Philando Castile remembered in upcoming Mia art exhibit

Philando Castile will be honored in a new Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) exhibition entitled “Art and Healing: In the Moment” starting in June, nearly two years after his fatal shooting in 2016. The exhibit will feature 15 works — including paintings, sculpture, video, posters, and textiles — all by Twin Cities artists.

Philando Castile artwork
Xiaolu Wang,, 2016 Video [still], Runtime 2:09 Music: “Waking Stars” by Kai Engel. Mural photography by Ryan Stopera. Mural organized by Arianna Genis and Ashley Fairbanks. Painted by Jeremiah Bey, Chaka Mkali, Jordan Hamilton, Andres Guzman, Leilani Mendoza, Donald Thomas, Nellie Pierce, Olivia Levins Holden, Lamia Abukhadra, and Alizarin Menninga-Fong.
“Art and Healing: In the Moment” is slated to run from June 17 to July 29, 2018. Special programs for the exhibition will include a talk by Bryan Stevenson, executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative and founder of The Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration and The National Memorial for Peace and Justice; tours exploring objects that address healing; and workshops and discussions around issues of injustice and reconciliation.

Castile, an African American man who grew up in Saint Paul, was fatally shot on July 6, 2016, by a police officer in Falcon Heights after being pulled over in his car. He was 32 years old.

In the months following Castile’s death, artists in the Twin Cities created artwork in response to the tragedy and some of the items were given to the Castile family. Moved by this generosity, the family approached Mia with a desire to share these artworks with the public.

“The work of these artists has made me feel like I’m not alone,” said Valerie Castile, mother of Philando. “There are times when I sit in my living room, grieving, but then I look around and see this art, and I know I’m not the only one affected by Philando’s death. That’s why I wanted this exhibition to happen—it’s about connecting, reaching out, having a conversation.”

Philando Castile artwork
Angie Renee, Why, 2016. Courtesy of Angie Renee

“Art and Healing” is a result of a collaboration with the Castile family, Mia, and an advisory group from the community. The exhibition focuses on the shooting’s impact on artists and examines larger cultural issues of racial equity in America.

“Art is an expression of our shared humanity, and we must protect, nurture, and celebrate the work of artists, even when what they show us is painful,” said Kaywin Feldman, Nivin and Duncan MacMillan director and president at Mia. “I am grateful to the artists and community supporters who have enabled this exhibition to occur at Mia. Our hope is to be ‘the people’s museum,’ and as such, we must represent all of the people, through both joy and suffering.”

Artworks in the exhibition include Sarah White’s video Raising Black Hope (2016), which embodies joy as representative of resilience; Angie Renee’s “Why (2016), a ceramic broken heart; the video by Xiaolu Wang, which traces the creation of a mural born out of resistance to the violence by 12 local artists; and Leon Wang’s poster “Long Live King Philando” (2016).

“We would not have been able to organize this exhibition without the support of our community,” said Nicole Soukup, assistant curator of contemporary art at Mia. “It truly was a collaborative effort as we worked closely with the Castile family and an advisory panel to organize an exhibition we hope engages audiences in a relevant and meaningful way, holds space for our community, and creates opportunities for dialogue.”

The exhibit is free. For more info, call 612-870-3000. Go here to RSVP for the Philando Castile Relief Foundation Art exhibition opening.

—Information provided by Mia.