Mary Simon-Casati and Liliya Williams

Can "The Invisible" Be Pictured?

One snowy afternoon in December, several women gathered in artist Mary Simon-Casati’s southwest Minneapolis home for a little lunch and a lightweight chat about astrophysics and art. The firelit living room crackled with energy; conversation sparked and flared, bouncing from philosopher to art historian to physicist and back, traversing the cosmic terrain of dark matter, energy, quarks and their quasi-poetic names. “The thing about particles,” the artist said offhandedly, “is that none of us can see them, ever. We don’t know what they look like. Science can figure out what sort of spin they have and what it interacts with. But otherwise, we’re dealing with the unknown.” Her latest paintings and sculpture explore, in visual terms, phenomena that are largely intangible, ineffable and unseen. The result of three years of research and an intensive yearlong exchange of ideas with University of Minnesota astrophysicist Liliya Williams, her solo show “Smashing the Invisible” is on view at the university’s Regis Center for Art through Feb. 10.
Nooshin Hakim Javadi

Art as Invitation

Iranian-born artist Nooshin Hakim Javadi grew up in war. When she was a girl in the city of Qazvin, two hours northwest of Tehran, Iran’s capital, she was terrified by air raids. “My mom would pull my three siblings and me to her belly and sing a lullaby for us,” she says. “I could feel my mother’s fear—the tension in her body, the pounding of her heart—yet her singing voice would vibrate through her body into mine, and that soothed me so much.”
Lorena Molina - Nothing Hurts Like Home

Lorena Molina (MFA '15) Exhibits at the 621 Gallery in Tallahassee

Nothing Hurts like Home explores my complicated relationship with homemaking as a refugee who has experienced displacement.This project is a fragmented visual diary/Study of the challenges and markers of making a home in the between. Home has always been a battlefield. Home is where I was taught to fear. How do you make home when going home is too dangerous? What do you do with the pain that home brings? This work was influenced by my move to rural central NY as I simultaneously became a US citizen. It deals with the dislocation, otherness, and white washing caused by the process of making home in the unwelcoming. This work explores the ways I hold on to my cultural roots as everywhere I go demands adaptation and assimilation. The performances and photographs were made in El Salvador and Sauquiot, NY. They are my attempts to make sense of and connections to a state I did not choose. In 2017, I returned to my homeland after 14 years of being told it is a place I should not be. I visited my childhood home that now is ruled by gangs and I reconnected with my father. The photographs and videos aim to make a visual map of the interconnections between the land I was forced to leave, my place here, and what remains of the memory I once called home. This work is my reconciliation and acceptance of a reality that it is part of the immigrant experience to never truly be there nor here; while at the same time I aim to find the possibilities of existing in a state of liminality to create a space where my brown body can thrive and exist.
Xavier Tavera

'After the War' with Xavier Tavera - Lecturer and MFA ('17)

When Xavier Tavera (M.F.A. ‘17) moved to the Twin Cities in 1996 from Mexico City, he swapped a future law career for life as a photographer. But he also underwent an even more profound personal transition. “In Mexico, I’m nothing,” he says, referring to the fact that he can’t easily be labeled in a society where so many of his fellow citizens look like him and speak his native tongue. “But here, I’m Mexican and an immigrant and a person of color.” Understanding how that experience has impacted his fellow Latinos and their Minnesota subcultures has become a guiding force for his work. His most recent show, “AMVETS Post #5,” which is at the Minnesota History Center through April, includes 35 portraits of Mexican and Mexican-American military veterans who have returned home to St. Paul’s West Side from the battlefields of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Many of Tavera’s subjects enlisted in order to become U.S. citizens, only to see their rights undercut when they returned home. Some felt abandoned by the country they fought to protect.
Avigail Manneberg

Avigail Manneberg Receives 2018 Grant from the Human Rights Initiative

"A Contested Home: Memory, Commemoration and Rights around Forced Migration of Palestinians in the Galilee" will use artistic representation to engage with issues of forced migration and displacement. It explores how visual and theatrical storytelling can redress historical amnesia by seeking to foster dialogue between two groups who have a long and contentious history, Palestinians with Israeli citizenship and Jewish Israelis. Professors Kuftinec and Manneberg will work with eight local artists to develop an interdisciplinary body of work culminating in an exhibition and public art installation.
Sam Hoolihan at the Trylon Cinema

Q&A: Lecturer and Visual Artist Sam Hoolihan

Wednesday night, Trylon Cinema quickly sold out as University of Minnesota alumnus and adjunct professor Sam Hoolihan presented “Silence with Sound,” a collection of Super 8 and 16-mm films. The highlight of the evening was Hoolihan’s most recent work, “Stasis & Motion,” a 16-mm film consisting of three black and white projections, as well as live vocals and music by local artists John Marks and Crystal Myslajek.
To allow for breath - Mara Duvra

University of Minnesota MFA graduate’s 'To allow for breath' exhibit...

Photographs, hung sparsely on the gallery walls of The White Page, depicted natural light in bare settings, gentle ripples in still water, lines of poetry and intimate portraits of women of color. The photographs belong University of Minnesota MFA graduate Mara Duvra. Part of The White Page’s one-month residency program, the opening reception for Duvra’s exhibit “To allow for breath” took place at the South Minneapolis gallery Friday night. “This is really only the beginning. ‘To allow for breath’ is the first visual chapter of a wider project that I call ‘Tending,’” Duvra said.
Porch Gallery 1 - Mark Schoening

Porch, Hair & Nails and Yeah Maybe Galleries Profiled in Star Tribune

Mark Schoening and his wife, Dawn England — transplants from Los Angeles — opened Porch Gallery in May 2016 at their ornate Park Avenue home as a way to contribute to Minneapolis’ creative economy. “Living in a space surrounded by art and running this small art space has brought a creative energy to the house that I wouldn’t have imagined,” said Schoening, a Minnesota native. He applied the skills he once used to design storefront displays for Forever 21 to create an inviting exhibit area in their front window. Four months out of the year, the front room is blocked off and artworks can be viewed from the porch.