Anoka-Ramsey Community College Art instructors, Rachel Breen and Aaron Dysart, and one Art lab assistant, Jes Lee Shimek, each of whom who have been awarded a Minnesota State Arts Board grant, each for $10,000.
Breen and Dysart received the MSAB grant in visual arts. Lee received a MSAB grant in photography.
As part of the selection process, each artist outlined what they would do with the grant.
Rachel B. Breen
Breen will create a series of temporary art installations in eight to 10 public locations. When on site, she will sew clothing typically worn by garment workers in Bangladesh that is embellished with information about garment factories. She will also interact with the public about fair and safe working conditions for these garment workers.
To conduct research, Breen traveled to Bangladesh during her sabbatical in 2015, meeting with survivors of the Rana Plaza Factory collapse, garment industry workers and labor union organizers. Her initial response to this research was a series of garment supply chain maps made with fabric scraps collected outside garment factories in Bangladesh.
With the MSAB grant Breen will make art in public so that the act itself becomes a symbol of solidarity and reciprocity with garment workers. This project will help her advance the way her making process creates meaning and help her develop strategies for connecting art and public engagement. To see Breen’s previous work, visit www.rachelbreenart.com
Aaron J. Dysart
Dysart will create Latitude, an installation that uses computer controlled theatrical floodlights to represent the movement of carbon between the atmosphere and ecosystems at different latitudes. The work will be displayed at Franconia Sculpture Park’s Casket Arts Gallery in Minneapolis. To see Dysart’s previous work, visit www.aarondysart.com
Lee will create a new body of work in photogravure for exhibition during Art Attack in Minneapolis. The artist will also host a public panel discussion about the photogravure process at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts.
The new series of photographs will focus on man-made development within wide range of landscapes, from remote nature to urban areas, and search out traces of human reside. The marks left behind may be subtle and intimate or large and leave a profound impact on the land.
These traces evoke memory and history, leaving the photograph viewer to wonder and explore their own past. The layering of images throughout Lee’s work explores the passage of time and the peeling back of man-made development, illustrating how time overlaps.
Lee will print this series through a process called Photogravure. Based on a historic process, it involves creating hard plates etched with a photographic image that are inked and printed by hand.
“This is a new direction for my work,” said Lee. “Typically my work involves more color and layering in digital photography programs. Being awarded this grant will allow me to explore. It is a rare opportunity to receive funding to create a project you have been dreaming about and I am honored and humbled.”
Lee is an alumnus of Anoka-Ramsey, receiving her Associate in Arts degree in 2001. She went on to the University of Minnesota to graduate with her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2001. To see Lee’s previous work, visit www.jesleestudios.com
For more information about Anoka-Ramsey’s Art Department and their talented faculty, visit Anokaramsey.edu/academics/departments-faculty/art/