Artist & Curator
Tell us a little bit about the place you chose in Hennepin County that inspires art and ideas for you. Why did you choose this place?
The area I selected is along the Mississippi River in the St. Anthony area of Minneapolis by the Stone Arch Bridge. I chose this space because of the spiritual and social significance of the area. During the early years of this state, the St. Anthony area was a hotbed of abolitionist activity. Additionally, before colonization, the area was home to an island that the indigenous people considered sacred. Due to Eurocentric industrialization of the land the island was destroyed and mills, factories and bridges were erected. The area’s blend of natural abundance and old architecture serves as a beautiful metaphor for this area.
How has the pandemic impacted your artistic practice?
The pandemic has impacted my practice in several ways. Most significantly this period has transformed the way I view a creative community.
Secondly, it has allowed more open space for conversations relating to this society’s failings and for new futures to be imagined.
"I hope that viewers can look at my work and feel a sense of wonder while questioning the typical colonized view of history, spirituality, and mysticism."
What do you believe is important for a thriving arts community? Investment, inclusiveness, and integrity is crucial to creating a thriving arts community. An art scene that is intentionally rooted in the inclusion and centering of brown and Black creative voices to build equity within the various subdivisions is crucial for an arts community to develop. The blending of social scenes and disciplines also helps to foster a well-rounded range of artistic experiences and foster a greater understanding across cultural backgrounds. Decentering the typical colonial paradigms in order to create a system that doesn’t treat BIPOC artists and themes as an aberration or spectacle is crucial to the art scenes development.
If you could create public artwork anywhere in Hennepin County, what would you create and where?
I would create a series of murals, statues, and AR monuments along the freeways and bridges that have connected and separated communities around the state. The project would be in collaboration with several other creatives of color and seek to engage and empower communities to shape their narratives.