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The Audacity to be Asian in Rural America: We Owe You No Apologies

Nancy X Valentine Art

Nancy X Valentine cultivates cultural understanding and human connections thru art.

The series was created in May of 2021… this series was really it was a lifetime of creating, but this was the moment that really activated it in me…it had also been just a couple of months after the shootings in Atlanta, of the eight women - six of whom were Asian - I didn't see much of a response in my community and even in the safe spaces that I went to to seek comfort or just talk to people, my comments were minimized or I just didn't find much kinship there…And so I thought, what can I do? Well, I'm an artist so I'm going to create this series...I'm going to invite people to have these conversations. - Nancy X Valentine

Nancy X Valentine grew up in Fergus Falls, MN after her American father, Chinese mother, and brother moved from China to the United States while she was in utero. Her exhibit the Audacity to be Asian in Rural America: We Owe You No Apologies will be at the MacRostie Art Center in Grand Rapids, MN until the end of May. Learn about the show, inspirations, symbolism, process, and how it’s affected gallery visitors in this Area Voices!

...it's been kind of overwhelming…I've been really touched by the tender stories that I've heard because I think every time I share or when people see the work and then I give context to it, it reminds them of stories in their own lives, and they end up sharing those with me. And it just feels like such a beautiful, kinship filled moment… I think there's a lot of people that can relate to understandings of familial expectations or internal conflicts between what the world wants and what you want or grief and sorrow or leaving something behind for something better. I just feel like those are some of the things that connect us… So it's like I share these stories in this art, and then they in return, share. - Nancy X Valentine

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Katie Carter started at Northern Community Radio in 2008 as Managing Editor of the station's grant-funded, online news experiment Northern Community Internet. Since 2016, she's produced Area Voices showcasing the arts, culture, and history stories of northern Minnesota. She's our local host of NPR's All Things Considered and CBC's As It Happens every weekday from 4-7pm.