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Perceiving Places: Through Our Tenderness by Roshan Ganu

Opening Reception: Saturday, February 15, 2020 6pm – 9pm

Show Runs: February 15 - March 12, 2020.  Join us for a conversation with Roshan Ganu and Esther Callahan on Sunday March 1st at 1:30pm.


This exhibition is in honor of SooVAC's founder Suzy Greenberg and her commitment in supporting the Master of Fine Arts program at MCAD.  Roshan Ganu was selected for this exhibition by curator Esther Callahan. 


Perceiving Places: Through Our Tenderness, is an exploration of a question “Who are you?”, a question that Roshan Ganu asks of herself and others.  The ability of our mind to get displaced and subsequently adapt to our fast changing world, is a unique one. Roshan’s work finds itself at the intersection of humanity and our fast-paced world, trying to find answers to our human condition, while touching upon two crucial parts of our human experience: the ability to imagine and to feel.


By projecting her interpretations onto handmade, imperfect miniatures, Roshan encourages the viewer to imagine and associate what they see with how they feel. She fabricates small things that evoke specific memories of places that she has been and the people she encounters, touching base with past experiences and memory. Ironically, people are often absent from her work, through which she recalls a sense of isolation and self-awareness within the viewer’s own mental and physical space. Through the assimilation of smells and sounds, Roshan transforms the miniature into an experience that time travels through the viewer’s past, present and future simultaneously. It is in this experiential space of vulnerability that she places hers work.


Roshan Ganu not only reinterprets found objects, she owns them. Just as we often do when confronted with a changed environment and new spaces in the world. Fabric, wool, paper mâché, styrofoam and almost anything one finds in everyday life become a part of her work. While they induce movement and add a layer of experience to the dominant narrative in the work, they also evoke a whimsicality that relates to the displaced nature of our memories and our constant pursuit to sharpen them. We are forever in search of something. For some it is the feeling of home, for some it is the quest of identity, for some it is securing a place in the future, while for others it is chasing nostalgia. Roshan is a fellow voyageur in these numerous pursuits, she converses with the human condition of the viewer while searching for her own answers in vulnerable spaces.


Roshan Ganu is a storyteller who chooses 2D and 3D illustration to address the mundane lives we lead. She is an MFA candidate at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (expected 2020) where she was awarded the MFA Trustees Scholarship. Prior to her MFA, Roshan was awarded her MA in French where her thesis investigated contemporary French comics for pre-adolescent children as a way of understanding French contemporary society. She has also published a paper on the same topic. Roshan has worked and traveled within France as a teaching assistant and holds a BA in Journalism and Communication. With her background in writing, Roshan works within the fields of illustration, sculpture and text in an interdisciplinary manner. She recently returned from a residency in Park Rapids in rural Minnesota, where she documented the idea of “extreme winter” through contemplative texts based on sounds, smells and on-site illustrations. She has exhibited her illustration work at Solid State records and at the Women Who Influence Conference in Minneapolis. 

Esther Callahan is a Curatorial Affairs Fellow at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia). In her work at Mia she demonstrates measurable impact on the development of Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA) work affecting professional exchanges internally and externally. She is contributing to the museum field through gender and racial equity research around inclusive and thoughtful data collection. She is co-curator of the 2019 Mapping Black Identities and Mapping Black Identities: 3 Films exhibitions and co-founder of the Curatorial Advisory Committee at Mia. She was an Assistant Editor for a 2019 anthology titled: Out of the Shadows: Power, Pride, and Perseverance at a Northern Community College. She took an nontraditional path to museum work and holds a BA in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies with a minor in Social Justice Leadership from the University of Minnesota, which helps her bring a different, yet dynamic and essential perspective on museum work.


SooVAC founder, Suzy Greenberg, herself an alumna of the program, began featuring MCAD MFA candidates annually when she opened SooVAC in 2001. We are pleased to continue Suzy's tradition of working with students, presenting them with the opportunity to present their work in a professional exhibition space and gain experience to prepare them for their careers outside of school.

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