Exhibit: Feb. 6-22; Reception: Sat., Feb. 8, 3-5 p.m.
by JENAE CAREY, CSU Public Relations Intern
“Thoughts and Prayers”, a new art exhibit by Gregory Wilkins, Associate Director of Student Activities at Minnesota State University, Mankato, shines a spotlight on gun violence and social justice.
The exhibit in downtown Mankato at the Carnegie Art Center opens Feb. 6 and runs through Feb 22. On Saturday, Feb. 8, a reception with Wilkins will be from 3 to 5 p.m.
Wilkins’ exhibit consists of various captivating pieces of original art, including the piece named after the collection itself, “Thoughts & Prayers.” The hand-stitched piece, made out of flexible screening material, showcases national data about gun violence spanning from 1982 until December 2019.
“What can I create in order for people to critically think about these issues, while encouraging them to think about their own privilege and how they might be able to affect change?”GREGORY WILKINS, Associate Director of Student Activities
There is a variety of interactive pieces in this collection, including a graffitied image of President Donald Trump, where the audience can write their thoughts about him with a black marker on the piece itself.
The issues Wilkins’ art addresses hits home for many. After spending over a year and a half working on these pieces, he admits it could be a bit emotionally draining, but wants his pieces to be focused on how we can positively affect change.
“For me, its about reflecting on my own power and my own privilege.”GREGORY WILKINS
After completing a degree with three majors and an art minor at Warren Wilson College, Wilkins was given the opportunity to work in Washington D.C. at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, where he got to further his passion.
Wilkins has always practiced art in some form, but once he moved to Minnesota in 2009, he took his passion to the next level by being involved in many solo and group shows. Although Wilkins has been apart of many art exhibits, this is his first solo show in Mankato.
Thursdays 1-7 p.m.
Fridays 1-4 p.m.
Saturdays 11 a.m.-5 p.m.