We are a collaborative public art and design studio led by the wife-husband team of Shanai Matteson and Colin Kloecker.
Together, we create projects that inspire, engage and connect—catalyzing relationships across creative and cultural boundaries to enable new possibilities for artistic expression, civic imagination and participation in public life.
Thank you to the organizers and sponsors of tonight’s #ConvergeMN event for inviting me here. It’s always a privilege to share thoughts and ideas in a space like this, with a group of people actively working to improve lives and communities.
I want to start by saying a few things about the concept of innovation & social impact. Sometimes we assume when we gather around innovation orsocial entrepreneurship or changemaking that we’re all on the same page about what these things mean, or why they’re important. We might assume that we all see the world and the value of creative and entrepreneurial work through the same or similar lenses.
As one of the lead organizers of Hand-in-Glove 2015, my first impulse is try to write something for this social response about what I think the process of creating this convening might have to do with the (still indefinite) field of artist spaces and projects. If I did, I would look to the complex, challenging, productive questions that came to the surface through conversation among participants. But I’m not going to do that right now. And I might not do that later, because after Hand-in-Glove, I’m even more uncertain than ever that this is my role. And because I’m very tired.
What I do want to write about now is my family.
In the session on Aesthetics, Relevancy and Social Context, Tricia Khutoretsky of Minneapolis-based gallery and social space Public Functionary reminded us in a very candid and vulnerable moment that this field is not trendy. Real lives are at stake, and to acknowledge that fact means we now have a responsibility to act with intention and care.
Earlier this year, Colin and I were invited to join a new collaborative called Healing Place. Led by indigenous artists, Healing Place asks how the area surrounding the Mississippi River can be both a source of healing, and a place in need of healing.
That question — which is really many questions woven together, and still forming — intersects all of our work in different ways. Whether we connect primarily with healing as a process, with place, with the river and water, or with all of these elements, the collaborative deepens our understandings and relationships while furthering the possibilities for creative confluence.