WAKPA at the M: Mona Smith’s Maǧážu (Rain)

Maǧážu (Rain), a video installation commissioned by Public Art Saint Paul for the Wakpa Triennial, will welcome visitors to the M. The purpose of the installation is to introduce visitors to Dakota homeland, to a range of urban Dakota older women and to some Dakota notions of water and relationship to the river.

Maǧážu will be on view in the M’s 350 Robert Street entrance, just inside the doors. Open 10:00 a.m until 4:00 p.m. daily.

Mona Smith, Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota, is a multi-media artist, educator and co-founder of Allies: media/art and the Healing Place Collaborative. Her media work includes art projects for the web (bdemakaska.net, bdotememorymap.org) and multimedia installation work—most notably, the Bde Maka Ska public art collaboration and website in 2020, Cloudy Waters: Dakota Reflections on the River (Minnesota History Center, 2005, and permanent audio installation at the Mill City Museum’s Ruins Courtyard at the Minneapolis Riverfront in 2011, and Science Museum of Minnesota in 2015), the Bdote Memory Map (with the Minnesota Humanities Center), and the multi-media Dakota welcome installation to Hearts of our People: Native Women Artists exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Art in 2019. She has served as consultant for the planning for Indian Mounds Park (sic) and provided video work for the site. She has been part of the Dakota Community Council and is a member of the Native Partnership Council of the Friends of the Falls. She is a member of the PLaCE (Place, Location and Context and Environment) Research Consortium based at the University of West England in Bristol, England, and is a member of the Mapping Spectral Traces International Network. Her artistic and educational work uses image, sound and place to work “between”—the place of healing, of relationship, of meaning where spirit and physical, life and death, fear and strength, night and day intersect.

About WAKPA, presented by Public Art Saint Paul

Public Art Saint Paul (PASP) and its organizational partners present the inaugural Wakpa Triennial Art Festival in the Twin Cities from June 24 to September 16, 2023.  New public space commissions along with gallery, museum, and alternative space projects, exhibitions, performances, and discussion programs feature more than 110 artists in an explosion of creativity across Saint Paul, Minneapolis, and several nearby cities. Ongoing projects and live programs will lead viewers to places they may not have known before or will see anew through the eyes of artists. Projects are mostly free of charge and publicly accessible. PASP and its partners welcome all to visit and participate.

WAKPA means RIVER in Dakota language, a name that recognizes the great rivers that define our lives and landscapes in the Twin Cities, while also acknowledging that the Twin Cities inhabit Dakota land.

Use the Wakpa Triennial website, accessed at publicartstpaul.org/wakpa, for live program information and for the most up-to-date information on artists, projects and events. Some events require registration, and you’ll access that via the website link.