The Lunder Institute for American Art was pleased to host Daniel Minter as a Visiting Artist for Spring 2020.
Minter is an American artist working primarily in painting and assemblage, creating an oeuvre that often deals with themes of displacement and diaspora, spirituality in the African American world, and meanings of home. For the past 15 years, Minter has raised awareness of the forced removal in 1911 of an interracial community on Maine’s Malaga Island. His formative work on the subject of Malaga evokes conversation, dialogue, and spawns community building, all around discussions about race, geography, loss, and dislocation. Minter’s multi-series of paintings and sculptural assemblage emerges from his engagement with the island, its descendants, archaeologists, anthropologists, and scholars. His dedication to amplifying the history of Malaga was pivotal in the process of designating the island as a public preserve. Such a classification put into motion an official apology from the State of Maine.
As founding director of the Maine Freedom Trails, Minter has likewise helped to highlight the history of the Underground Railroad and the abolitionist movement in the region. He has also sought to revive the Abyssinian Meeting House, organizing an exhibition of artists of color in what is the third-oldest African American meeting house in the United States. In 2004 and 2011, Minter was commissioned by the United States Postal Service to design Kwanzaa stamps.
Minter’s work has enjoyed national and international exhibition, being shown at venues such as the Seattle Art Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, Bates College, Hammonds House Museum, Northwest African American Art Museum, Museu Jorge Amado, and the Meridian International Center. He lived in Chicago and Brooklyn before moving to Portland, where he now resides with his wife, Marcia. Together, they are the co-founders and creative visionaries of Indigo Arts Alliance, a non-profit organization whose mission is to cultivate the artistic development of people of African descent.
Minter engaged with students in two courses: “African American Culture in the United States,” taught by Dr. Cheryl Townsend Gilkes, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor of Sociology and African American Studies, and “The Afro-Americas: Race, Power, and Subjectivity,” taught by Dr. Nicolas Ramos Flores, Assistant Professor of Spanish.
Header Image: Daniel Minter, Water Path, Empathy of Tides (detail), 39”x51” Acrylic on wood Panel.