The M Blog

The M Blog is an online space for us and for you — artists, museum staff and curators, guest writers, and community contributors — to discuss issues and ideas related to the many experiences of being American today.

Artist Takeover: Rebekah Crisanta de Ybarra

In addition to studio art classes, community convenings, and drop-in art-making, the M’s new Josephine Adele Ford Center for Creativity will be home to rotating Artist Takoevers, empowering artists of all disciplines to shape the M’s learning spaces as makers, teacher, and creative catalysts. Through December, Rebekah Crisanta de Ybarra will lead the M’s first Artist Takeover and be involved in both class instruction and her own art-making on-site, working in Latinx and Indigenous art forms. Crisanta de Ybarra’s practice includes paper-cutting, print-making, weaving, storytelling, dance, performance art, and music. Whatever her chosen art form, community engagement and hosting people is a continuous thread.

When asked about what this residency means for her own artistic process, she says: “I love the idea of being in a kind of glass house. I’m eager to invite the community to come into my studio at the M. But I’m also really looking forward to having this month-long peroid of intensive studio time, where I can really dive deeply into my work.”

Rebekah Crisanta de Ybarra performing as Lady Xok. Photo by Shine On Photography, courtesy of the artist.

She describes the Artist Takeover as a rare opportunity to focus on her process, rather than end results, and to bring intersection identity to the fore in her exploration of American experience. Additionally, she says, “I’m also looking forward to our classes in folk art forms not usually recognized as being American art traditions: workshops about making pre-Columbian ceramic flutes, and classes in papel picado (Mexican paper-cutting).”

“The American story is a story, first, of indigenous people,” Crisanta de Ybarra says. “They’re the original people of this land. I can trace so much of what I do to what has been done by historical artists in my ancestral community, even though I may be working in contemporary ways.”

We’re excited to share a variety of ways for visitors to engage with notable artists, like Crisanta de Ybarra, and to learn more about their practice and creative process. The M’s Artist Takeover program offers a unique opportunity, both to support artists and to bring new avenues for hands-on learning, conversation, and creative experiences into the M.

Rebekah Crisanta de Ybarra has presented work locally at Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, Penumbra Theatre, Artista Bottega, and Ordway Center for Performing Arts. In spring 2018, her textiles were exhibited at Miikanan Gallery (Bemidji, MN). She has also curated exhibitions at Electric Machete Studios and Intermedia Arts. As Lady Xok, she is currently working on her first album with a Next Steap Fund grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council.

December 2 – 21

Rebekah Crisanta de Ybarra will set up shop in the Center for Creativity’s Securian Classroom in December. She’ll teach a studio class in papel picado (Mexican paper-cutting) and delve into her own practice in Latinx and Indigenous art forms. Stop by for a chat when you visit the M!