Mia presents exhibition of artwork created in response to the fatal shooting of Philando Castile

MINNEAPOLIS—May 17, 2018— This June, the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) presents “Art and Healing: In the Moment,” an exhibition of 15 works—including paintings, sculpture, video, posters, and textiles—by Twin Cities artists in response to the fatal shooting of Philando Castile. Special programs for the exhibition will include a talk by Bryan Stevenson, executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative and founder of The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration and The National Memorial for Peace and Justice; tours exploring objects that address healing; and workshops and discussions around issues of injustice and reconciliation. “Art and Healing: In the Moment” is on view June 17 through July 29, 2018.
Philando Castile was an African-American man who grew up in Saint Paul. On July 6, 2016, he was fatally shot by a police officer in the nearby town of Falcon Heights after being pulled over in his car. He was 32 years old. In the months following Castile’s death, Twin Cities artists created artwork in response to the tragedy. They gave some of these objects to the Castile family to foster healing and bear witness to the untimely death. Moved by this generosity, the family approached Mia with a desire to share these artworks with the public. “Art and Healing” is a result of a collaboration with the Castile family, Mia, and an advisory group from the community. The exhibition focuses on the shooting’s impact on artists and examines larger cultural issues of racial equity in America.
“The work of these artists has made me feel like I’m not alone,” said Valerie Castile, mother of Philando. “There are times when I sit in my living room, grieving, but then I look around and see this art, and I know I’m not the only one affected by Philando’s death. That’s why I wanted this exhibition to happen—it’s about connecting, reaching out, having a conversation.”
“Art is an expression of our shared humanity, and we must protect, nurture, and celebrate the work of artists, even when what they show us is painful,” said Kaywin Feldman, Nivin and Duncan MacMillan Director and President at Mia. “I am grateful to the artists and community supporters who have enabled this exhibition to occur at Mia. Our hope is to be ‘the people’s museum,’ and as such, we must represent all of the people, through both joy and suffering.”
Artworks in the exhibition include Sarah White’s video Raising Black Joy (2016), which embodies joy as representative of resilience; Angie Renee’s Why (2016), a ceramic broken heart; the video I.am.Mural by Xiaolu Wang, which traces the creation of a mural born out of resistance to the violence by 12 local artists; and Leon Wang’s poster Long Live King Philando (2016).
“We would not have been able to organize this exhibition without the support of our community,” said Nicole Soukup, assistant curator of contemporary art at Mia. “It truly was a collaborative effort as we worked closely with the Castile family and an advisory panel to organize an exhibition we hope engages audiences in a relevant and meaningful way, holds space for our community, and creates opportunities for dialogue.”
Programming for “Art and Healing: In the Moment”
Talk: Bryan Stevenson
Bryan Stevenson believes that museums play a powerful role in society. He is a Harvard University-trained public defense lawyer, director of the Equal Justice Initiative, founder of The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration and The National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Ala., and author of Just Mercy. His talk will address how the history of racial injustice against African Americans still impacts our country in the present day and how addressing this history brings with it the possibilities of redemption and healing.
Friday, June 22, at 5 p.m. Free, reservations required; to reserve, visit ticket.artsmia.org or call 612. 870.3000, beginning May 22, at 10 a.m..
Workshops and Discussions
On Fridays during the exhibition, artists, organizers, and facilitators open up spaces for dialogue and allow visitors to creatively engage with one another around important issues of injustice and healing.
Workshops will be hosted on Fridays at 6 p.m. during the exhibition. Free; advance reservations recommended.
Guided tours of the exhibition and the permanent collection explore the work of artists who use their art to create space for dialogue and healing. Offered weekly during the exhibition.
Free and open to the public.