Jim Denomie wins McKnight’s Distinguished Artist Award

Jim Denomie

Jim Denomie (Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Ojibwe) has been named the 2019 recipient of the McKnight Foundation’s Distinguished Artist Award, a $50,000 prize honoring a Minnesota artist who has made “significant contributions to the state’s cultural life.”

“Minnesota is Jim Denomie’s home, and its history has inspired many of his most powerful paintings,” says Kate Wolford, president of the McKnight Foundation. “Today, his impact and artistic vision extend far beyond our region. We’re thrilled to recognize an artist who is rooted in the Anishinaabe tradition of storytelling art and so deeply engaged in documenting the present day. His story is a reminder that creativity and self-expression can change the arc of our lives.”

Denomie is the first Native American artist to receive the honor since the award’s inception in 1996. Past recipients include poet Robert Bly, visual artists Siah Armajani, Wing Young Huie, and Judy Onofrio, and theatrical artist/producer Lou Bellamy.