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Artist Statement:  I am exploring the intersections of nature/identity/culture through the forms of water and watercraft as they represent historical and cultural identity, especially connected to ancestry and immigration, in part to complicate and situate whiteness as an identity. My recent work examines our ancestors’ relationship to water through forms related to the ships that carried them as immigrants, settlers, slaves, exiles, voyageur, colonists, and refugees. Watercraft are unique objects that reflect cultures and their engagement with water and the natural world. I appreciate the construction of these forms as metaphors for the construction of our identities across time, geographies, and stories.

Artist Bio:  I know the power of art to make space for difficult conversations, clarify community priorities, promote dialogue, even heal. I appreciate the tensions between politics and aesthetics, where education and creation come together, and where transformation is possible. I am committed to authentic community-engagement founded on storytelling. I encourage my art audience to move from story to understanding through the social and physical sciences, then to personal and social reflection through normative analysis and critical questions. I strive to create art that promotes action on the pressing social and environmental issues of our day. I painted collaborative community murals for many years and have more recently shifted to public sculpture employing simple and often reclaimed materials of wood, metal, and glass that recall natural forms and address our relationship with the natural world and each other.

Mike Klein's sculptures will be on display at the Old Swedish Bank Building:

To learn more about Mike Klein's work, go to:

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