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Once We Traveled Above the Earth 

by Racquel Banaszak 

Join Us From 5-6PM for an artist talk with Racquel Banaszak before the reception on Saturday, September 23rd

Opening Reception: Saturday, September 23, from 6-9 PM

Exhibition Runs: September 23 - October 29, 2023

Once We Traveled Above the Earth by Racquel Banaszak explores the ways in which her Native people walk through the in-between places of this world guided by their ancestors and more-than-human relatives. Blending surreal landscapes and storytelling, these images look at the joys, strengths, and responsibilities of being a good relative on this earth. 


Banaszak is a multidisciplinary artist whose pieces in Once We Traveled Above the Earth use beadwork, collage, embroidery, and drawing to take audiences on a journey through the stars. For Banaszak, this exhibition is a celebration of strength; 


…an ode to the ways Indigenous people are holding on to and reclaiming who we are. Our people are standing up to protect our life-giving waters. We are welcoming our future generations as they transition from the spirit world to this earthly world. We offer asemaa to our plant relatives for nourishing our minds, bodies, and spirits. Our children can learn and speak our ancestral languages in schools. The world that surrounds us is full of joy. Our plant relatives continue to provide us medicine. Butterflies help teach our children to dance. Bison are coming back home. To be alive is to be grateful. We remember all those who came before us. We are grateful for all those yet to come. We have always been and will always be here.

 -Racquel Banaszak


Each of Banaszak’s mixed media works in Once We Traveled Above the Earth is a celebration of her heritage, a return to the magic once stolen, stories of the past intermingling with dreams of the future. Banaszak comes from a long line of Anishinaabe healers.


Racquel Banaszak (Bad River Band of Ojibwe) is a visual artist and educator based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her people are from the northern waters and woodlands and has grown up around Native and urban communities. She is continually inspired by her mother’s stories, urban relocation, and Indigenous pop culture. Much of her work focuses on Indigenous histories, contemporary representation, and how settler colonial policies and laws have influenced personal and community narratives and identities. Her recent works focus on Indigenous feminism and how women hold their worlds together. She has worked in community arts, Indigenous youth work, and American Indian Education. Banaszak is currently pursuing her Master of Heritage Studies and Public History degree at the University of Minnesota. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and a graduate certificate in Native American Studies from Montana State University (2018). As well as studying Aboriginal Visual Culture at the Ontario College of Art & Design University in Toronto, Canada.

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