MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A beloved and accomplished Ojibwe artist from Minnesota, Jim Denomie, has died at 66 years old.
Denomie’s wife, Dakota author Diane Wilson, said he “began his spirit journey” early Tuesday morning. He was recently diagnosed with cancer.
“Jim was a man of immense talent and vision, integrity, with a fierce commitment to truth-telling in his work. Yet he remained a good friend to all who knew him, always taking time to create lasting friendships wherever he went,” Wilson said in a social media post.
“Jim will always be one of the most deeply and widely respected and beloved artists in this region, for he possessed a singular, brave artistic voice, a passion for his community, and an unmistakable wit,” the Minnesota Museum of American Art wrote. “As was his way, Jim approached life with thoughtfulness and care in ways that meaningfully contributed to the honoring of Indigenous pasts and the flourishing of Indigenous futures.”
In 2019, Denomie became the first Native American artist to be chosen by the McKnight Foundation for the Distinguished Artist Award, with the foundation citing his “international reputation for monumental narrative paintings that explore the collisions between Indigenous cultures and European colonizers.”
Denomie was a member of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Ojibwe and lived with his wife at their home in Shafer, Minnesota.
More Reactions From The Community
Sending my condolences to the loved ones of Jim Denomie after hearing of his passing. Jim’s work was featured around the world, his art grappling with tough topics with humor and wit. He championed young artists, earning the title “art dad.” https://t.co/07eKnK5USz
— Rep. Betty McCollum (@BettyMcCollum04) March 2, 2022
The Native American Initiatives department and all of MNHS are extremely saddened to hear of the news of Jim Denomie’s passing. We send our condolences to his family and loved ones. Jim’s art inspired us all and we are so lucky he is a part of our universe. Gigawaabamin, Jim. pic.twitter.com/1hN2TH73Vx
— Minnesota Historical Society (@mnhs) March 1, 2022
The Native art world is losing one of it’s greats as Jim Denomie starts his journey. His work has always been such an inspiration—politically pointed, often funny, layered…so Ojibwe. pic.twitter.com/a6v8C4p8Nb
— ashley fairbanks (@ziibiing) February 26, 2022