Featuring Works Progress
Blue Star is pleased to feature artist duo Works Progress as one of three spring exhibitions. In the creation of a site-specific installation, the artists take a "hydrosocial" approach to the nature of water and provide an alternative: Society and water make each other, and this process of co-creation necessarily changes both. The exhibition is a temporary space to experience and inhabit the hydrosocial landscape of San Antonio and South Texas, through installations and a social environment activated by water experts, environmental advocates, social justice activists, and other people who drink water and care about the many issues it touches. Their Anthropocene epoch posts a new relationship with nature, both as a concept and as a set of actual relationships. Water, for example, is central to our future, though we've long kept it separate from society, both literally and conceptually. Additionally, the artists have developed an installation component reflecting on the history of Blue Star's physical building in relation to the installation concepts.
Led by husband-wife Collaborative Directors Colin Kloecker and Shanai Matteson, Works Progress engages an expansive network of artists, designers, organizers, researchers, advocates and other creative people to realize imaginative public art and design projects rooted in place and purpose.
Shanai is a writer, artist and arts organizer who leads and supports collaborative public art and design projects. She's interested in work at the margins of established fields and practices and believes that edges and intersections provide fertile ground for artists and designers to learn and create, with and in a community.
In addition to her role as Collaborative Director of Works Progress Studio, Shanai writes about artists and engagement, produces and directs documentary films, and consults with a wide range of organizations. Shanai is the Artistic Director of Public Art Saint Paul's City Art Collaboratory, a fellowship program for artists and scientists working with and on the Mississippi River and other ecologically-focused public art and engagement projects. In 2013 Shanai was awarded a Bush Fellowship to pursue her artistic and environmental leadership work.
Shanai grew-up in a small town on the Mississippi River in Northern Minnesota, and studied creative writing at the Perpich Center for Arts Education before attending the University of Minnesota for Cultural Studies and History of Science. She spent the first 6 years of her professional career as a Public Program Curator at the Bell Museum of Natural History, where she fell in love with environmental science, systems thinking, and social ecology.
Colin is an artist, designer, and filmmaker who works at the intersection of civic engagement and public art-making. He loves projects that invite participation, inspire new connections, encourage self-reflection, and enable collaborative meaning-making. He believes we can create more resilient, playful, and supportive communities by daylighting and nourishing knowledge and creativity where it already exists.
Colin was a 2011 Fellow in the Creative Community Leadership Institute at Intermedia Arts and was awarded a 2014 Metropolitan Regional Arts Council Next Step grant to make a short film with employees of the Metropolitan Wastewater Treatment Plant in Saint Paul. Every day he strives to see beautiful possibilities in the systems of the city and to make interventions and provocations in our collective civic imagination.
Colin grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he studied visual art at Milwaukee High School for the Arts. He moved to Minneapolis in 2001 to attend the University of Minnesota's College of Design, where he received an undergraduate degree in architecture. After graduating, he worked for 5 years at Cermak Rhoades Architects, a small firm with a focus on affordable and supportive housing in the Twin Cities metropolitan region, one inspiration for his own decision to start a socially-focused studio business.
More at www.worksprogress.org
Exhibition support provided by The Lifshutz Family, City of San Antonio Department for Culture and Creative Development, a grant from the John L. Santikos Charitable Foundation Fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation, the Mary Hobbs Griffith Foundation, Texas Commission on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Silver Eagle Distributors, and Texas Commission on the Arts