Becoming - The Transition from Childhood to Womanhood

Blair Treuer, Textile Artist

EXHIBIT June 9 – July 29, 2023
RECEPTION Friday June 9, 5 – 7pm with artist presentation at 6pm
BOOK SIGNING Saturday June 10, 10am to 4pm in the Kaul Gallery

Listen to an interview with Blair and Katie Carter (KAXE-KBXE June 9-2023) →

This body of work is a celebration and validation of the feminine in all its forms and in all genders. The exhibit is a fantastical story that celebrates Treuer’s daughter’s journey and ceremonial right of passage into womanhood, and thus into her power.

Important revelations in this series involve but are not limited to the following themes: our relationships to the natural world and the relevance of imagination; cultural views, attitudes, and communication regarding the physical transitions of the female body; definitions of womanhood and attitudes towards femininity, and ultimately the teachings we share with our daughters about what it means to have a female body and how to protect it and how to celebrate it in today’s society.

Image Gallery
Click any image to begin slideshow

Artist Statement

I was captivated by the ceremonial rite of passage my daughter experienced when she got her first menstrual period. Her Native American culture celebrated her as sacred. She was recognized, validated, and empowered. Because of this experience, my daughter understands that she has power as a woman. Not just the power to give life through her womb but the power to have influence and agency. And she recognizes that she has the responsibility to play an active role regarding the health and safety of the community. She understands how important it is to be thoughtful and intentional about her impact. She has respect for her body, and demands that others respect it too. Empowerment, validation and celebration, that was not how I or any woman I know experienced their first menstrual period. Instead for most of us, this experience is often negative and embarrassing.

This exhibition is about the powerful impact her experience had on me as her mother, and what it showed me about my own cultural experiences. Using this completely imaginative story and imagery, my intention with these portraits is to inspire more intentional and meaningful cultivation of healthy cultural norms and experiences around valuing our bodies, especially with regard to how we express these values to our children.

As a white woman, I am incredibly grateful that my daughter’s Native American culture gave her such a beautiful and meaningful experience. This exhibition is about the powerful impact her experience had on me as her mother, and what it showed me about my own cultural experiences.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota, through a grant from the Region 2 Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and additionally in part, by a grant from the Bemidji Area Arts Endowment, a component fund of the Northwest Minnesota Foundation.
Region 2 LogoBemidji Area Arts Endowment