5:00 PM17:00

Choosing Home: A Right, A Privilege or An Act of Trespass

Choosing Home: A Right, A Privilege or An Act of Trespass, is a one night “visual inquiry” in which curator/collaborator Jovan C. Speller activates the Walker Art Center’s public spaces and initiates a multidisciplinary presentation where artists/collaborators Dyani White Hawk Polk, Alanna Morris-Van Tassel and Rosy Simas assess the current state of the North American landscape and one’s ability to claim it as home.

Those with the privilege of power over this land, the United States, proclaim that it has no official language, that it is made up of immigrants, and a place where freedom reigns. It was said to be a safe haven, a new start, a dream. But, what is home without the recognition and reconciliation of myths used as tools to manipulate and oppress generations of peoples? What is home when complicated by centuries of radical and violent displacement, forced relocation, captivity, migration, and colonization? The presenting artists react and recount these notions through the lenses of Native American, African American and Caribbean stories.

Dyani White Hawk, stepping into new multidisciplinary art practices and experimentation, will present a new performance centered around languages indigenous to this land, and a collaborative short film which explores overlaps in domestic and ceremonial ritual in Native American and African American cultures. Choreographer Rosy Simas will present a durational performance in reaction to the recent practice of institutional recognition of native land. Through movement, imagery and sound Simas will investigate feelings of non-belonging and the beginnings of division. Choreographer/Professional contemporary dancer Alanna Morris-Van Tassel will present a portion of her recent solo project entitled Yam, Potatoe an Fish! This is a multi-media performance exploring the passage of time and movement of people amidst Alanna’s family’s story of migration – from the Caribbean to Brooklyn, NY. It examines cultural loss and the meaning of being lost, while canvassing the significance of the spiritual and corporeal bond of sisters as they claim their relationship to family, history, culture, legacy, gifts, and story.

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2016/17 Jerome Emerging Artists Panel Discussion
6:30 PM18:30

2016/17 Jerome Emerging Artists Panel Discussion

Moderated by Rochester-based writer Nicole Nfonoyim-Hara

All are invited to this panel discussion with the recipients of the 2016/17 Jerome Foundation Fellowships for Emerging Artists: Nikki J. McComb, Kelsey Olson, Edie Overturf, and Jovan C. Speller of the Twin Cities, and Amanda Wirig of Mankato, Minnesota. Learn more about the artists.

This competitive fellowship provides $12,000 awards to each recipient. In addition, the fellows have the opportunity to meet with visiting critics over the course of the fellowship year and have access to various MCAD facilities.

The 2016/17 Jerome fellows were selected out of a pool of 229 applicants by a panel of arts professionals that included Gabriel Ritter, curator of contemporary art at the Minneapolis Institute of Art; Amos Kennedy, Jr., letterpress printmaker and founder of Kennedy Prints! in Detroit; and Dr. Jeannine Tang, art historian of contemporary art at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY.

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Into: MLPS Launch Party and Panel
7:00 PM19:00

Into: MLPS Launch Party and Panel

Copresented by Into Quarterly and the Loft, this event will feature readings from contributors and a panel discussion. 

Into: Minneapolis is a a collection of original writing and art inspired by Minneapolis. Forty local writers, designers, photographers, and fine artists share their creative tributes to the city, exploring such themes as cold, kindness, identity, and Prince. Through their combined voices and mediums, we get an unconventional portrait of Minneapolis, and a time capsule of the art coming out of it today. 

The panel discussion will focus on sense of place, and how that influences home, community, and social action/reaction through words and visual art. Featured panelists will be
Hieu Minh Nguyen, Michael Cina, Jovan C. Speller, Dyani White Hawk, and Shannon Gibney. Moderated by Shá Cage.

Book sales and reception to follow.

