MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - A new exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Art showcases the work of a Black Minnesotan artist.
Set one foot inside the latest exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Art and you take a step back in time.
"It’s inspired by both of my grandmothers’ living rooms. I took inspiration from both of them," says Jovan C. Speller, the artist behind the work. It's a display of the Black experience through her lens, and for an emerging artist, this is a big stage.
"It’s a moment in my career I feel, and it’s a moment for the work as well," says Speller.
Jovan C. Speller is the artist behind the project. (FOX 9)
Titled "Nurturing, and Other Rituals of Protection," the exhibit incorporates sound and photographs to tell a story of fear and hope.
"Nurturing feels like taking care of each other, taking care of the community. And finding ways to feel and embody protection. Especially for Black people and Black culture," says Speller.
From the fireplace to family photos and music, for Speller, it's home. She says, "I was really trying to conceptualize like what does it feel like to feel safe and to feel protection -- like what are those spaces?"
Using the home as a grounding space, as visitors walk through the gallery, Speller's photographs tell a different story. "This is more the now and the future and I wanted to kind of create what I call scenarios of protection with each photograph," says Speller.
A series of photographs that she says represents gestures of love. "We often don’t feel seen, comfortable, comforted," Speller explains. "I feel that our humanity is so often forgotten and fear comes first."
And it's in the art that she sees hope. "I hope that I can contribute to the conversations already taking place. I hope that the work inspires people to think about what’s possible within our communities. The care that we can have for each other," says Speller.
Speller is part of Mia's MAEP program which is dedicated to supporting artists living and working in Minnesota. It's one of the longest-running programs of its kind in the country. The exhibit runs until the end of June.
For more information on the exhibit, you can click here.