” said Boucher in a release.

April Stone is an Ojibwe basket maker who resides in Odanah, Wisconsin, and specializes in ash baskets. Stone hopes to study basket construction from northern Wisconsin, the Great Lakes region, and farther east, where indigenous basketmaking is also experiencing a resurgence. She plans to hold workshops in communities in Wisconsin to share the knowledge of her craft.

“People might know about [ash baskets] but they still don’t know how to harvest, prep, weave or finish,” said Stone in the release.

This year, the program also awarded two Encouragement Grants that will support traditional artists to continue with their cultural arts and research. The 2017 Encouragement Grant awardees are Molina Parker, Oglala Lakota, and Jeremy Red Eagle, Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate.

The 2017 artists-in-residence were selected based on the recommendations of a panel consisting of experts in Native arts and culture. Find out more about the program and view works by previous artists-in-residence.

This fall, the Minnesota History Center will open an exhibit showcasing the work of the five previous Native American artists-in-residence. The exhibit will open in late September, 2017 and run through early April, 2018. Look for more details to come.

The Native American Artist-in-Residence program is made possible in part by a grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation.

About the Minnesota Historical Society

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. MNHS collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing. Using the power of history to transform lives, MNHS preserves our past, shares our state’s stories and connects people with history.

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