Perpich News

Artist and Illustrator Jonathan Thunder Presents in Native Authors Series

Jonathan Thunder (left) signs a book for Perpich student, Aiyana Beaulieu (Visual Arts 2024)

March 7, 2024

On March 5, 2024, Artist and Illustrator Jonathan Thunder was the second presenter in the new Native Authors Series hosted by Perpich’s Professional Development and Resource Programs (PDR). The series of guest speakers is specifically designed to introduce K-12 educators and librarians to books by Dakota and Ojibwe authors and illustrators. Each gathering features an interview and Q&A with a guest presenter, resource lists, and includes time in the Perpich Library to peruse our extensive collection of books by Native authors.

Dr. Wendy Barden, Director of PDR, said, “I appreciated hearing Jonathan talk about his work in general, and specifically, about his illustrations for Brenda Child’s ‘Bowwow Powwow’. It was interesting to learn about his inspiration for the illustrations, as well as working within constraints of the publishing industry. I opened the book again with new insights.”

Jonathan Thunder (left) speaks with Mary Harding, Perpich’s Dance Education Specialist, before an audience at Perpich Center

Jonathan Thunder (Red Lake Ojibwe) is the illustrator of the award-recognized “Bowwow Powwow” by Brenda J. Child (Red Lake Ojibwe). He is an illustrator and artist, using a wide range of mediums. He is known for his surreal paintings, digitally animated films, and installations in which he addresses subject matter of personal experience and social commentary.

Jonathan attended the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, NM and studied Visual Effects and Motion Graphics in Minneapolis, MN at the Art Institute International. His work has been featured in many state, regional, and national exhibitions, and is in the permanent collections of museums and universities. Thunder is the recipient of a 2020-21 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award for his risk taking in painting.