Delta Passage: 2024 MFA Thesis Exhibition

The Department of Art and the Katherine E. Nash Gallery are pleased to present an exhibition of work by three artists about to complete their Master of Fine Arts degrees.
"Delta Passage" in jagged yellow script on black and purple background
A Black wax figurine travels down a river atop the back of an alligator.
Namir Fearce, Swamp, 2023, Still from stop motion animation, 00:03:50.
 A couple of Angels descend into a city of rubble and ruin while making love.
Namir Fearce, Christmas Time Is Here, 2022, Stop motion animation, 2022, 00:03:45.
Two long rough-hewn pine poles rest on a stack of three cinder blocks, creating an X against purple background.
Calvin Stalvig, The Candle Stix: Standing Sentinel, 2024, Tamarack pine, beeswax, cotton, cinder blocks, Dimensions variable.
A black wax figure reminiscent of Venus Willendorf with the head of a bear stands on a lithe black metal rod tripod. Hovering just over its shoulder is the wand of a clothing steamer.
Calvin Stalvig, Ursa Major, 2023, Wax, steel, found object, steam, time, Dimensions variable
A hand, covered in a sickly green cloth with gold fringe, grasps a metallic pole.
Whalen Polikoff, Stacked Decks of Prayer Cards and the Lamentations of Circling Wagons (detail), 2023, Acrylic on canvas, 66 x 72 in.
A hand with bloated fingers cups the bottom of the book.
Whalen Polikoff, Burned Books are Worth Twice the Bush (detail), 2023 Acrylic on canvas, 72 x 88 in.

March 26 - April 13, 2024
Delta Passage 

Saturday, March 30, 2024
Public Program | 6:00 - 6:30 PM
Reception | 6:30 - 8:30 PM

Gallery hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM

The Katherine E. Nash Gallery at the University of Minnesota is proud to present Delta Passage, a thesis exhibition featuring the work of Namir Fearce, Whalen Polikoff, and Calvin Stalvig, all of whom are about to complete their Master of Fine Arts degrees in the Department of Art. Drawing from the exhibition’s title, a delta marks the point of convergence where a river empties into another body of water. In relation to water, deltas signify transition, often a movement into—or merging with—something larger. 

Entering the program together in September of 2021, this trio is now at the precipice of their own delta. Remixing a triad of video, sculpture, and photographic images, Fearce’s work invokes the wisdom of fugitive genealogies to unearth liberated joy from grief. Through large scale painting and video projection, Polikoff pulls at the seams of conservative nationalist desires in order to critique the consequences of state-sanctioned violence. Finding magic in the domestic everyday, Stalvig’s installations gather notions of the sacred, across cultures, to create unworldly encounters with objects. An amalgamation of fertile ideas and approaches spanning the last three years, Delta Passage is an invitation to wade in deep and experience these three distinct, yet overlapping, bodies of work.

Saturday, March 30, 2024
Public Program | 6:00 - 6:30 PM | InFlux Space, E110
Reception | 6:30 - 8:30 PM | Regis East Lobby

That same evening visit Bill Gaskins: Black Mystery Month in the Quarter Gallery and Fresh Works in the Regis West Gallery.

About the Artists:

Namir Fearce

Black man in blue shirt with suspenders sits in an art studio
Namir Fearce, photo by Justin Allen

Namir Fearce holds a BFA in Studio Art with a concentration in film and sculpture from the University of Illinois Chicago. His work has been featured in DazedPaperThem, and Office Magazine, in addition to The New York Times. He is a 2020 Walker Arts Fellow and a Black Harvest Film Festival nominated director. Fearce most recently curated, directed, and produced a multi media performance and storytelling festival, Hi Cotton, which has been shown in Minneapolis, Rio De Janeiro, and Berlin.

Artist Statement

Namir Fearce is a North Minneapolis born interdisciplinary artist and cultural worker. His studio practice engages experimental film, assemblage, and music under the moniker Blu Bone. Fearce is informed by a constellation of Black Indigenous histories and sites of memory that weave complex emo-political worldscapes, while conjuring a futurity of pleasure and freedom. The emo-political is the positionality of the fugitive—those who by embracing their Indigenous technologies of survival, somatic, and pleasure based knowledge, agitate and resist the white fascistic cognitive schema and doctrine of domination.

Fearce’s work collapses, samples, and collages these histories and sites of experience to transmute grief as a technology of survival and practice of cultural resistance. Through performance he embodies across species to access an expanded empathy, an understanding of the reversal, and the way of the blues. Across all facets of his practice exist sites of ritual and ceremony that visually, sonically, and somatically converge and reverberate to generate a feedback loop as the blues does—a portal that opens to a collective reimagining.

Whalen Polikoff

White man in orange cap sits in an art studio
Whalen Polikoff, photo by Justin Allen

Whalen Polikoff (b.1996, United States) received his BFA in sculpture from the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts in 2019. He is an interdisciplinary artist working in painting, drawing, printmaking and sculpture. He navigates the visual, verbal, metaphysical culture that shaped his early childhood growing up in Central New York. As a cancer survivor, his diagnosis in highschool continues to inform the urgency of his practice and his relationship to survival. 

Artist Statement

My work addresses the visual, verbal, and metaphysical culture that shaped my early childhood. At the heart of this culture was a desire for national and social belonging—a promise of safety. We see these same desires made tangible through the conservative nationalism that can be found in america’s mainstream political parties and identities. The biden administration, with backing from the democratic and republican parties, continues to aid the aparthied state of israel in its genocide of the Palestinian people. My work bears witness to the justification of atrocities by the state as a result of nationalist complacency and conditioned ambivalence towards violence. 

