The American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO) is excited to announce that photographer Vern Northrup, a Fond du Lac Band of Ojibwe tribal member, will be exhibiting his Akinomaage: Teaching from the Earth photography exhibition at the Dr. Robert Powless Cultural Center Gallery! More than 60 photographs will be on view from March 6 - May 29, 2020.  The exhibit will open with an Artist Talk and Book Signing on Friday, March 6 at 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm and a closing Artist Reception on May 29 at 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm. All events are free and open to the public with a $10 suggested donation. 

Akinomaage: Teaching from the Earth is the Ojibwe word for what Vern Northrup seeks to do with his photography. As an interpreter, educator and learner, Northrup wants to gain knowledge from the earth. Using only the camera on his smartphone, Northrup captures the setting of where he grew up, creating a nostalgia for those familiar with the area, and a curiosity for those who aren’t. He uses photography as a tool to educate both himself and the viewer about the rhythm of nature, the preservation of tradition, and the relationship between resilience and sustainability. Northrup recognizes the ability of the land to act as a narrator and uses photography to reveal the story in landscapes. (taken from his photography book). AICHO is excited to have Vern and his photography back in our gallery as his first solo gallery was hosted here in 2015!

Akinomaage has seen much success with Northrup’s photography book and his exhibition has traveled to many places. The exhibition was shown in the George Morrison Gallery at the Duluth Art Institute starting in January 2019. It then moved to the Minnesota State Capitol in June - November 2019 and is currently on display at the Watermark Art Gallery in Bemidji, MN from December 6 till February 28, 2020. In November, which is Native American Heritage Month, Vern will have this exhibition at The Edge Center For the Arts Gallery in Bigfork, MN. His book, with the same name as the exhibition, is set for its third printing soon. 

About the Artist

A member of the Fond du Lac Band, Vern Northrup was born in 1953 in Minneapolis and moved back to Sawyer, Minnesota inside the Fond du Lac reservation. After his mother died in a car accident, he moved to Waukegan, Illinois, to live with his brother. He enlisted in the Marine Corps at 17. “I loved being a Marine.” Vern retired as a Wildland Firefighter in 2011.  In his retirement, he began to ride his bicycle for his health. It was on a ride that he began to notice the beauty in the visual patterns of his surroundings. He stopped to take a photograph using the camera on his phone, and thus began his artistic journey. His first exhibit was in 2015 at AICHO.