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AICHO to exhibit Maya Washington's art on resilience and community

The American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO) will exhibit Sanctuary by multi-disciplinary artist Maya Washington starting June 10, 2024 and ending August 30, 2024. Sanctuary is a meditation on resilience, safety, and community.

Washington’s reflection on the subtlety of daily life before, during, and after 2020, documents the time span as witness amidst personal and universal upheaval. The exhibit will kick off with an opening artist reception on June 8, 2024 at 5:30 p.m to 7:30 p.m. in the Dr. Robert Powless Cultural Center, 212 West 2nd Street, Duluth, MN.

Washington is an award-winning director, narrative and documentary filmmaker, actress, writer, poet, creative director, visualist (photography) and arts educator. In addition to AICHO Galleries, Washington has collaborated with George Floyd Global Memorial and the Community at 38th and Chicago, Emmett Till Legacy Foundation, Hennepin Theatre Trust, Xia Gallery, and others on public art initiatives in Minnesota, as well as exhibitions and festivals throughout the United States and across the globe.

Washington is a fiscal year 2024 recipient of a Creative Individuals grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. Thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund, the voters of Minnesota made this activity possible through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. Washington’s film and literary work often serve as a form of documentation of her experience of community and the resilience of the human spirit.

Washington’s passion for narrative will be on display through the pieces included in the Sanctuary exhibit, “It’s the resilient, peaceful, and more quiet side of the past few years,” Washington said. “I’m exploring that tension between the trauma of those times and the way the natural world holds community and sustains life.”

Among her award-winning films are Through the Banks of the Red Cedar, CLEAR, and White Space. Through the Banks of the Red Cedar is a feature length documentary (PBS) and memoir (Little A) about her father Vikings Legend Gene Washington and the desegregation of college football. CLEAR is a narrative short film about a family reconnecting after a wrongful conviction. White Space, also a narrative short film, follows a deaf performance poet’s debut in front of a hearing audience. The companion poetry collection, White Space Poetry Anthology edited by Washington, features the work of deaf and hearing artists and writers.

“We’ve been through a lot the past few years, but we’re still here,” Washington said, “And we’re still making beauty of our lives in community with one another. I’m grateful to AICHO for opening their space to me and my work,”

Sanctuary will be the first art exhibit in AICHO’s newly renovated gallery space. AICHO Galleries is funded by the McKnight Foundation.