Grantee:  Jim Denomie
Native Citizenship:  Ojibwe
Location:  Shafer, Minnesota
Award:  2018 National Artist Fellowship
Discipline:  Visual Arts
Web Site:
Instagram:  @jimdenomie

Jim Denomie (Ojibwe) works as a painter and multimedia artist from his studio in Shafer, Minnesota. He refers to his work portraying historical, political and social issues as “narrative paintings,” expressing a broad range of ideas and experiences with sly humor and an eye-popping palette. Denomie cheerfully admits that as a painter of “metaphorical surrealism,” he constantly pushes the boundaries as he finds and explores new and old subject matter. This is evidenced by his signature portraiture and cleverly devilish parodies of well-known masterpieces and classical scenes studied in many traditional art history classes. The work itself is fun but challenging, as his paintings frequently examine historical and contemporary events in American and Native American history, as well as aspects of pop culture, art history, and Anglo-Indian relations. His themes include paintings about treaty rights, gaming, reservations, religions, Christopher Columbus and military battles, as well as subjects based on the common, personal challenges many experience in life. Denomie has received numerous fellowship awards, including a Bush Foundation Artist Fellowship, and a Joan Mitchell Foundation Award. He received his B.F.A. from the University of Minnesota.

As a painter and an artist, I find I am constantly evolving. If I was in this just for the money, I could be painting Elvis on black velvet.

~ Jim Denomie

Minneapolis. St. Paul Magazine video interview of Jim Denomie, 2017.