|I Live in Minneapolis, acrylic on vinyl|
The other morning when I got to work, it was quiet. The drivers were out picking up people, who now live all over - Columbia Heights, St. Paul. It was the first snow and everyone was late. The old people were afraid to go out, and the drivers had to convince them to come.
I sat with an older Somali woman who was working there that day; she was early, and she was viewing a Webinar to learn Arabic. We watched it together and chatted. I told her, "I'm going to the MIA to meet a group there." I showed her the postcard, below (from the 1930's, but, this view hasn't changed much), and asked, "Do you know this building?" She said, "Yes, I lived on 26th and Stevens for seven years. I've seen and walked past it many times, but have never been inside. I didn't know what was in it." This woman's story is one reason I like bringing groups of people for their first visit to Mia to view art.
been shown to contain an insulin-like protein which lowers blood sugar in people with diabetes.)
My group of E. African elders enjoyed many of the objects on view at MIA that day ~ the carved elephant tusk from Benin, in the African gallery, and the Algerian, whom one gentleman insisted was Sudanese. They liked the Tissot painting in that same gallery, as the three men on camels in the desert reminded them of Somalia. I think their favorite objects were in the Islamic gallery, especially the pages from the Qur'an. All of our guests that day could read Arabic, and, after my brief morning Webinar, I was looking around for letters I could recognize. So, yeah, we were that group, the colorfully dressed older ladies, and me running about, pointing "alif! alif!" - the letter I could identify for certain.
* Somali ->English translations: Faras = horse ; Geel (rhymes with 'well' or more like we-ell') = camel