Art Faculty named 2022 McKnight Visual Arts Fellows

Lamar Peterson, Emmett Ramstad, and Pao Houa Her each received the prestigious fellowship
Three images: Painting of a Black man in purple shirt and blue jeans walking in profile through a city, Digital collage of Pao Houa Her wearing traditional Hmong attire, Sculpture of drop panel ceiling with one panel a blue cloudy sky

The Department of Art is thrilled to announce that three of the six artists awarded the 2022 McKnight Visual Artist Fellowship are faculty here at the U! Congratulations to Associate Professor Lamar Peterson, Lecturer Emmett Ramstad, and past Lecturer Pao Houa Her!

These three amazing artists form just half of the 2022 McKnight Visual Artist Fellows cohort; also included are Ruthann Godollei, Amanda Lovelee, and Jonathan Thunder. Designed to identify and support mid-career Minnesota artists, the McKnight Fellowships for Visual Artists provide recipients with $25,000 stipends, public recognition, professional encouragement from national visiting critics, an opportunity to participate in a speaker series, and a 1-2 week residency facilitated by the Artist Communities Alliance (ACA). The fellowships are funded by a grant from the McKnight Foundation and administered by MCAD.

The Fellows were selected from an applicant pool of 141 artists by three jurors from outside of Minnesota. Juror Jongwoo Jeremy Kim, Associate Professor of Art History and Theory at Carnegie Mellon, reflected on the jurying process: "Working with my distinguished fellow jurors, I was thrilled to meet with the leading artists in the diverse, creative communities of St. Paul and Minneapolis. The complex human experience in the tumultuous reality of our society today is wonderfully captured in the artworks we saw during our visit, and it was deeply heartening to see so many artists who are problem solvers, care-workers, and dream-makers for the future of our nation and its healing."

Artist bios courtesy of the McKnight Foundation:

Associate Professor Lamar Peterson stands next to a chalkboard

Lamar Peterson (born 1974 in St. Petersburg, Florida). He received a BS from Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida in 1999 and an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island, in 2001. He has had previous solo exhibitions at The Studio Museum of Harlem, New York; Rochester Arts Center, Minnesota; Orlando Museum of Art, Florida; University Art Museum at SUNY, Albany; Deitch Projects, New York; and Franklin Art Works, Minneapolis, MN.  He has exhibited in numerous group shows, including the Fifth International SITE Santa Fe Biennial 2004, Santa Fe, NM; The Drawing Center, New York, NY; The Kemper Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO; the Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, NY; Oakland University Art Gallery, Rochester, MI; Mennello Museum of American Art, Orlando, FL, and most recently was included in “Shifting Gaze: A Reconstruction of the Black & Hispanic Body in Contemporary Art” at the Mennello Museum of American Art in Orlando, Florida. Peterson is represented by Fredericks and Freiser Gallery in New York City and lives and works in Minneapolis. He is currently an associate professor of drawing and painting at the University of Minnesota.


Photo of Emmett Ramstad wearing a pink t-shirt and looking into the camera

Emmett Ramstad’s sculptures explore body maintenance and the intimate collectivity of public space by modifying the scale and function of familiar care products. Ramstad lives in Minneapolis and has exhibited artworks nationally and internationally, including solo exhibitions at Minneapolis Institute of Arts and Rochester Art Center. He is a recipient of numerous grants and fellowships including an Onassis Eureka Commissions Grant, a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant, a Jerome Foundation Franconia Sculpture Park Fellowship, a Metropolitan Regional Arts Council Next Step Award, a Forecast Public Art Research and Development Grant, and a Leeway Foundation Art and Change grant. He has performed in productions with collaborator Maxe Crandall as HOLD and with The BodyCartography Project. He has made costumes and sets for five touring contemporary dance productions and has curated and organized numerous gallery shows. His work is in collections at The Minnesota Museum of American Art, The Weisman Art Museum, University of Michigan Library, Minnesota Center for Book Arts, MCAD, and Second State Press. He is currently a lecturer in the Department of Art at University of Minnesota.

For more on Ramstad and his work, visit the artist's website.


Photo of Pao Houa Her wearing a black t-shirt and looking into the camera

Pao Houa Her is a visual artist living in Minneapolis. She works across multiple genres and technologies of photography to address Hmong identity and related notions of desire and belonging within the Hmong American community. Her holds a BFA in Photography from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and an MFA in Photography from Yale University, CT. She is the recipient of many fellowships and grants, and has exhibited extensively in Minnesota, across the United States, and more recently, in Southeast Asia. Her work is included in this year’s Whitney Biennial 2022. 

In his review of the 2022 Whitney Biennial, New Yorker art critic Peter Schjeldahl said "A collection of photographic works by the Laos-born artist Pao Houa Her both document and poeticize her Hmong family and community in North America. There are fifty-two of the images, and none too many. The sense of an intricately braided history, unfolding in the present while irradiated by memory, left me with an appetite for still more."

For more on Her and her work, visit the artist's website.

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