Artist-In-Residence Makes Caring Gestures Visible

Visitors can watch the exhibition unfold in MCBA’s Outlook Gallery on January 13 & 14 from 10am–5pm.

Minnesota Center for Book Arts is pleased to welcome back Kansas-based visual artist and professor Dr. Rachel Epp Buller for the closing weekend of her fabric installation, In/Visible Care.

Over the course of the exhibition, which opened October 14 and closes January 14, Buller collected answers to the prompt, “Can you remember a time when you felt genuinely cared for by another person?” She then sits quietly in the gallery and stitches key phrases or details onto tea towels, such as “For 12 years she listened” and “She always cut the toast on the diagonal.” Buller calls these “stories of care.”

 “The stories that people share for the project show such a broad understanding of what it means to feel cared for,” says Buller. These snippets can range from commonly held gestures of care in the home and family to the surprising actions of strangers. “Embroidering someone’s words for an extended period allows me to pay close attention to their stories, listening for the nuances in these gestures of care and in the ways they’re remembered.”

The Outlook Gallery where Buller will take up residence on Friday, January 13 and Saturday, January 14 is a unique windowed space that is visible to pedestrians and motorists on Washington Avenue; visitors can also step inside the gallery, which is accessible through the Shop at MCBA.

As a professor of Visual Arts and Design at Bethel College in Kansas and a mother of three, Buller often focuses on the maternal body and feminist care in contemporary art contexts. Her project of taking care and listening through words and embroidery launched in 2018 in Berlin and has since been exhibited in London, Rotterdam, and at Mass MoCA. She is a two-time Fulbright Scholar, a board member of the National Women’s Caucus for Art (US), a regional coordinator of The Feminist Art Project (international), and a certified practitioner in Deep Listening.

The public is encouraged to continue sharing “stories of care” for the project before its closing weekend. Participants may submit stories to the Shop at MCBA (either in person or via mail at 1011 S. Washington Avenue, Suite 100, Minneapolis MN 55415), or online via this Google Form.