Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 20, 2022

Muskegon Museum of Art’s new exhibition, Jonathan Thunder: Maamawi Merges Popular Culture with Ojibwe Traditions

MUSKEGON, MI — The Muskegon Museum of Art presents Jonathan Thunder: Maamawi beginning Thursday, September 29. Jonathan Thunder is a member of the Red Lake Ojibwe Nation who creates paintings and animated films that speak to popular culture, modern society, and his Ojibwe heritage. Boldly colored, comedic, and insightful, Thunder’s artworks offer a bold merging of contemporary culture and traditional heritage.

“Maamawi” (mom-ah-we’) is the Ojibwe word for “together,” and addresses our shared humanity. The paintings and films in this exhibition speak to ideas of connectedness to the land, life, and people. Whether experienced together or alone, the issues presented by Thunder are the inescapable connections of society, shared by everyone.

Jonathan Thunder grew up in the Minneapolis/St. Paul region. He attended the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and studied Visual Effects and Motion Graphics at the Art Institute International in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His work has appeared in local, regional, and national exhibitions and his short films have earned several awards. Most recently, Thunder became the first recipient of the Jim Denomie Memorial Scholarship in recognition of his commitment to excellence in art-making and community engagement. He is also a 2020 recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award for painting. His paintings and films were included in the 2020-2021 exhibition The Art of People: Contemporary Anishinaabe Artists organized by the Muskegon Museum of Art and Grand Valley State University Art Gallery (with guest curator Jason Quigno).

A public Opening Reception will be held at the Muskegon Museum of Art on Thursday, September 29 at 5 PM with an Artist Talk at 6 PM.

Jonathan Thunder: Maamawi will be on display from September 29 through January 8, 2023. The Muskegon Museum of Art is open Tuesdays – Sundays from 11 AM – 5 PM, with extended hours Thursdays to 8 PM. General admission into the museum is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors 65+, $6 for children under 16, and free for MMA members. General admission is free for everyone on Thursdays thanks to The Meijer Foundation.

For more information or questions, contact Kristina Broughton at or call at (231) 720-2574.

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