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Arctic Highways: Unbounded Indigenous People – Minneapolis, MN

Feb 18, 2024 | art/design

Photo credit: The Evening Covers Everything by Marja Helander

Arctic Highways: Unbounded Indigenous People

This month opened, the American Swedish Institute will host a special traveling exhibition featuring the artwork and duodji handcrafts of 12 Indigenous artists from Sápmi and North America. Arctic Highways shares stories of Indigenous People who live on different continents yet regard themselves as kindred spirits. Each artist tells their own stories, through their own forms of expression, inviting opportunities to explore what it means to be unbounded—not just for Indigenous People, but for all of us.  

Curated by Indigenous artists Tomas Colbengtson, Gunvor Guttorm, Dan Jåma and Britta Marakatt-Labba, Arctic Highways will include their own works alongside those of artists Matti Aikio, Marja Helander, Laila Susanna Kuhmunen, Olof Marsja, Máret Ánne Sara, Sonya Kelliher-Combs, Maureen Gruben, and Meryl McMaster.   

“We are indigenous peoples who live in different countries and on different continents, and yet regard ourselves as peoples with kindred spirits. The borders of nation states, arbitrarily drawn without regard to the landscapes of our ancestors, have been used to group the Sámi people, and to set us up to fight against our brothers and sisters living on the other side, fencing in, and silencing our voices and our knowledge.   

With this exhibition we want to tell our own story, through our own experiences, using our own forms of expression. We want to provide opportunities to think broadly about what it means to be unbounded, pointing to the limits that borders set, not just for indigenous people, but for all of us.” —collective artist statement  

Photography, duodji handcraft, sculpture, textile, and moving image works will be on view in ASI’s galleries for Arctic Highways, offering visitors an opportunity to explore what’s happening in the world of Arctic art and Sámi handcraft, deepen their knowledge of local and international indigenous artists, identify contemporary movements and issues at play in Sápmi and the Arctic, and reflect on their own perceptions of Indigenous groups as a contemporary society, not something of the past.   


Guided exhibition tours and private tours will be available.


American Swedish Institute

2600 Park Avenue
Minneapolis, MN

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