This week’s edition covers stories from January 5th to January 11th, 2023. Today’s issue is 517 words, a 4–minute read.
Helene talks about Pao Houa Her’s photography exhibition, That’s Badass wood art, and Mosaic on a Stick
May Lee-Yang with the Sahan Journal wrote about Pao Houa Her’s show at the Walker as it enters its final weeks on display. The exhibit looks deeply at the growing population of Hmong farmers in the Mount Shasta area in California who are using their knowledge of highland agriculture to cultivate cannabis. The exhibition is titled Paj qaum ntuj (pronounced “paah kohm duu”) and translates to “Flowers of the Sky”. Here’s part of the statement on the exhibit from the Walker:
“Conceived as a multipart installation, the exhibition includes a series of new large-scale light boxes featuring images of Mount Shasta’s stark landscape. The display of these works mimics strategies of advertising and communicates the luminous allure of a promised land.”
She’s said that she’s transitioning away from trying to sell her work as “universal”, and moving towards presenting her work for what it is: for Hmong people, unapologetically. With that said, though, the work is moving and is absolutely worthwhile to see. Do check it out at the Walker! You’ve got until January 22nd.
A few days ago, Nyabang (remember her from last week?) shared this story with me. That’s Badass Wood Art is the name of Luis Jaime’s wood artwork business, where he uses his woodworking talents to shape and stain wood into intricate custom designs. His social media has gotten a lot of celebrity attention, and he’s made several pieces for local star athletes. He’s especially proud of knowing that when people see or receive his artwork, they can feel the time that went into it and appreciate the artistry of the handmade works. He’s open for commissions, so if you like what you see you can get in touch with him here!
To round us off this week, I’ve got some more local art for you all. Mosaic on a Stick, a Black, Indigenous, and woman-owned business is working to promote and make mosaic art accessible. They sell supplies, teach classes, and create public, private, and commercial commissions. They’re responsible for the mosaic installment to honor survivors of sexual assault on Boom Island park, a memorial for which they created ornate mosaic pillars celebrating healing and community. And there’s lots of other works of their art in and around the Twin Cities if you know where to look! Love of community comes through in all of their work and in their mission, and I know I’ll be trying to spend an afternoon in their studio one of these days.
That’s all from me this week, friends. Happy Thursday!