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Meet the We Are Still Here Cohort

Meet the artist

Tamara Aupaumut is a self-taught multidisciplinary artist and independent curator living on Mni Sota Makoce, also known as Minneapolis. She descends from the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians, the Oneida and Brothertown Indian Nations. With support from the Next Step Fund grant, she is currently working on a new body of work, “This Land Is My Body,” that speaks to the healing connection between the land and our bodies.

Artist Statement: I’m engaged in themes of connection, identity, memory, dreams, social constructs, life and death, with my cultural heritage and ancestors being an integral force behind my research and artistic body of truth-telling work. While I mostly work independently, I find collaborating with community fulfilling through the reciprocal process of sharing and learning. I employ the use of multiple mediums to execute my concepts—from painting, ceramics, printmaking, fiber and photography to traditional Native art forms of quillwork, beadwork and birchbark. Recently, I have been exploring sound installations and papier-mâché forms. My process is experimental, intuitive and contemplative. I always learn something during my process, even after my work is completed. Ultimately, the focus of my oeuvre seeks to honor the truth and investigate what emerges when we untwist the false narratives spun by colonial and European mindsets. My goal is to create attention-grabbing imagery that causes some viewers to question what they believe, to unlearn or learn a new way of viewing the world. That’s what I love about making art—it’s a magical tool for the mind to see in a different way.

To learn more about Tamara Aupaumut, follow her on Instagram.