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Inhabitants by Areca Roe

Opening Reception Saturday, April 23, 2022, from 6-9PM

Exhibition Runs: April 23 – May 22, 2022

Inhabitants by Areca Roe centers around the interface between ecological and human domains. With this exhibition, Roe will weave together three bodies of work, using large-scale photographic prints, lenticular (3D) photographs, and video to explore how we try to forge a relationship with nature while acknowledging our limitations in pursuit of those connections. 


Ghosts is a playful series presenting various landscapes and biomes with an interloping presence. In part, the ghosts are household bedsheets that interlace with the landscape, hinting at the domestic. They might be ghosts of the biome itself, plants, and trees; on the other hand, the figures could represent an animal or human inhabitants.


The series Terrestrial consists of lenticular 3D photographs that focus on trees and plants native to Minnesota, such as Tamarack, Pin Oak, Sumac, and Common Milkweed. These are juxtaposed with human figures and floral-patterned backgrounds. As biomes shift due to climate change, the locations these plants can survive are also shifting. Terrestrial reveres the form of its subjects, but it also references human interdependence and misguided attempts to connect to the landscape. The three-dimensional layered interaction between the figure, the plants, and the nature emulating backgrounds refer to these shifting relationships. 


Transect is a 360° video Roe captured during an artist residency at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve in Minnesota. In the video, figures (Roe and her family) use marking flags and tapes to interact with the landscape. The flattened 360° orbs distort their motions as well as their surroundings. The colorful flags and tapes are used in ecological research to mark a sampled or studied path, a transect. Here they are used almost ritualistically, in an incorrect and distorted manner, as an exploration of making marks and manipulating our ecological environment.


Areca Roe is an artist based in Mankato and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Roe received her MFA in Studio Arts, with an emphasis in photography, from the University of Minnesota in 2011. She works in many media, primarily photography as well as video, sculpture, and installation. Her past exhibitions are numerous, both national and international, and since 2015 she has been a member of Rosalux Gallery, an artist collective in Minneapolis. Roe has also received several grants and fellowships supporting her work, including the Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant and the Art(ists) on the Verge Fellowship. Her work appears on several websites, including Colossal, Slate, Juxtapoz, WIRED, National Geographic, and Fast Company; and in print magazines, Der Spiegel Wissen magazine and Le Monde. Roe is also an Associate Professor of photography and video at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her work recently became part of the permanent collection at the Minnesota Museum of American Art through a purchase award.

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