Hinckley art gallery to host exhibit of local Ojibwe artist’s work

Paintings by Robert DesJarlait show “personal visions of a tribal reality.”




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Ojibwe Mitigwaki Niimid (Ojibwe Woodland Dancers) by Robert DesJarlait

The East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC) will host a solo exhibition February 17 – March 17 featuring local artist Robert DesJarlait. DesJarlait was awarded an ECRAC Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (ACHF) Individual Artist Grant to create a body of work to be featured at the ECRAC Gallery and will include 21 watercolor paintings by DesJarlait. The opening reception is Friday, February 17, from 5 to 8 PM, with an Artist Talk at 5:30 PM.

Robert DesJarlait

In addition to receiving an ACHF Individual Artist Grant DesJarlait has won awards in ECRAC’s annual IMAGE Art Show; in 2021, he won the artistic merit award. In 2022, he won an artistic excellence award for Ojibwe Mitigwaki Niimid (Ojibwe Woodland Dancers). The judges cited the work for the “techniques used and the expertise exhibited [and] noted how his artwork showed great movement and that it also conveys a true emotional impact.”

In his 2022 exhibition catalog, renowned Ojibwe artist Carl Gawboy included DesJarlait among artists who inspire him. Gawboy said: “Robert DesJarlait for his authenticity. If he paints a woodland traditional dancer, you KNOW everything is right.”

Regarding his work, DesJarlait says: “My paintings are personal visions of a tribal reality. My stylized, figurative images compose a micro/macro-scopic Ojibwe universe. Interwoven in this universe are creation stories, history, customs and traditions, and my central theme – Ojibwe Manidoowiwin, the tribal spirit of the Ojibwe people.”

DesJarlait is from the Red Lake Ojibwe Nation. In addition to fine art, he is a muralist, writer, historian, and educator. He began his career as an artist in 1984. He has authored and illustrated several curriculum units for American Indian Education Programs and American Indian agencies and organizations in Minnesota.  He is listed in Who’s Who in American Art and Reference Encyclopedia of the American Indian. He currently lives in Onamia, MN.

The show will be on view at the ECRAC Gallery located at 540 Weber Ave, Hinckley (near Tobie’s Restaurant East of the Hinckley exit from Hwy 35), Opening night is Friday, Feb 17, 5-8pm with artists talk at 5:30pm. Additional dates to view the show include: Saturday, Feb 18, 10am – 4pm, Feb 21 – Mar 8, Monday – Wednesday 12 – 4pm, and the week of March 13 – 17 Monday – Friday 12 – 4pm. For more information contact Katina Eklund at 320-591-7034 or grantinfo@ecrac.org. For more about ECRAC visit ecrac.org. DesJarlait Contact info: redlakeogitchida@msn.com Website: www.robertdesjarlaitfinearts.com

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the East Central Regional Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.


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Hinckley art gallery to host exhibit of local Ojibwe artist’s work