A toothy, smiling face of artist with graying, long hair set against the backdrop of the artist's work.

Andrea Carlson

Grand Marais, Minnesota and Chicago, IL

Andrea Carlson received the Creative Capital Award in 2024. Carlson (b. 1979) is a visual artist who maintains a studio practice in northern Minnesota and Chicago, Illinois. Carlson received an MFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2005. Her work has been acquired by institutions such as the Denver Art Museum, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and the National Gallery of Canada. Carlson was a recipient of the 2008 McKnight Fellow, a 2017 Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors grant recipient, a 2021 Chicago Artadia Award recipient, and a 2022 United States Artists Fellowship. Through painting and drawing, Carlson cites entangled cultural narratives and institutional authority relating to objects based on the merit of possession and display. Current research activities include land narratives and assimilation metaphors in film.

Endless Sunshine

Andrea Carlson (b. 1979, Grand Portage Ojibwe descent) is a Midwest painter known for making multi-suite works on paper.

Artist Bio

On October 21, 2021, the Cook County Minnesota Chamber of Commerce issued a letter in support of a ski resort expanding into a national forest within the 1854 Treaty of La Pointe ceded territory. They claimed that there was, “no evidence that the Ojibwe people have ever used or ever plan to use this specific growth of northern white cedar in any way,” and that is was unreasonable to reserve the land for “a remote chance it might at some undefined future date become a focus of Ojibwe gathering.” In a powerful letter addressing the chamber’s ignorance about the treaty, Grand Portage Tribal Chairman responded that the “1854 Treaty was not a grant of rights to the Ojibwe, it was a grant of rights from the Ojibwe to non-Indians, while reserving usufructuary rights.” The resort’s looming expansion is an unresolved context for proposed large-scale paintings, but the paintings will take a longer view towards cataloging the immeasurability of intergenerational theft of land upon the shores of Lake Superior. The two works are meant to overwhelm the viewer in scale. Imagery in the paintings will more generally reference perpetual incursions on the boreal forest, treaty language, origin/land narratives, and political systems of inclusion or denial based on kinship. The work will be a visual ambassador for the importance of perpetual agreements because they will be created, in part, from natural materials harvested through exercising treaty rights.

Award Year

In Progress