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New St. Paul gallery amplifies Indigenous voices

Updated: Apr 17

Friedli Gallery and Studio is hosting its third annual “We Are Still Here Rising in Our Strength” Indigenous Art Showcase. Indigenous artists from across Turtle Island will have their artwork featured in the gallery

“I want to make sure that our voices are heard as the indigenous people of the land here and that I want people that are outsiders to be able to come in and partake in that experience, and learn more about our culture as not just a historical thing.”

That’s Heather Freidli. The painter and ice sculptor opened Friedli Gallery and Studio in St. Paul last year. She says she wants the gallery to be an inclusive community space that celebrates artists.

“My purpose is to facilitate discussion. So to bring people together to present ideas that people have, and to have those people talk and interact with the artists and other people in community through the medium of art.”

Friedli says many people only think about the past when thinking of Indigenous people, and not about the ones who are here living and breathing. She says Indigenous people are still building culture and influencing things, especially fashion, in the United States and abroad.

“That's why I feel like that's why we are doing the show “Rising in Our Strength” because we're not only still here, but our power is growing back again. And that's so important in order to build our cultural ties to one another and our tribal identities once again. And so by helping bring other people into that, it helps them understand why it's important, that we are here, and we continue to be here.”

Friedli is excited about the gallery’s lineup after the Indigenous art showcase. She hopes the community building she has witnessed at events continues throughout the next year.

“When we're in community with each other, however that community builds or looks, that's when we can thrive together”

The opening reception for “We Are Still Here Rising in Our Strength” is November 4th from 6-8 PM.

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