University of Minnesota Duluth block M and wordmark

Capturing American Indian Culture

Read More Homepage Stories

UMD Alumnus Featured in Documentary

Carl Gawboy in his studio. Photo by Suzanne Szucs.

The life and art of Ojibwe artist Carl Gawboy, a Bois Forte Band member and UMD alumnus, is the subject of a video which will premiere at UMD in the Weber Music Hall on Friday, Feb. 11 at 7 pm. The 26-minute piece, titled, Carl Gawboy Portrait: The Art of Everyday, was directed by Lorraine Norrgard. A reception will follow in the Tweed Museum of Art.

Gawboy Snowshoe Dance
Carl Gawboy (American, Ojibwe, born 1942) Snowshoe Dance, 1990s, ink and colored pencil on paper, Collection Tweed Museum of Art, University of Minnesota Duluth, Sax Brothers Purchase Fund, D2008.13

Gawboy, who grew up in Ely, Minn., is known for depicting traditional scenes of Ojibwe people hunting, fishing and gathering. The work, rendered in water colors and acrylics, reflects the simplicity of life in Ely. "Most of Carl's paintings are his witness to traditional and everyday life of Indian people," said Rick Smith, director of UMD's American Indian Learning Resource Center. "He actually saw the images and stored them in his brain and transferred them to canvas. In essence, he is an anthropologist of Ojibwe culture."

Gawboy's painting have been featured in art exhibits throughout Minnesota and the U.S. He has produced many murals for public spaces including a mural installed in the Bois Forte Community and Government Center last year. His “Rendezvous at Kitchi Onigam” mural was installed at the new Heritage Center in Grand Portage in 2007, and he painted 35 murals for the Superior Public Library from 1993 to 1999. UMD also owns a Gawboy mural, which was placed in temporary storage during recent renovations.

Gawboy, was born in Cloquet, Minn., grew up in Ely, and graduated from UMD in 1965. He taught for many years at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth.

The Minnesota Historical Society awarded a $7,000 Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grant to the Bois Forte Heritage Museum to support the video. The video was directed by Lorraine Norrgard who produced/directed the PBS documentary series, Waasa Inaabidaa -- We Look In All Directions, on the Great Lakes Ojibwe (Chippewa) in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

For info, contact the American Indian Learning Resource Center at 218-726-6379.

Carl Gawboy (American, Ojibwe, born 1942) School Morning, 1970s, watercolor on paper, Collection Tweed Museum of Art, University of Minnesota Duluth, Alice Tweed Tuohy Foundation Purchase Fund, D2009.65


Written by Cheryl Reitan.

Homepage photo of Carl Gawboy by Stephanie Hemphill, Minnesota Public Radio

Homepage Stories | News Releases
Contact Cheryl Reitan,

Did you find what you were looking for? YES NO

Choose appearance:
[ Desktop | Mobile friendly ]