High Visibility is a podcast produced by Art of the Rural and Plains Art Museum that welcomes into conversation artists, culture bearers, and leaders from across rural America and Indian Country.
How We Gather: Su Legatt
High Visibility is a podcast, exhibition, and publication series produced by Art of the Rural and Plains Art Museum that welcomes into conversation artists, culture bearers, and leaders from across rural America and Indian Country. We are grateful for the support of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Today we have the chance to speak with Su Legatt, and to learn more about how her upbringing in rural Minnesota, and her experiences as an artist and advocate for rural communities, have shaped her recent work and her sense of where we are headed in both the national conversation on rural culture and in the current forms of support and visibility available to rural artists.
We have a chance in this conversation to see these ideas intersect across her work, notably in her recent series Dish – which celebrates the forms of generational knowledge, local culture, and personal creativity present in the Midwestern potluck. The events, and the subsequent Dish book all offer, in Su’s words, an opportunity to “bring people together for intimate exchange and the preservation of private moments” and to “collectively build a more complex and complete understanding of Minnesota identity while building new connections and strengthening existing networks.”
Along the way here, Su also shares her work in Advice from Minnesota Grandmothers, which shares some similarities with the Dish events, in that she presents another element of rural everyday life – in this case the crocheted doily – and offers it as a vessel for a much deeper channel of generational knowledge. Like Dish, it defamiliarizes our associations to objects and practices that we might initially dismiss or overlook. After being with this work, we find surprising bridges between cultures, and some powerful expressions of vulnerability and intimacy, that emerge from these materials.
Su Legatt is an artist, educator, and community organizer. Her photography, installation, and social practice projects explore the quiet, often unnoticed, individual moments of every day life. Su utilizes a variety of community engagement techniques and crowd sourcing methods to create opportunities for participants to share with others in the hopes of creating what she describes as “micro moments of empathy.”
Su is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead and Utah State University and she has taught photography, digital media, and professional development courses at Lake Superior College, Minnesota State University Moorhead, and North Dakota State University and a wide variety of workshops throughout the United States.
She works with various non-profit organizations to organize and create cultural events that help to improve the social structures and relations within each community. As an Arts and Culture Commissioner for the city of Moorhead, Minnesota Ms. Legatt works with legislators, non and for profit organizations, and local artists to support and strengthen the role of the region’s creative community.
Artist photograph above by Amanda Fechtner
What The Sound Carries: Raven Chacon
Today we have the chance to speak with Raven Chacon, and to learn more about the experiences that have shaped his work across a variety of forms – from his music compositions, to his visual scores and installations, through to his leadership in the Native American Composer Apprentice Project and his piece American Ledger No. 2, currently on view at the Plains Art Museum.
Raven Chacon's artist site:
This conversation moves across an array of lands and traditions– from Navajo Nation to Aristotle’s Lyceum, from string quartets to heavy metal – and a presence that connects many of the pieces Raven discusses is his time as a guest with the Water Protectors at Standing Rock in 2016. Afterwards, he reflected on the experience, he wrote this:
“The camps became the imagined microcosm of a North America where we were still the majority, self-sustained and self-governed, no other direct action than simply being alive and retaining our ways. What became apparent—even in the short time I was there and under the shadow of militaristic surveillance—was a shared experience: remembering one’s identity, while at the same time re-imagining who we aimed to be. What was achieved there was not a funneling of a pan-Indian sameness, but rather a radial explosion of every potential dreamt history.”
Raven Chacon is a composer, performer and installation artist from Fort Defiance, Navajo Nation. As a solo artist, collaborator, or with the Postcommodity, he has exhibited or performed at a wide range of institutions and spaces including the Whitney Biennial, documenta 14, San Francisco Electronic Music Festival, Chaco Canyon, and The Kennedy Center. Every year, he teaches 20 students to write string quartets for the Native American Composer Apprentice Project (NACAP). Raven is the recipient of the United States Artists fellowship in Music, The Creative Capital award in Visual Arts, The Native Arts and Cultures Foundation artist fellowship, and the American Academy’s Berlin Prize for Music Composition.
Works and connections mentioned in this episode:
// Native American Composers Apprentice Project (excellent feature here by NPR Performance Today):
// An Anthology of Chants Operations LP:
// The Ears Between Worlds are Always Speaking installation in Athens, Greece:
// Dispatch, a collaboration with Candice Hopkins:
// STTLMNT, An Indigenous Digital World Wide Occupation:
// American Ledger No. 2:
// For Zitkála Šá series of prints at Crow's Shadow Institute for the Arts
// Hungry Listening: Resonant Theory for Indigenous Sound Studies
// Radio Alhara:
Memory, Myth, and Home: Jovan C. Speller
Jovan C. Speller joins Matthew Fluharty for a conversation on her recent work and its meditation on Black origins, land, and multilayered family histories.
Jovan C. Speller is a multidisciplinary artist based in Minneapolis, MN. Her work – visual, textual and performative – interprets historic narratives through contemporary discourse. Her research-based practice is centered around elevating, complicating and inventing stories that explore ancestry, identity, and spatial memory – making the intangible tangible and the invisible visible.
Speller holds a B.F.A. in Fine Art Photography from Columbia College Chicago. Speller's work has been exhibited at The Plains Art Museum, the Bockley Gallery, and Minneapolis College of Art and Design, with upcoming solo exhibitions at Aspect/Ratio Projects and the Minneapolis Institute of Art. She is a recipient of the McKnight Visual Artist Fellowship, a Next Step Fund Grant, the Jerome Emerging Artist Fellowship, and a Minnesota State Arts Board grant. She completed a residency at Second Shift Studio Space in St. Paul and was awarded the Carolyn Glasoe Bailey Foundation Minnesota Art Prize in 2021. Speller is represented by Aspect/Ratio Projects in Chicago.
For more information on Jovan's work:
For more information on the High Visibility exhibition at the Plains Art Museum:
High Visibility exhibition site: https://inhighvisibility.org/
In this conversation, Jovan mentions the following works:
This video of Jovan's photographic process, and the Choosing Home series, can be found here:
Relics of Home:
In Lottie's Living Room:
High Visibility is a partnership with Plains Art Museum and Art of the Rural:
We are grateful for the support of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Less Arc, More Contact: Karl Unnasch
In this episode, Karl Unnasch joins Matthew Fluharty for a conversation on his creative process, rural community, and bridging difference between cultures and geographies. Husk, his metal and stained glass sculpture of a crushed Busch Light can, is...