Minnesota Artist Featured in MIDB's Permanent Art Collection, Creativity Camp
The paintings "A Future Honoring All Relations" and "Interconnected" are now part of MIDB's permanent art collection. Created by Moira ("Miri") Villiard, the pieces are part of Villiard's Mahnomen Illustrations collection, a commissioned series exploring wild rice and the Anishinaabe.
Villiard is a multidisciplinary artist with a mixed Indigenous and settler heritage who uses art to uplift underrepresented narratives, explore the nuance of society’s historical community intersections, and promote community healing spaces. According to her online bio, Villiard grew up on the Fond du Lac Reservation in Cloquet, Minn., and is a Fond du Lac direct descendent, Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Ojibwe lineal descendant, and Moravian Band of the Thames Lenape direct descendant. Her work has been featured in numerous shows in Duluth and around Minnesota.
Last summer, Villiard also joined the Imagination Central class to teach four sessions with adolescents participating in the Creativity Camp held at MIDB.
"We were so incredibly lucky to have Miri as one of our guest artists in the Imagination Central program," said Kathryn Cullen, MD, an investigator for the Creativity Camp study. "She taught four sessions that were filled with fun, playfulness and compassion. In her first session, she guided the adolescents in painting the universe. The second session involved learning about and painting Native healing plants. The last two sessions were dedicated to planning and creating a community painting; adolescents responded to the prompt, 'What is missing from the world?' and their works were joined to create a mural that was placed in the MIDB Annex gallery. Throughout these sessions, Miri shared wisdom from her Ojibwe culture, and how she uses her art to address critical issues of equity and justice in our society. Miri's creativity, energy and passion were inspirational for our adolescent participants, and for our entire team."
Villiard will join the Creativity Camp again this summer.