Aiyana Beaulieu (Visual Arts 2024) Exhibiting at Friedli Gallery and Studio
November 6, 2023
Work by Aiyana Beaulieu (Visual Arts 2024) is featured at the Friedli Gallery and Studio for their exhibition, “We Are Still Here” Indigenous Arts Showcase. The exhibition features native artists from across Turtle Island and brings to the fore the life, histories, and politics of what it means to be Indigenous in the 21st Century. Opening for the show was Friday, November 3, 2023. At the opening, Aiyana received the third place Juror’s Choice award for her work “Interconnected”.
Aiyana Beaulieu is a senior at Perpich Arts High School. Beaulieu is a painter, comic artist, and illustrator most often working in mediums of acrylic paint, watercolor, and pen. She loves to explore all art forms including those beyond visual arts such as film and music. “In my work, I reflect on the relationship and connections between people as well as between people and nature,” said Beaulieu. “As an Anishinaabe young woman, I value healing through the arts and helping uplift and support Native communities. A really important aspect of this is within authentic representation in my art and allowing space for creative expression.”
Aiyana strives to create thought provoking pieces, making bold statements and encouraging the viewer to do what most are scared to do: feel. Aiyana creates works highlighting Indigenous identities and experiences through the use of wild colors and characters. She hopes to make sense of seeming chaos, by creating peace where she can while also causing just enough disturbance where it’s needed.
“I was very honored to be in this show and share my work in the space, especially alongside so many incredibly meaningful works,” said Beaulieu. “I have so much gratitude for the support from the Perpich community, my family, and the arts community of the area! I was also very honored to meet an artist that really inspires me at the show: Marlena Myles who is based in Saint Paul!” Aiyana also made special mention of Kathryn D’Elia, Visual Arts Instructor and Studio Arts Chair, who presented this gallery opportunity and brought it to Aiyana’s attention.
The exhibition theme of “We Are Still Here” was particularly important to Aiyana. “In my family, I’ve heard my younger cousins expressing their hopes and wishes to see kids like themselves in the stories that they engage in. Thus, many of my works feature Indigenous characters I’ve created reflecting on indigenous identities and experiences,” said Beaulieu. “Native people are still here. And carrying that message, I find it essential to depict this resilience as we strengthen our connections with our traditions in a post-colonial, modern world everyday, honoring generations before us and generations to come.”
The Friedli Gallery and Studio is an inclusive gallery and community space in Saint Paul, Minnesota.