Kate and I spent the evening at Northland Country Club for the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial fundraising event. The annual dinner, Honoring the Past, Building the Future, honored artist and photographer Wing Young Huie. Born to Chinese immigrant parents in Duluth,he has exhibited nationally and internationally and is recognized for his large-scale public installations, including Frogtown (1995), Lake Street USA (2000), and The University Avenue Project (2010). (To learn more about Huie and his work, please visit: www.wingyounghuie.com. You can also find him at his gallery, The Third Place, which opened in 2012 on the corner of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue in South Minneapolis.)
I am always uncomfortable in these spaces — prior to becoming a university professor, the closest me or my family might have ever come to being welcome in these places would have been as kitchen staff. I can’t lose the anxiety that someone is gong to catch me and ask me to leave.
I’m glad I stayed. The night was fun, the presentation by WYH was awesome. The song by Rachel Kilgour had a certain protest vibe that didn’t work for me but set others at my table alight. And while I may not have been the ideal audience at this event, hopefully others were energized and excited for the work of CJMM.
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