Daniel Minter: In the Healing Language of Trees

Daniel Minter
Photo by R Scranton
Photo: R. Scranton

Upcoming Events
Carve a Personal Symbol with Daniel Minter, June 20, 2021

In the Healing Language of Trees brings Daniel Minter to Lynden for six weeks of residencies across two summers to engage the communities we serve in “a natural act of transformation restructured for curing many ills.” Minter’s original idea—to bring his wood-carving skills to bear on the deadly impact of emerald ash borer on our trees—was complicated by the pandemic. Drawing on traditions of the African Diaspora, and invoking axé, the “spiritual force that resides in all living things,” Minter envisions an ash trunk adorned with necklaces of giant, hand-carved wooden beads created in collaboration with community members, including those already engaged in our Call & Response and HOME refugee programming. In 2021, he will install an exhibition, Root Work, as a reference for his activities; site the sculpture; and teach workshops that trace the carving process from linoleum prints, to woodcuts, to relief work and, finally, beads. Minter will train artists and educators to share these skills over the winter in workshops, field trips, school programs, and classes. Minter returns in 2022 for workshops, to share in programming by other Call & Response artists, and to complete and dedicate the sculpture. We will organize a symposium around the project in late 2022.

This project is supported by the Joyce Foundation through a 2021 Joyce Award to Daniel Minter and Lynden Sculpture Garden. More information on the Joyce Awards here: https://www.joycefdn.org/joyce-awards

About the Artist

Daniel Minter is an American artist known for his work in the mediums of painting and assemblage who works in varied media. His overall body of work deals with themes of displacement and diaspora, ordinary/extraordinary blackness; spirituality in the Afro Atlantic world; and the (re)creation of meanings of home. Minter’s work has been featured in numerous institutions and galleries including the Portland Museum of Art, Seattle Art Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, Bates College, University of
Southern Maine, Center for Maine Contemporary Art, The David C. Driskell Center, and the Northwest African American Art Museum. As founding director of Maine Freedom Trails, he has helped highlight the history of the Underground Railroad and the abolitionist movement in New England. In 2018, Minter co-founded the Indigo Arts Alliance, a creative center in the city of Portland, Maine, dedicated to increasing the visibility of, and support for, Black and Brown artists. Indigo is the manifestation of a lifelong dream to create a place where art, ingenuity, social justice, and diasporic collaboration is seeded and nurtured.


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