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Be, Exist

July 28, 2020 - October 31, 2020

Starion Bank Gallery

It has always been the case that BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) artists always wear two hats at any given time. That of the artist and that of the activist. Their art offers the richest insights into what moments of social justice they are empowering. Whether it be an image of a river from an Indigenous artist or a portrait from a Black woman, these images are constantly provoking, confronting, and confounding expectations.

The exhibition begins by acknowledging that the exasperation levels are high, but for those with a certain racial profile, history and living memory have not yet availed to them moments of tranquility. The works on view illustrate a myriad of sustained engagements with the profound question of what it means to be human. What is it like to BE, EXIST, or take up space as a person of color in sectors with no or minimal representation?

The artists in this exhibition are exploring BIPOC identity and how they each have individually crafted a singular aesthetic of how the language of belonging is empowering. With full awareness that an unpremeditated stroll through a public space could become dangerous for those who are often viewed as the other and intending to challenge that narrative by creating a space where people who identify as BIPOC can freely BE, EXIST. In conjunction with this electrifying visual stroll through vibrant and powerful imagery, the exhibition draws upon GROUP THINK conversational notes, questions, and reflection about BEing and EXISTing.

– Pasteur Mudende

Exhibition Curatorial Team: Pasteur Mudende, Michael Eback, Aluel Macyieck
Museum Partners: Netha Cloeter, Andy Maus

BE, EXIST conversation guide curated by GROUP THINK – Mina Ali, Cali Anicha, Alexandre Cyusa, Josh Hoper, Pasteur Mudende, Barry Nelson, Karis Thompson and Laura Zeiher – in consultation with Netha Cloeter, Aluel Maciek, Wess Philome and Quill River.

This exhibition was made possible in part by a Community Innovation grant through a partnership between the Bush Foundation and The Consensus Council.

Michael Eback, Aluel Maciek and Pasteur Mudende, the curators of BE, EXIST, invited GROUP THINK to develop a conversation guide to accompany the exhibition and prime reflection. Visit the exhibition and then invite a few friends or your family, a club or your neighbors to talk with you about the questions and quotations on the conversation guide below.

Ongoing Exhibitions

No Time For Despair

Ongoing
No Time For Despair

To say that right now is the ideal time to make art that speaks directly to the people about social justice is an understatement. Because the very nature of art is to undertake or assume the role of a healer by shading light on the human condition.

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City Geode

Ongoing
City Geode
S.P.A.C.E. Sculpture

City Geode, created and installed in May 2019 by students and Professor Josh Zeis from NDSU is the latest creation. In response to the work, the lead artists said, “What is a city? This City Geode incorporates many of the things that we thought a city needs; buildings, streets, electricity, drainage, and above all else, the human spirit.

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Bee in Flight

Ongoing
Bee in Flight

Community artist and school art teacher MeLissa Kossick, who guides youth classes at the Museum on art, gardens, and pollinators, has created an enchanting mosaic design in the Creativity Pathway in the Serkland Gallery called Bee in Flight.

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The North Dakota Mural

Ongoing
The North Dakota Mural

Drawing on his childhood memories of the Great Plains, he created a work that speaks to the wide open spaces, huge vistas, and ocean-like skies of the region.

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Fragile Preservation

Ongoing
Fragile Preservation
A Tallgrass Community

While the Tallgrass Prairie is a community made up of a great diversity of species, Fragile Preservation represents a selection of them.

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