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Bi-Mawadishiwewaad – “When They Come to Visit
Sam/Zhaawanoogiizhik Zimmerman, Painter

EXHIBIT May 17 – August 17, 2024
RECEPTION June 28, 5 – 7pm

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Inspired by his relocation from the East Coast to Duluth, Minnesota, Zimmerman explores his Ojibwe heritage, his learnings, experiences in nature, preserving shared oral histories, and reimagining the symbolism of the clan animals while incorporating the natural landscape of Lake Superior’s North Shore in his exhibit Bi-Mawadishiwewaad – “When they come to visit”.

Zimmerman received his BFA in Studio Art from the Rochester Institute of Technology. He began with painting as a part-time activity while he worked as a Special Education and School administrator many years. Since 2000 he has been participating in juried and solo exhibitions. His work can be found in private collections both in the United States and abroad.

Grand Marais Wolf, Zimmerman

Artist Bio

Sam Zimmerman, portrait

Sam Zimmerman, portrait

Sam Zimmerman focuses on continuing the Anishinaabe tradition of storytelling embedding the themes of environmental stewardship and conservation of the North Shore through his studio and public art commissions.

He has completed public art pieces for the Grand Portage tribal nation, Chik Wauk Museum and Nature Center, Voyageur National Park, the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, and the Duluth and Grand Marais communities as a means to celebrate Ojibwe culture and language. He has been the recipient of grant awards from the Minnesota State Arts Board, Arrowhead Regional Arts Council, Northland Foundation Maada’ookiing, and Duluth Superior Community Foundation.

He has completed the illustration of six bilingual Ojibwemowin/English children’s books for the Red Lake Band of Lake Superior Chippewa schools. His most recent art coffee table bilingual coffee table book is a collection of paintings and stories from his first year of creating along the northern shore of Lake Superior entitled “Following My Spirit Home”, published by Blackbear and Blueberries Publishing in April 2022. “Following My Spirit Home” was a silver finalist for a Midwest Book Award in June 2023. The Minnesota Historical Society press reprinted “Following My Spirit Home” as a new paperback edition in June 2023. His first illustrated bilingual (Ojibwemowin/English) hardcover children’s book, “How the Birds Got Their Song” will be published in May 2024 by the Minnesota Historical Society press.

Thanks to the Blandin Foundation and the McKnight Foundation for their support of programming in the Miikanan Gallery.

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