past exhibitions

Mural Project: Michael Boyd

March 28 - July 25, 2003

Michael Boyd of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe created an on-site mural about contemporary and Native American life in the East Gallery of the North Dakota Museum of Art during regular hours for two months.

Boyd is interested in not only the traditional but also in contemporary scenes of everyday life. There is a little of everything from the city and reservation life for the Native Americans in his mural. The surface of the painting is smooth and fine, and the sun is bright and shining. While nature is a large presence in the mural, the energy of city life invigorates it with tension. Boyd believes, "Natives belong where they are comfortable, some are bored and miserable on the reservation, some are tired and worn out by the city." He doesn’t present the past as idealistic in his work. He painted the casino, reservation housing and old cars and balances it with the tranquil presence of nature.

The scene in the mural depicts familiar, everyday experiences. The life-size scale of the figures allows the viewer to imagine they are part of the painting, not only observing but actually participating. The images are highly detailed and they glisten with precision.