Mississippi River Stories
Mississippi River Stories brings to life our diverse experiences of the Mississippi River through the translation of student research into art.
Mississippi River Stories features a collection of pieces from sixteen artists. Each piece is inspired by river stories collected by University of St. Thomas Society and Sustainability (Fall 2019) students in collaboration with the Sustainable Communities Partnership, the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization, and the Natural Heritage Project.
View the pieces and read the river stories that inspired the work.
Learn about the unique Mississippi River Stories research patnership.
April 18 - June 6, 2022
Mississippi Watershed Management Organization's Stormwater Learning Center
2522 Marshall St. NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418
Mississippi River Stories Open House
Saturday, April 23, 1-3pm
Meet the artists and learn about the University of St. Thomas student research that inspired the artwork.
Light refreshments provided.
Mississippi Watershed Management Organization
2522 Marshall St., NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418
About the Exhibit
University of St. Thomas students in Society and Sustainability (Fall 2019) collaborated with the St. Thomas Sustainable Communities Partnership (SCP), the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization, and the Natural Heritage Project to learn about people’s experiences of the Mississippi River and why the river is important to them. Students collected community members’ river stories through a unique apporach: the Elm Tree Story Booth. The Elm Tree Story Booth traveled to different locations in the Twin Cities to hear from diverse voices.
Translating Research to Art
- Mississippi River Stories features a collection of artwork by fifteen different artists. Each artist received a river story collected through the Elm Tree Story Booth to inspire their creation of artwork. View the gallery and read the river stories that inspired the artwork.
Laura Ahola-Young, Jason Arney-O’Neil, Barbara Bridges, Amy Clark, Mark Cosimini, Wynn Davis, Sharon DeMark, MaryBeth Garrigan, Jerry Allen Gilmore, Stefanie Kiihn, Mike Klein, Kristin Maija Peterson, Joan Porter-Einsman, Ric Rosow, and Beatriz Sanchez.
- Through the SCP Arts program, University of St.Thomas students in Society and Sustainability (Fall 2019) collaborated with SCP Artist-in-Residence, Sarah Nelson, to communicate their research findings about people’s experiences of the Mississippi River into art. Through an iterative process of conversation and revision, students and Sarah co-envisioned a digital illustration, drawn by Sarah, to translate patterns students found in their research into visual art.
This illustration communicates students’ research findings about patterns of perspective and relationship in people’s stories.
The illustration conveys the three primary perspectives respondents described and the different relationship these perspectives evoked:
- through a window, as an onlooker from afar;
- walking or biking along the river trails, experiencing aesthetics and connection;
- and a close interaction, exploring the shores and waters of the river, often as a transformative experience.
Respondents who described a close interaction were also more likely to describe a tension of pollution and beauty.
The research findings will also inform the design of MWMO's public outreach programs.
For questions about this exhibit, please contact Dr. Maria Dahmus, Director, Sustainable Communities Partnership and course instructor for ENVR 212, Fall 2019.
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