In February 2021, artist Moira Villiard debuted her installation, Madweyaashkaa: Waves Can Be Heard as the fourth installment of the Illuminate the Lock series at the closed Upper St. Anthony Lock and Dam in Minneapolis, Minnesota. On three chilly February evenings, 2,500 people walked through the snow on top of Upper St. Anthony Lock and Dam to watch what Villiard calls an “animated video collage” projected on the 49-by-400-foot concrete walls of the no-longer-functioning lock.
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Land acknowledgement statements are increasingly common practice, but as they are developed, this article reminds us to ask “Are you doing it to make yourself feel better or to ease your guilt? Are you doing it because you agree that education is really important? Is there something that can come out of it?”
Mille Lacs Lake is the second largest lake in Minnesota and archaeological evidence suggests that it was one of the first areas that humans settled in the region. Many different groups of people have called the area around the lake home. A number of Native American tribes have lived around the lake throughout time.
For the past century, the curator has been the deciding factor in what is shown by museums and galleries, reassuring audiences of the importance of what they are seeing. While acknowledging other commercial and audience drivers, the centrality of curatorial decision-making has been sacrosanct.
But when the curatorial team from the Art Gallery of Western Australia embarked on an epic quest to document the art of the Kimberley region in the state’s north west, they abandoned this idea of a single authorial voice in favor of a new model of partnership and exchange.
All of us, regardless if we are Native or non-native, hold a specific location near and dear to our hearts. In this article, I focus on a place near and dear to my heart, exploring the history of my family’s cul-de-sac area known to my family, and much of the surrounding community, as Blue’s Bottom.