Mn Artists, the Walker’s platform for local artists, brings its online network live and into the museum. Connect with local artists of all disciplines, and engage with the questions driving the Minnesota arts community. The series returns for a third year, with multi-faceted events designed by guest curators Anat Shinar & Amal Rogers, CarryOn Homes, and Jonathan Herrera Soto.
Does the museum, as both a physical and conceptual space, contain inherent violence? How does the politicized body endure within the institution?
Artist and guest curator Jonathan Herrera Soto proposes that the gallery presents a magnification of the body and a miniaturization of society. The artworks in this program examine the operations of power, as it is embedded in architectural space and inflicted on marginalized bodies. The participating artists respond to Elaine Scarry’s The Body In Pain, against the museum's façade of neutrality—a white-walled blank canvas.
Jonathan Herrera Soto is a print-based studio artist originally from Chicago, IL and currently maintains a studio practice in Minneapolis and Chicago. He graduated with a BFA from the Minneapolis College in Art and Design in 2017. Recent solo exhibitions of Herrera Soto’s work include Querida Presencia at the Duluth Art Institute in Duluth, MN and Entre Rios y Montañas at Annex Gallery in Chicago, IL. He has participated in numerous artist residencies including Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, NY; The Studios at MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA; 33 Officia Creativia, Toffia, Italy; Spudnik Press Cooperative, Chicago, IL; High Point Center for Printmaking, Minneapolis, MN; Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT; and Epicenter, Green River, Utah. In 2018, Herrera Soto was the recipient of a Santo Foundation Individual Artist Award and a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant. Herrera Soto explores various relationships between collective memory and historical instances of state-sponsored violence and trauma inflicted on politicized bodies. He constructs print-based objects, installations, and environments that echo lived experiences of those who are no longer with us. Print-based processes translate the content through symbolically revealing the act of remembering in producing tracings and impressions. Slicing open wounds into wood, burning the surface of lithostone with acid, and the crushing of ink on paper under immense pressure, re-animates acts of violence that carries through an art-object’s final presentation.
Candice Davis is a conceptual artist from San Antonio, Texas and working in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Davis graduated from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2018 with a BFA in Web + Multimedia Environments. Her practice focuses on primarily digital media, installation, and performance as a means of witnessing for the experiences of marginalized people. https://www.candicejdavis.com
Judith Holo Shuǐ Xiān is an interdisciplinary choreographer, improviser and sound artist whose work centers the experiences of QTIPOC, and stands an allyship to those of other marginalized identities. They have presented works at venues including Fresh Oysters Performance Research, Public Functionary, Bryant Lake Bowl, Tek Box, The Southern Theater, Intermedia Arts, Frey Theatre (Twin Cities, MN) and 9 Herkimer Place (Brooklyn, NY). They have recently enjoyed performing for/collaborating with others including Dua Saleh, HIJACK, Leila Awadallah, Judith Howard, Rosy Simas, Chris Schlichting, Shayna Allen, Pramila Vasudevan, Megan Meyer, Fire Drill, and Erin Drummond. They are a 2017 Q-Stage: New Works and 2019 Momentum: New Dance Works recipient. They're also a part of the Queertopia curation team.
Dua Saleh is a multidisciplinary performing artist based in Minneapolis. Dua is a stage artist that shares narrative driven work. Dua centers afrodiasporic resistance through a sociopolitically queer lens. Saleh transcends traditional classifications through art. This work is in direct conversation with people at the margins of reality. Recently signed to Against Giants, this artist is intent on developing music that is both sincere to their narrative and fluid for interpretation. Within the first few years, this artist won the 2017 VERVE Grant, contracts with agencies such as Colors, Button Poetry, song premieres on playlists such as Spotify’s Fresh Finds Playlist and station’s such as BBC 1xtra and Minnesota Public Radio. Dua has also gained directing positions with companies like Pillsbury and 20% Theater. This budding artist has also gained attention in the film world as a performer, landing the lead in Sweetness of Wild and composing work for the MN KINO Film Score Fest. Though gaining attention as a performing artist, Dua has primarily been known for political organizing and workshop facilitation throughout the state of Minnesota. Dua has previously been granted funding through Wellstone Action, The Jay and Rose Phillips Foundation, The US Human Rights Network’s FIHR program, and more.
Nancy Julia Hicks is an non-binary installation and performance artist, printmaker, educator, and poet. They are a recent graduate of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and are currently based out of Minneapolis, MN. They’ve exhibited work in group and solo shows on MCAD’s campus, including I want to live under you (solo, 2018) and A Pressing Matter (group, 2017) and at The Soap Factory (3x5 residency, 2016), Highpoint Center for Printmaking (2019), and other locations. Their work currently investigates and negotiates familial histories, white supremacy, and their own body.
Photos by Pierre Ware for Walker Art Center, Minneapolis