Adrienne M. Benjamin is an Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) artist from the Chiminising community, a part of the Mille Lacs Reservation. She grew up in Isle, Minnesota. Adrienne considers herself a multi-disciplinary artist who creates culturally embedded crafts with contemporary and traditional flair. She is most recognized however for her jingle dressmaking, and her work has been most recently featured in the “Ziibaaska’iganigooday — The Jingle Dress at 100” exhibit. She has given cultural educational talks about the Mille Lacs jingle dress story at many schools around the state in hopes of bridging the understanding of the Ojibwe culture.
Professionally, she is a 2019 Americans for the Arts Leaders of Color Forum Fellow; a 2018 NCAIED 40 under 40 Award Recipient; a 2018 Salzburg Global World Seminar: 50 Young Cultural Innovators; a part of the Class of 2018 University of Pennsylvania; an Arts & Culture Strategy, 2017 ArtWorks Grantreader for the National Endowment for the Arts; and a 2016-2017 National Arts Strategies Creative Community Fellow.
Adrienne says, “I am a complete being comprised of the small pieces of all that has been passed down to me and through me; all that I continue to learn, and all that I pass forward from myself, is only an extension of my ancestors. I have been taught and I teach. I have learned and I share. I am the wisdom of my elders and the dream of my ancestors. My vessel exists to further cultural narratives and further truth, my truth, the truth of my people, and the truth of my experiences. I find my identity in the past, current times, and dreams of the future where all three places are undoubtedly connected. Amikogaabawiikwe is Anishinaabe, a woman, a mother, a daughter, a mentor, a teacher, an artist, a learner, and I exist; resisting colonization practices, while working to better all systems through art with equity in mind for all.”