Minneapolis art exhibit is a journey through time to shine a light on the black experience

“Nurturing, and Other Rituals of Protection” incorporates sound and photography to tell a story of fear and hope. (FOX 9)

A new exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Art features the work of a black artist from Minnesota.

Step inside the Minneapolis Institute of Art’s latest exhibit and step back in time.

“It is inspired by the two living rooms of my grandmothers. I was inspired by both”, explains Jovan C. Speller, the artist behind the work. It’s an exposition of the black experience through her lens, and for an emerging artist, it’s a big stage.

“It’s a moment in my career that I feel, and it’s also a moment for work,” Speller says.

Jovan C. Speller is the artist behind the project. (FOX 9)

Entitled “Feeding and Other Rituals of Protection,” the exhibition incorporates sound and photography to tell a story of fear and hope.

“Nurturing is about caring for each other, caring for the community. And finding ways to feel and embody protection. Especially for black people and black culture,” Speller says.

From the fireplace to family photos to music, for Speller, it’s home. She says: “I was really trying to conceptualize like what it’s like to feel safe and to feel protected – like what are those spaces?”

Using the house as an anchor space, as visitors walk through the gallery, Speller’s photographs tell a different story. “It’s more present and future and I kind of wanted to create what I call protective scenarios with each photo,” Speller says.

A series of photographs which, according to her, represent gestures of love. “We often don’t feel seen, comfortable, comforted,” says Speller. “I feel like our humanity is so often forgotten and fear comes first.”

And it is in art that she sees hope. “I hope I can contribute to the conversations already underway. I hope the work inspires people to think about what is possible within our communities. The care we can have for each other,” says Speller.

Speller is part of Mia’s MAEP program which is dedicated to supporting artists living and working in Minnesota. It is one of the oldest such programs in the country. The exhibition lasts until the end of June.

For more information about the exhibition, you can Click here.


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Reggie S. Williams