In preparation for an exhibition in 2023, Matthew Fluharty will spend the next two years researching the cultural and economic divides between urban and rural communities and their impact on art production. The collaboratively-curated exhibition “High Visibility: On Location in Rural America and Indian Country”, at Plains Art Museum in Fargo, North Dakota, for which Fluharty served as organizing curator, addresses this topic with a grounding in the Upper Midwest and an attention to regional exchange across these conditions. Fluharty is now continuing his attention toward how contemporary visual art and socially-engaged practice in rural and Indigenous communities can create the conditions for intercultural, multidisciplinary, and intergenerational knowledge and exchange. As this work proceeds, its focus will also expand its attention to further regions of the continent, with a particular emphasis on the South and the Mississippi River region. Both in person and through online conversations, he will visit formal and informal institutions and cultural centers and interview key staff members as well as many of the artists they work with. Pervasive and longstanding social and cultural divides, alongside the presence of the pandemic, express themselves with difference across rural and Indian Country; this curatorial research fellowship enables Fluharty to meet with artists, organizations, and writers and to lean into sharing work, practices, and storytelling that examines the rural dimensions of the larger, national conversation on equity, visibility, and representation. This fellowship will also support the identification of authors for commissioned essays on these related topics, alongside support for artists’ time and contributions, the whole of which will also be gathered through a website, podcast, and newspaper publication series distributed across the field.
“Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art”
Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again)