Calvin Stalvig

Black man sits next to large houseplant
Calvin Stalvig, photo by Justin Allen

Calvin Stalvig creates sculpture, installation, works on paper, digital collage, video, and performance. By approaching artmaking with a child’s curiosity and love for the material world, he alchemizes the everyday ordinary into poetic compositions charged with sacred symbols and relationships. Calvin has exhibited at The Invisible Dog Art Center, Brooklyn, NY; Governors Island, New York, NY; Electronic + Textiles Institute Berlin; and Regis Center for Art, Minneapolis, MN. His work has been included in Issue 2 of the Minneapolis-based publication Scorched Feet / Quemados Pies. He is the former Director of Youth Programs at Beam Center in Brooklyn and holds an M.A. in Youth Development from City University of New York.

Artist Statement
I was born and raised in a family of folk painters, assemblage artists, and stage actors living on the harbor’s edge of Lake Superior Gitchi-gaami—one of Earth’s largest freshwater portals to the underworld. I am a sensualist compelled by a desire to feel, taste, manipulate and co-create with the world around me. To this end, my practice slips between mediums. I cast beeswax in silicone and iron in sand. I stitch industrial felt into rock formations inspired by the Icelandic landscape. I epoxy stacks of glass into trophies while dreaming of future collaborations with glassmakers in Murano. 

The Katherine E. Nash Gallery spans 5,000 square feet for the presentation of exhibitions and related programming that engage with a wide range of artists, scholars, and collaborative partners.

Regis Center for Art (East)
405 21st Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Gallery Hours
Tuesday - Saturday, 11 am – 5 pm

The Regis Center for Art is locked to the public on Saturdays, with U-card access only. Visitors can call 612-624-7530 to gain entrance into the galleries and should plan to enter the building's main entrance located on 21st Avenue South directly across from the parking garage.

Upcoming Closures
April 22-29, Closed for Installation

Contact Us

Parking & Public Transit
Learn more about the parking options below:
21st Avenue South ramp
5th Street South lot
19th Avenue South ramp

Hourly metered parking is available nearby on 22nd Avenue South and Locust Street
The gallery is accessible via Metro Transit buses and light rail lines. For your best route, visit Metro Transit Trip Planner.

Regis Center for Art is accessible to visitors who use mobility devices or prefer to avoid stairs. Service animals are welcome in the gallery.

A fully accessible, gender neutral restroom is available on the 2nd floor of the Regis Center for Art (West). To access this restroom, take the elevator to the 2nd floor and proceed across the skyway towards Regis West. As you exit the skyway the restroom will be directly across from you. Fully accessible gendered restrooms are located directly to the left hand side when exiting the gallery on the first floor of Regis Center for Art (East).

Large bags and backpacks must be left at the gallery front desk with the attendant. In order to protect the art, no food or drink is allowed in the gallery.

April 30 - May 11, 2024
VItal Condition (BFA Thesis)

Thursday, May 2, 6:00-9:00 PM
Public Program | 6:00 - 7:00 PM 
Reception | 7:00 - 9:00 PM
Outdoors at the Regis Center for Art

Join us for a joint program from 6:00-7:00 pm for the BFA and BA Spring Class of 2024, followed by a reception with light refreshments from 7:00-9:00 PM, rain or shine, outdoors at the Regis Center for Art.

January 16 - December 27, 2024
Dreaming Our Futures: Ojibwe and Očhéthi Šakówiŋ Artists and Knowledge Keepers
Katherine E. Nash Gallery | January 16 - March 16, 2024
Rochester Art Center | April 24 – July 21, 2024
Tweed Museum of Art | September 3 – December 27, 2024

September 12 - December 9, 2023
Regis Center for Art 20th Anniversary Exhibitions: Works by Faculty and Staff

May 2 - 13, 2023
Heart of the Matter (BFA Thesis)

March 28 - April 15, 2023
lineage (MFA Thesis)

January 17 - March 18, 2023
A Tender Spirit, A Vital Form: Arlene Burke-Morgan & Clarence Morgan

September 13 - December 10, 2022
A Picture Gallery of the Soul

January 21 - March 28, 2020
The Beginning of Everything

September 10 – December 7, 2019
Queer Forms

September 15, 2015 - January 27, 2019
Covered in Time and History: The Films of Ana Mendieta 
Katherine E. Nash Gallery | September 15 - December 12, 2015
NSU Art Museum | February 28 - July 3, 2016
BAMPFA | November 9, 2016 - January 15, 2017
Bildmuseet | June 18, 2017 - October 22, 2017
Martin-Gropius-Bau | April 20 - July 22, 2018
Jeu de Paume | October 16, 2018 - January 27, 2019

The Katherine E. Nash Gallery is a research laboratory for the practice and interpretation of the visual arts

We believe the visual arts have the capacity to interpret, critique, and expand on all of human experience. Our engagement with the visual arts helps us to discover who we are and understand our relationships to each other and society.

The Katherine E. Nash Gallery will be a center of discourse on the practice of visual art and its relationship to culture and community — a place where we examine our assumptions about the past and suggest possibilities for the future.

The Nash Gallery will play an indispensable role in the educational development of students, faculty, staff, and the community.

Professor Katherine "Katy" E. Nash (1910–1982), a faculty member of the Department of Art from 1961–1976, proposed that the Student Union create a university art gallery. Founded in 1979, the gallery moved to its current location in the Regis Center for Art in 2003. Learn more about the remarkable life and work of Professor Nash.

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