My Grandma and Your Grandma: Jonathan Thunder Mural Project

head shot of artist Jonathan Thunder raising a panama hat above his head
© Jonathan Thunder

Artist statement

"At the core of my work is a story line that reflects my personal lens as a filter to the social, political, environmental, and spiritual climate. I work with imagery that is surreal and imaginative by incorporating influences from the structure of my dreams, the culture around me, and the direction my life is headed on any given day. I consider my work 'vignettes' or short stories within a larger ongoing narrative that evolves as I evolve. I make what I see. 

"I believe in the simplicity of a moment captured. Some cryptic or spontaneous imagery invites the viewer to create a portion of the narrative for themselves, or consider an interpretation. I enjoy merging my painter self with my filmmaker self to create art that lives and pushes the boundaries of a space."

The idea for the Tweed mural

This mural is a reference to Minnesota discussions around police in Black and Indigenous communities: a cop car, the group Dixie Cups in Mardi Gras “tribal” regalia, a traditional dancer in plague mask, a Nokomis (grandmother) mixing with hip-hop turntables and wearing a thunderbird medallion, a breakdancer, and references to how the mainstream, colonial media represents Indigenous peoples.


My Grandma and Your Grandma: An Interview with Jonathan Thunder