Jim Denomie receives 2019 McKnight Foundation Distinguished Artist Award

Awarded to one Minnesota-based artist annually

Jim Denomie has received the 2019 McKnight Foundation Distinguished Artist Award. This honor, given annually to one Minnesota-based artist, includes a significant financial gift to support ongoing artistic endeavors.


The McKnight Foundation has selected visual artist Jim Denomie to receive the 2019 Distinguished Artist Award, a $50,000 gift created to honor a Minnesota artist who has made significant contributions to the state's cultural life. Denomie, a member of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Ojibwe, combines vivid hues and disarming humor in powerful narrative paintings that invite new perspectives on historical and contemporary events in Indigenous and American life.

"Minnesota is Jim Denomie's home, and its history has inspired many of his most powerful paintings," says Kate Wolford, president of the McKnight Foundation. "Today, his impact and artistic vision extend far beyond our region. We're thrilled to recognize an artist who is rooted in the Anishinaabe tradition of storytelling art and so deeply engaged in documenting the present day. His story is a reminder that creativity and self-expression can change the arc of our lives."

Denomie is the first Native American artist to be chosen for the Distinguished Artist Award since its inception in 1996.

August 29, 2019