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Disrobing Masculinity: An Artist Talk and Discussion
1:00 PM13:00

Disrobing Masculinity: An Artist Talk and Discussion

Disrobing Masculinity: A conversation moderated by Tricia Heuring, Director/Curator for Public Functionary, and featuring artist Charles Philippe Jean Pierre; Jovan C. Speller, curator for The Feminist; Nicole Nfonoyim-Hara, writer and anthropologist; and Malanda, poet and author of Because of a Woman

Using Jean Pierre’s artwork as a backdrop, this conversation will focus on dismantling ideas of power within contemporary social and political patriarchy.  We will discuss a history of continued objectification of women, with a focus on women of color and contemporary feminist theory. Panelists will respond to questions about varying archetypes of masculinity; the importance of using artistic and aesthetic representations as a catalyst to shift a society into promoting gender equality; and the ways in which men can contribute to just and nurturing communities.

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The Feminist: Opening Reception
to Nov 19

The Feminist: Opening Reception

Charles Philippe Jean Pierre: The Feminist

Minneapolis, MN—Public Functionary is pleased to announce The Feminist, a solo exhibition of recent works by Washington, DC-based artist Charles Philippe Jean Pierre, opening Friday, November 18th with a reception from 7pm-Midnight.


The Feminist will highlight Jean Pierre’s interdisciplinary art practice, featuring a selection of acrylic and mixed media paintings, an installation and a performance.

The Feminist is a snapshot of Jean Pierre's examination of contemporary literature, feminism, privilege, and power. As the artist navigates questions of race, gender and equality, he explores what it means be a feminist as a black man in American culture. 

Stylistically stepping aside from his known language of graffiti-like line-work, brush strokes and bold color, Jean Pierre adopts a more subtle palette in abstract acrylic paintings and thick layers of high contrast mixed media on canvas. Jean Pierre begins to make space for balance, feminine energy, nurturing and integrity. He uses integration and overlapping of color, texture, and imagery, further depicting his process, methodology and reconciliations. This body of work can also be viewed as a visual documentation of a shift or expansion of thought. With The Feminist Jean Pierre illustrates his process of internalizing a movement and activating his individual agency, connecting personal intention to mass activism.

The Feminist is curated by Jovan C. Speller, the newest addition to the PF team.


Charles Philippe Jean Pierre is a Haitian American artist originally from the South side of Chicago. He currently lives and works in Washington DC, with a studio at the well known 52 O Street Studios. 

Jean Pierre’s most tangible connections to his roots were the Haitian paintings and sculptures that filled his childhood home. Often overhearing passionate debates about abuses of power and the continuous state of regression in Haiti, the art on the walls were beautiful contradictions to the hopelessness of his homeland’s narrative. This contradiction between beauty and power, as a theme, is ever-present as a theoretical and methodical struggle within Jean Pierre’s work. 

Jean Pierre is a U.S. State Department Art in Embassies Artist whose work is in the permanent collection of U.S. Embassy in Cotonou, Benin West Africa. He has had solo exhibitions at the Haitian Heritage Museum and Anacostia Art Center, has been featured in numerous group exhibitions and created public art murals across the globe. He was also named one of the Top 5 Arts Educators by the District of Columbia, is the National Arts Director for the Young and Powerful group, an adjunct professor at American University and holds a Masters of Arts from Howard University. 

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6:30 PM18:30

Memory Series: A Conversation with Jovan C. Speller

In conversation with Megan Johnston, Executive Director at the Rochester Art Center, I will discuss my artistic process, experimentation and the anthotype prints featured in my most recent collection of photographs.

In partnership with RAC, Jovan C. Speller was the recipient of a 2015 MSAB Cultural Community Partnership grant. This award supported the creation of new work and the experimentation of alternative photographic processes, and studio practices. Over the past year Speller has experimented with creating anthotype prints, using plant dye from flowers, berries, and vegetables she grew in her garden. Through this work Speller focuses on replicating how her memories are formed, stored and inevitably begin to fade. Anthotypes represent both the formation and the fragility of her memories. After exposure, the surfaces of the works remain sensitive to light and continue to fade with time. These anthotypes comprise visual representations of the artist's fragmented and faltering connection to memory. This collection of photographs make up the artist’s Memory Series. 

*This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Art Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature; and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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