All My Relations Arts has partnered with Hamm Clinic to create an artist-led community artwork installed in the lobby of Hamm Clinic’s new building located in Saint Paul. Hamm Clinic’s intention in the commissioning of this artwork is to celebrate the Indigenous Peoples’ land now occupied by Hamm Clinic and serve their mission to promote mental health with culturally responsive, relational care for adults. Artist, Moira Villiard (Fond du Lac, direct descendent) was selected to lead the design and fabrication of the artwork.
Through positive, spiritual and cultural foundations facilitated by elder advisor, Mildred Richard, Moira Villiard and AMRA hosted a series of community conversations exploring the topic of mental health, how it impacts our communities, and ways in which we can achieve healing and recovery. These conversations were utilized by Moira as inspiration for the development of her designs for the final artwork, which is meant to uplift, comfort and call attention to traditional Indigenous medicines and healing.
About the Artist
Through public art collaborations across Minnesota, Moira Villiard (pronounced “Miri”) is a multidisciplinary artist with a mixed Indigenous and settler heritage who uses art to uplift underrepresented narratives, explore the nuance of society’s historical community intersections, and promote community healing spaces. Moira is a dynamic visual artist, proficient in a variety of artistic genres, including portraiture, illustration, graphic and digital design and as a muralist. She is also a community organizer, curator and passionate arts educator concentrating her efforts around issues of equity and justice including: arts access (creating platforms for underrepresented communities within the arts), creative placemaking, environmental sustainability, youth empowerment, and acknowledgement of Indigenous land, culture, and history.
Moira grew up on the Fond du Lac Reservation in Cloquet, MN and is a Fond du Lac direct descendent, Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Ojibwe lineal descendant, and Moravian Band of the Thames Lenape direct descendant. For three years she worked as the Arts & Cultural Programming Coordinator for the American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO), the place where she had her first art exhibition at 18 years old. She currently works as a freelance consultant, designer, speaker, and grant-writer and is the project director and lead artist of the Chief Buffalo Memorial Mural site in Duluth. Her educational, activism-rooted exhibits “Rights of the Child” and “Waiting for Beds” will be on tour in 2023.
In 2021 she debuted her first animated work for Illuminate the Lock, a 10 minute, 150’ projection piece titled “Madweyaashkaa: Waves Can Be Heard”, and has since collaborated with Indigenous musicians and writers to create animations for “A Winter Love”, “Mináǧi Kiŋ Dowáŋ: A ZitkálaŠá Opera”, “Jonathan Thunder: Good Mythology” (PBS American Masters), and “Extraction” (poem by Tanaya Winder), among other films.
Her work has been featured in numerous shows in Duluth and around Minnesota, including her recent solo show, “Rights of the Child” at Zeitgeist, and group shows “Beyond Borders” at MacRostie Arts Center and “We the People” at the Minnesota Museum of American Art. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Communicating Arts (Global Studies Minor) from the University of Wisconsin-Superior in 2016 and an Associate of Liberal Arts degree from Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College.