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Great Lakes Watershed: Art, Ecology, and Community

  • Ox-Bow 3435 Rupprecht Way Saugatuck, MI, 49453 (map)

June 18-July 1, 2 weeks, 3 credit hours

In this integrated seminar/workshop/studio course, students will think about the Great Lakes as a cultural and ecological phenomena that link artists with their communities. Students will explore the ecologies, cultural histories, and lifespan of the Great Lakes to create projects that directly engage a ‘long history’ of the region. Cities situated close to the lakes (Detroit, Chicago, Toronto, Milwaukee) will be possible sites of inquiry in addition to rural and Indigenous territories.  Discussion and presentations will include Indigenous and settler-colonial histories, the legacies of industrialization and de-industrialization, and international borders and commerce, among others. Throughout the course students will explore these dynamic relationships in both individual and collaborative projects. Projects will utilize serigraphy and other low tech printmaking techniques to create artists’ books, zines, mapmaking, and site-specific projects. Collaborative and socially engaged models will be at the core of this experience.



Dylan Miner is a Wiisaakodewinini (Métis) artist, activist, and scholar. He is currently Director of American Indian and Indigenous Studies and Associate Professor at Michigan State University. Miner is also a founding member of the Justseeds artist collective. He holds a PhD from The University of New Mexico and has published extensively. Miner has been featured in more than twenty solo exhibitions and has been artist-in-residence or visiting artist at institutions such as École supérieure des beaux-arts in Nantes, Klondike Institute of Art and Culture, Rabbit Island, Santa Fe Art Institute, SAIC, and numerous universities, art schools, and low-residency MFA programs. His book Creating Aztlán: Chicano Art, Indigenous Sovereignty, and Lowriding Across Turtle Island was published in 2014 by the University of Arizona Press. Miner is currently completing a book on contemporary Indigenous aesthetics and writing his first book of poetry, Ikidowinan Ninandagikendaanan (words I must learn).

Earlier Event: June 18
Blacksmithing: Sculptural Forms
Later Event: June 18
The Thinging Body