New History Center exhibit features faces, places from Minnesota’s past and present – WCCO

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (WCCO) – There’s a new place to go starting this weekend to better try and understand Minnesota’s history – the good and the bad.

It’s a one-of-a-kind exhibit at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul.

READ MORE: St. Cloud authorities report increase in fentanyl overdoses

Sure, it’s a museum, but it might as well be a library, because it’s full of story after story after story.

The newest exhibit is called Art Speaks, and it’s an expression of the work of Brian Szatt.

“The opportunity to do a great exhibition like this was really a once in a lifetime or career opportunity for me,” said Szatt, the museum’s art curator.

It’s tucked away in the History Center, but unlike other exhibits, this one is made up entirely of visual art, created by hand by Minnesotans.

“We can use an artwork as a window into a whole variety of subjects, so we can talk about the individuals depicted or the landscapes depicted, whether it’s Lake Superior or St. Antoine Falls,” Szatt said. “And we think Minnesotans resonate with this work because they know it themselves. We believe that art here can tell a bigger story, or a more meaningful story for Minnesotans.

The exhibition has four sections, the first of which presents portraits.

Among the portraits: Barbara Cyrus, longtime columnist for the Spokesman-Recorder, and legendary Vikings coach Bud Grant.

READ MORE: MN Weather: Multiple Chances of Light Snow This Week

The next section is full of landscapes past and present.

The exhibit features works by a wide variety of artists, including an African-American artist who played minor league baseball and later worked as a butler. One of the largest pieces is of an immigrant from Vietnam.

“They don’t have to be a famous artist or a high-profile artist, they could be an artist who was maybe an amateur during their lifetime,” Szatt said.

Next is the vocals section, which includes everything from a powerful piece depicting 38 Indigenous lives lost in brutal murder to modern reminders of pain, like the pandemic.

Some lighter art is found in the final abstract section.

(credit: CBS)

“Minnesotans are many things, and one of them is that we have a sense of humor, and you will see that in this work. The work can be playful, whimsical, but also very serious subjects are addressed here,” Szatt said.

It’s a collage of art, a collage of stories, depicting a collage of people.

NO MORE NEWS: Sheriff: 20-year-old woman killed in southern Minnesota home explosion

The exhibit is now open in downtown St. Paul and will run through July.

Comments are closed.