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The Role of Art in Contemporary Rural America Explored Multi-Media Exhibition


The Role of Art in Contemporary Rural America Explored Multi-Media Exhibition On October 20-22, Outpost Winona will open a multi-media exhibition called Public Transformation with a weekend of events celebrating art in rural America. Public Transformation is a cross-country documentary art project highlighting how rural-based artists and arts organizations make their communities a more vibrant, healthy, connected place to live. For six-weeks, Ashley Hanson's little yellow school bus (Gus) acted as a cross-country mobile artist residency, with a rotating cast of artists documenting the incredible work of rural-based artists, cultural leaders, and arts organizations, as they consider their (often conflicted) place in American culture.

The Public Transformation Exhibition kicks off with a weekend of public events. On Friday, October 20 from 6:00-8:30pm, Outpost will host an artist reception, artist talk, film screening and a "Gus the Bus" photo booth. Following the reception, guests are invited to attend an Old Time Dance led by The James Gang, co-hosted by Art of the Rural and Habitat for Humanity at the Island City Brewery.

Saturday, October 21 from 12:00-7:00pm, Outpost will host a cook-out and a series of workshops and panel discussions with Art of the Rural, Next Generation, Springboard for the Arts, Creative Exchange, and Public Transformation artists.

The weekend will end with coffee at Outpost and a reflective river walk on Sunday, October 22 from 10am-12pm. The exhibition will remain on display at Outpost until November 17, 2017. Complete timeline of opening weekend events below.

About the Public Transformation Exhibition

The 2016 presidential election revealed major rifts in our country - most notably, a profound disconnect between urban and rural life. Theater artist Ashley Hanson, whose large-scale public performances put rural life at their center, was curious how other artists working in rural areas were contemplating the geographic (and psychological) divides of the Trump era. In January 2017, she bought a little yellow school bus and set off on a high-paced fact-finding mission, calling it Public Transformation, visiting 20 states, 24 communities, 42 organizations, and 127 individuals over 6200 miles.

The Public Transformation artists - Ashley Hanson, Randi Carlson, Ellie Moore, Hannah Holman, Mary Rothlisberger & Nik Nerbern - will present a month-long exhibit at The Outpost collaborative space in Winona, MN from October 20 - November 17, 2017. This multi-media exhibition will present a snapshot of lives, work, stories, themes, artifacts and questions the artists discovered while visiting 24 rural communities (all with populations under 10,000) across the country and will facilitate discussion about the successes and challenges of making art in rural America. The exhibition will feature images and objects from the Public Transformation journey and work from its mobile artists-in-residence. Opening weekend will include workshops, panels, and conversations led by rural-based practitioners across the region.

Public Transformation is supported by Springboard for the Arts, Art of the Rural, and individuals across the country. This Outpost exhibition is made possible through the support of the McKnight Foundation. ###

Exhibition Opening Weekend Timeline

Friday, October 20 from 6:00-10:30pm

6:00-7:00pm - Opening Reception + "Gus the Bus" Photo Booth led by Nik Nerburn

7:00-8:00pm - Brief Presentation + Screening of Public Transformation videos edited by Nik Nerbern + Artist Talk moderated by curator in residence Mary Rothlisberger

8:00-8:30pm - Continue Reception

*8:30-10:30pm - Old Time Dance at Island City Brewery

Saturday, October 21 from 12-10:00pm

11:00am-12:00pm - Next Generation: Rural Creative Placemaking session with Matthew Fluharty

12:00-1:00pm - Grill & Chill on Third Street with "Gus the Bus" Photo Booth

1:00-2:00pm - Hinge Arts Residency Panel moderated by Carl Atiya Swanson, Springboard for the Arts with Hinge Artists

2:30-4:00pm - Mini-workshops with Public Transformation artists Ellie Moore, Randi Carlson, and Hannah Holman

4:00-5:00pm - Happy Hour Hang with Public Transformation curator-in-residence Mary Rothlisburger including interactive activities such as draw the US from memory + "Gus the Bus" Photo Booth

5:00-7:00pm - Public Transformation Presentation Performance by Ashley Hanson + Screening of Public Transformation videos edited by Nik Nerburn, followed by Artist Talk moderated by Mary Rothlisberger

*7:00-8:00pm - Dinner + Discussion at local Winona restaurant

*8:00-10:00pm - Hootenanny at Echart's Orchard

Sunday, October 22 from 10am-12pm

10:00-11:00am - Coffee and pastries at the Outpost

*11:00am-12:00pm - Reflective river walk with hopes for the future of art in contemporary rural America

*Notes events held offsite, not at Outpost.

**The Friday reception and Sunday river walk will be free and open to the public. The Saturday workshops will be a $5 suggested donation for the day of workshops and food at the cook-out.

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