Notes from New York Mills, MN, 2014

For two months I lived in New York Mills, a tiny rural town in west-central Minnesota, as an artist-in- residence with the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center. During my time there, I researched local history and geography, took notes of conversations I had with locals, studied maps of the region, and sketched the symbolic objects that filled the humble house I dwelled in. As I produced these notes and sketches, I chose the most striking stories and images and recreated them in a series of finished drawings. On one level, these works reflect the idiosyncrasies of Scandinavian-American culture in rural Minnesota and my own curious interactions with the locals in New Yorks Mills. On a secondary level, however, the drawings confront the viewer with the illusion inherent to all forms of visual representation. There is a quiet humor in the notes and sketches, with added absurdity resulting from the multi-step technical process of drawing pieces of paper.