This past week and going into Thursday August 20, area residents have been descending upon the Yes House in Granite Falls Minnesota as part of Gallery Walk highlighting the works of Fern Cloud, Talon Cavender-Wilson, and Lisa Nez.

The Department of Public Transformation (DoPT), Dakota Wicohan, and Racing Magpie collaborated to co-design the Dakota Community Artist-in-Residence (CAIR) program -- a pilot project supporting artist-led solutions to community challenges impacting the Upper and Lower Sioux Communities during the COVID-19 crisis. For the pilot Dakota CAIR program, three Dakota artists based in the 18-county Southwestern Mnisota region, Pezihutazizi Oyate (Upper Sioux Community) and Cansa’yapi (Lower Sioux Indian Community) were selected to work for two weeks “at-home” to utilize their artistic practice to design and implement a creative project addressing the impacts of COVID-19 on their community.

Local artists Fern Cloud, Talon Cavender-Wilson, and Lisa Nez participated in a two-week "at-home" artist residency hosted by the Department of Public Transformation, Racing Magpie and Dakota Wicohan, with the goal of creating new works addressing the impacts of COVID-19 on their communities. Each artist used their unique art form to create an original work of art exploring themes of kinship, isolation, racism, tradition, and systemic inequities that have been amplified as a result of the pandemic.

Dakota CAIR artworks will be on display at The YES House (located at 726 Prentice St., Granite Falls, MN) from August 15th-20th from 4:00-6:30pm. The public is invited to drop-in during open hours to experience the artists' work in-person. The gallery walk experience will be limited to one household at a time; masks and safe social distancing will be required, as these pieces are meant to be experienced in quiet reflection of the times we are in. There is no cost to attend.

This project was co-designed by Dakota Wicohan, Racing Magpie, and the Department of Public Transformation, with support from the Southwest Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnership (SWRSDP) and with a grant from the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council made possible by the voters of Minnesota, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Dakota CAIR is presented by the Department of Public Transformation, Racing Magpie and Dakota Wicohan with support from Southwest Minnesota Arts Council and Southwest Regional Sustainable Development Partnership. And, in partnership with Pioneer PBS.