Matthew’s curatorial vision for this series is focused on writings that consider the wildly diverse and contradictory elements at work in contemporary “local practice,” through essays and periodic notebook dispatches that query the place of artists, creative projects, and support structures for such work within the constantly shifting cultural dynamics of rural communities and urban neighborhoods.
This series welcomes reflections from across Minnesota on the contours of these questions. How do artists and culture-bearers address the marginalization of rural and urban communities? What is the role of folkways and everyday culture knowledge in creative practice? Through durational, intercultural, transgenerational work, how can artists refuse the imposed center-periphery binary–and create work unique to the culture and conditions of their locations?
Matthew Fluharty is a writer, researcher, and visual artist based along the Mississippi River in Winona, Minnesota. Through his individual projects, work with M12 Studio, and co-direction of The American Bottom Project, Matthew seeks to create a space for multidisciplinary collaboration and intercultural exchange founded upon deep, long-term engagement with the everyday, living culture of a place. Matthew is the founder and Executive Director of Art of the Rural, a collaborative organization that advances rural culture and quality of life through relationships that connect communities, cultivate dialogue, and forward rural-urban exchange.