News Column

Wooden masks displayed in NYM

July 17, 2014

Fergus Falls Daily Journal, Minn.

July 17--Daily Journal

Simon Zornes displays wooden masks and stone sculptures at the Cultural Center in New York Mills now through July 31.

Zornes, an artist from White Earth, Minn., displays his work in stone and wood in the Cultural Center's upstairs gallery now through July 31. Using native rock and wood, Simon Zornes, artist from White Earth, creates powerful images expressive of his Anishinaabeg heritage. His masks and stone carvings powerfully convey his personal artistic passion as well as his intense desire to connect with his life as a tribal member.

Here is Simon's artist's statement:

Boozhoo (greetings), Ishkode Indizhinikaaz (my spirit name is Fire), Makwa Indoodem (I am from the Bear Clan), Gaawaabaabiganikaag Indoonjibaa (I am from White Earth). I have lived and learned from Maamaa Aki (Mother Earth) for nearly 4 decades -- harvesting manoomin (wild rice), gathering and making ziinzibakwad (maple sugar) and growing minomiijim (good food).

Along with harvesting, Zornes created sculpture with asin (stone) and mitig (wood) for over a decade. His journey with asinoog (Stone grandfathers/grandmothers) began when his dear friend, Tim Stone, and Zornes started finding and playing with unique rock from the moraine region of the Mississippi Headwaters and White Earth Reservation.

Zornes found that each stone holds many stories that access me as their storyteller. One includes the geological saga of its creation and composition over eons. The others evolve from images invoked from within me as a result of the interaction between the stone's unusual characteristics and the narrative it shares with me. Some pieces start from a gentle low pitch whisper and take days and often weeks to unfold due to both the quiet reverberation and the time it takes to research, sketch, and find the "right" angle and tool. Others boldly present and need less attention presenting in near final form.

Most of the sculptures have indigenous themes like mikinaak (turtle), miigwan (feather), and Chief Hole-in-the-Day the younger. Since the asinoog have spirits of their own, they often choose their resting place. Many sculptures have been gifted to friends and family.


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Source: Fergus Falls Daily Journal (MN)

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