MICA Gallery’s September 2011 show, “‘From the Ashes of the Old’: Works by Dylan AT Miner,” presents the activist, hand-made, “intentionally unrefined” artwork of Dylan Miner.
The show opens Sept. 2, and the opening reception is Sept. 10, 12-4pm. MICA Gallery’s hours are Monday-Friday, 9 am-5 pm, and the gallery is also open 12-4 pm on Sept. 3 for the first of two September First Sunday Gallery Walks.
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Dylan at Miner is a border-crossing Métis with roots in the historic Indigenous communities of Slave Lake, Alberta; Red River, Manitoba; Drummond Island, Michigan; and Penetanguishene, Ontario. In 2010, he was awarded an Artist Leadership Grant from the National Museum of the American Indian (Smithsonian) and had five solo exhibitions across North America. In 2011, he will hang solo exhibitions at Urban Shaman Gallery in Canada, University of Notre Dame, Michigan Institute for Contemporary Art, and Fort Lewis College, a university that once served as an Indian boarding school. As a member of Justseeds, he was awarded the Grand Prix at the 28th Biennial of Graphic Arts in Slovenia and, as a result, the collective will have a solo exhibition at the 29th Biennial this fall. In 2012, he will travel to Norway for a solo exhibition, as well as work with the Sami people.
Dylan has published extensively and lectured globally on contemporary Native and Latino art, Indigenous sovereignty, and the relationship between art and anti-capitalist activism. He has published in Third Text, Aztlán, CR: The New Centennial Review, amongst others, and has forthcoming books from University of Arizona Press and IB Tauris. As a professor, he has led indigenous-centered courses in the Great Lakes, US Southwest, California, and Latin America. Currently, Dylan coordinates the Michigan Native Arts Initiative and is a professor at Michigan State University. Born and raised in Michigan, he holds a Ph.D. in the history of art from The University of New Mexico, USA. He lives with his wife and two daughters between Anishinaabewaki (Michigan) and Aztlán (New Mexico).
Miner explains, “In a never-ending world of late-capitalist consumption, where mass-produced commodities and highly designed products are naturalized, the creation of hand-made objects becomes an overt act of resistance. By using the language of anti-capitalist activism and indigenous visuality, I make intentionally unrefined objects that, if nothing else, challenge the ambiguity of the elite visual art world by operating within a tradition of political didacticism. Through the production of print-based installations, I evoke the tangibility of the printed form in an attempt to narrativize a particular anti-colonial and anti-capitalist desire. As an artist, I have become a storyteller whose images narrate stories in a uniquely visual fashion based in an anti-authoritarian tradition.
“Incorporating found materials, such as re-used grocery sacks and cardboard, I see my artmaking practice as the embodiment of my own radical politics and everyday experiences as a human being. The printed image and the materials that I work with remain a quotidian expression of the day-to-day realities in which I find myself. While society has moved toward a consumer-based model, the print becomes a small (yet productive) expression against the daily alienation I feel. My objects mark my existence and declare that I am alive. Just like ancestral petroglyphs and cave paintings, these small printed acts make similar marks on the worlds. As Métis martyr Louis Riel so powerfully articulated on the eve of his state-sanctioned assassination: ‘My people will sleep for 100 years, and when they awake, it will be the artists who give them back their spirit.'”
MICA Gallery is dedicated to featuring artists whose work represents a mix of progressive styles, social commentary, experimentation, and innovation, the gallery provides exhibition opportunities for visual artists, musicians, poets, and performance artists. Its sponsoring organization, Michigan Institute for Contemporary Art (MICA), is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that serves as a catalyst for community development through quality arts programming. For more information about the MICA Gallery, call 517-371-4600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.