As a textile artist and designer, I work with an intuitive hand to bridge cultures and traditions gathered from firsthand experiences. I derive my inspiration from the history of my heritage and what it means to be a contemporary Native woman.
My work calls attention to its materiality by pushing the viewer’s traditional understanding of textiles through the use of multimedia elements and unconventional materials. Each of my pieces are built around a strong conceptual narrative; digging deeper into notions of identity by focusing on relationships, issues of cultural appropriation, Native authenticity, grief and loss. Being transparent is a fundamental value in all the work that I do.
Dakobijige – “She Ties Things Together” is an exhibition that explores themes of connection to one’s body in regards to place and relationships with others. I am interested in how our intuitive knowledge physically affects us through changing conditions within our body. Relating to physical, emotional and psychological health these assemblage works touch on my personal experiences with love, loss, abuse and home. I use textiles as a way to contain memory, to reflect, and to tell a difficult story.
Maggie Thompson (Fond du Lac Ojibwe) was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Textiles at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 2013. As a textile artist and designer she derives her inspiration from the history of her Ojibwe heritage, exploring family history as well as themes and subject matter of the broader Native American experience. Thompson’s work calls attention to its materiality pushing the viewer’s traditional understanding of textiles. She explores materials in her work by incorporating multimedia elements such as photographs, beer caps and 3D-printed objects.
Thompson had her first solo exhibition “Where I Fit” at All My Relations Gallery in 2014 and has since exhibited at institutions such as the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Plains Art Museum. In 2015, she received support from the Minnesota State Arts Board Cultural Community Partnership Grant and the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Regional Fellowship to create a body of work for her exhibit “On Borrowed Time” at the Minnesota Textile Center. The Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Minnesota Historical Society have both acquired pieces from Thompson to be a part of their permanent collection.
In addition to her fine arts practice, Thompson runs a small knitwear business known as Makwa Studio and is also an emerging curator of contemporary Native art at and has worked on curating special exhibits for Two Rivers Gallery, the McKnight Foundation and the Minnesota Museum of American Art.