My Grandma and Your Grandma “mural” installation at the Tweed Museum of Art; Duluth, MN UMD Campus; 2021
My Grandma and Your Grandma
My Grandma and Your Grandma
Manifest’o installation live at the Minneapolis / St. Paul International Airport. Located in the B Concourse tunnel through September 2023.
Manifest’o team from left to right: Jonathan Thunder (artist), Sam Fuentes (Arts@MSP Curator), Sergio Rapu (Documentary Film Maker), Martin Dean (Tech, digital picture framer)

What is Manifest’o?

Manifest’o started at the Tweed Museum of Art in Duluth, MN from October 2018 to July 2019. I was commissioned to take a look at the museum’s art collection, and the Nelson Collection and create something in response. The Tweed Collection and the Nelson Collection contain a large amount of Indigenous art works and crafts from across the continent. My response was to create a connection between three tribal stories I had heard during my travels in Ojibwe country, and link them to contemporary artworks. I picked 3 stories that relate to the land, sky, water and language. Using the latest 3D animation software I rendered the stories to fit the 3-Dimensional case that sits in the middle of the Tweed Museums. I then printed 3D sculptures from 2 of the stories and hand crafted a mask from the third. These stories which are only heard at tribal gatherings, and date back beyond the use of calendars in north America, could then be seen in a life sized environment that obstructed and reflected the European artworks that occupied the remainder of the museum.

Manifest’o, is taking on a life of it’s own, and has traveled from Duluth to Minneapolis as part of Northern Spark in 2019, and is scheduled to exhibit and another location which is yet to be revealed this year.

Here are some excerpts and photos from Manifest’o…

The Tweed Museum of Art

“Artist Jonathan Thunder’s multi-media installation entitled Manifest’o features three separate, yet interconnected animated vignettes of Anishinaabe stories about the Goldfinch, Star Woman, and Mishu Bishu. It is located on the second floor of the Museum in the large, glass display case that has been transformed as a ‘fishbowl’ to effectively and sinuously present the animated vignettes. Thunder’s artistry is a combination of painting, filmmaking, sculpture and animation. As part of the installation, the central figure of each vignette is represented by a sculpture, including two 3D printed pieces and a mask. About Manifest’o, Thunder states, “These vignettes are inspired by three Anishinaabe stories that reflect our connection to time, space and survival. The work is presented in three animations that were composed from canvas painting and digital media to represent how each of the three living stories manifest themselves in a contemporary light.””

Listen to the MPR interview here Manifest’o MPR

For information on the Tweed Museum of Fine Art and hours of operation click here Tweed Info

To see the Tweed Museum’s page for Manifest’o click here Tweed Exhibit Page

A walk through of the installation…

Manifest’o at Northern Spark 2019

In 2019 I was invited to be a part of an annual, city-wide event in Minneapolis called Northern Spark.

I partnered with NACDI to discuss the occasion, and Manifest’o made it’s way to Minneapolis in the new form of a large scale 3 story projection on the corner of 15th and Franklin, which is also known as the American Indian Cultural Corridor. I attended high school just blocks from the location where the event would take place, thanks to the brilliant team at Northern Spark and NACDI.

Public statement about this installation…

Manifest’o features three separate, yet interconnected animated vignettes based on Ojibwe stories about connection to the land, sky and water. These connections live today through the stories and teaching that are actively being handed down from generation to generation. Thunder brings the spirit of these vignettes to the American Indian Cultural Corridor in a large scale projection that will illuminate the block of 14th and Franklin as part of Northern Spark. Manifest’o is traveling from the Tweed Museum of Art in Duluth, Minnesota, where it originated as a multimedia installation. The three individual stories included are Mishu Bizhiw Awakens, Gold Finch Counts the Leaves, and Supernaut Becomes the Water Lily. Thunder states about Manifest’o, “It’s important that people understand that these vignettes are my interpretation of stories I have heard throughout my journey as an Indigenous artist working within my community. They are a reflection of what I’ve learned through the stories that inspired me to create these animations. They also represent a resilient culture and community whose timeless voice can be heard today in the concrete landscape of 2019.”

Here’s a video of the scene…