Jonathan Thunder

Meet the artist

Jonathan Thunder
jonathan thunder black and white portraitJonathan Thunder (Red Lake Ojibwe) is a multi-disciplinary artist. He is known for his surreal paintings, animated and experimental films, installations and illustration work. Jonathan has attended the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe and studied Visual Effects and Motion Graphics in Minneapolis at the Art Institute International. His work has been featured in state, regional and national exhibitions, as well as in local and international publications since 2003. Jonathan is a 2020 Pollock-Krasner Foundation grantee.

To learn more about Jonathan Thunder, visit or follow him on Instagram.

About Jonathan Thunder’s art

At the core of Jonathan’s work is a story line that reflects his personal lens as a filter to the social, political, environmental and spiritual climate. He works with imagery that is surreal and imaginative by incorporating influences from the structure of his dreams, the culture around him and the direction his life is headed on any given day. Jonathan considers his work “vignettes” or short stories within a larger ongoing narrative that evolves as he evolves. He makes what he sees. 

Jonathan believes in the simplicity of a moment captured. Some cryptic or spontaneous imagery invites the viewer to create a portion of the narrative for themselves or consider an interpretation. He enjoys merging his painter self with his filmmaker self to create art that lives and pushes the boundaries of a space.

As part of the We Are Still Here project with NACDI, Jonathan designed four works that are currently on display on Clear Channel Outdoor digital billboards in the Hennepin Theatre District in downtown Minneapolis.

View digital billboards

About the digital artists’ cohort

We Are Still Here will re-center Native voices and stories in the Hennepin Theatre District and Native American Cultural Corridor through the work of a Native artists’ cohort working in a variety of digital and analog media, leading to a large-scale public art project by fall 2020. All My Relations Arts and Hennepin Theatre Trust have committed to this multiyear partnership to weave Native culture back into Hennepin Avenue with temporary and permanent art that engages Native and non-Native people in a deeper sense of place and share future.

More about We Are Still Here