White, Isham earn Anishinaabe Arts Initiative fellowships
The council is a body comprised of Indigenous artists and arts appreciators from the region. The AAI Fellowship is made possible by the support of the McKnight Foundation and aims to assist the region’s most talented enrolled tribal members and descendants in their artwork.
BEMIDJI — The Region 2 Arts Council’s Anishinaabe Arts Initiative Council awarded two $5,000 fellowships through its Anishinaabe Arts Initiative program.
Earning the distinction are photographer Ningozis White of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and bead worker Martina Isham of the Red Lake Nation.
Everyone who knows White calls him “Gozy,” according to a news release. He is a graduate of Bemidji State University with a bachelor's degree in exercise science and he is highly motivated when it comes to good physical and mental health.
White first started practicing photography in 2016 at Lake Superior College in Duluth. His experience in photography has mostly been spent in commercial photography for apparel merchandising, websites and marketing.
He has a strong connection to his community and actively participates in tribal cultural activities throughout the United States and Canada. White loves the outdoors and plans to improve his photographic abilities capturing nature and wildlife and documenting important aspects of his Anishinaabe culture and people.
Isham or Bagwajikwe — “Wilderness Woman” — is a bead worker from Red Lake. Her work is inspired by nature and her Anishinaabe heritage. She describes her style as “very woodland.”
Isham loves to reference nature in the design, color and flow of the beads in her work. Both of her parents are Anishinaabe artists, and Isham’s love for art and creating started with them.
Isham grew up on the Red Lake Nation and currently resides with her partner Steve and their three smart, wildly cute, adventurous boys in Bemidji, she stated. As a family, they love exploring new trails and are outdoors every chance they get.
The council is a body comprised of Indigenous artists and arts appreciators from the region. The AAI Fellowship is made possible by the support of the McKnight Foundation and aims to assist the region’s most talented enrolled tribal members and descendants in their artwork. The fellowship awards financial support to fund creative time, purchase of arts materials, supplies and equipment, or arts research and experiences.
Eligible artists must have a substantial body of work and must reside in Minnesota’s Beltrami, Hubbard, Lake of the Woods, Clearwater, Mahnomen, Becker, Itasca, Roseau or Cass counties.