at The Grand Center for Arts & Culture
We love our historic building and would love to give you a tour! Call or stop in to schedule a tour of our spaces during regular operating hours: Tuesdays – Saturdays | 11am – 4pm.
A handicap accessible entrance is located in the rear of the building.
210 North Minnesota St, New Ulm, MN
Artwork in the Grand
"Self-Reflection" by Bridget Gusso
I had initially planned a different design for this oven project. However, in June (also Pride month) of 2019, one week before my start of this project, I heard a news story that U.S. embassies were denied permission to fly the LGBTQIA+ pride flag on their embassy flag poles. I was brought to a breaking point by the inappropriate comments coming from then President Donald Trump around this situation. I felt so frustrated and devastated by this feeling that our society was going backwards on basic human rights and human dignity that I decided to change my design to something that would represent silenced communities in the US such as people of color, especially women of color, and the LGBTQIA+ community. My images were inspired by one of my favorite artists, Breanna McCarthy. She creates these beautiful paper collages called “Paper Queens,” inspired by her Afro-Caribbean roots. They are vibrant, full of pattern and color, and absolutely breathtaking to me! We live in a community that is predominantly white and I felt it important to choose women we don’t see much of in our everyday lives and incorporate different flags that represent people of the LGBTQIA+ community, because they are also a part of our community here. I especially find this important for LGBTQIA+ youth in our town to know that they are seen, heard, supported, and beautiful just as they are and were meant to be! I can only imagine how isolating a LGBTQIA+ youth would feel in a small community that doesn’t always reflect open-mindedness or inclusivity. The background of this piece is covered in mirrors. When you are looking at these beautiful women, who do not look like most of us in this community, you cannot help but see yourself at the same time. This is a way for us to visualize empathy. I believe empathy is one of the greatest qualities any of us can possess! In a world that has become so divided over these past five years, we need to be able to see ourselves in others! It’s what allows us to have compassion for one another! The title is two-fold: it is a reminder to try to see yourself with and in others, especially if you can’t get past the implicit bias some associate with particular physical differences. This piece is asking you to do some self-reflection! None of us choses our pigments or our parts. We ALL have the right to be treated with human decency, and we have the same basic human rights! The choice we do have is our character! Please choose to see yourself in others and fight for inclusion, equality, and basic human rights!