Panel Talk: 2021 McKnight Book Artist Fellows

Target Performance Hall
(located on 2nd floor of Open Book building)
Saturday, June 4, 2022
Reception: 4–5pm
Free and open to the public

We invite you to join us for a public artist panel featuring our two 2021 McKnight Book Artist Fellows, papermaker Mary Hark and papercut artist Sonja Peterson, in conversation with Mary Savig, a curator visiting from the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery. Following brief visual presentations, each fellow will converse separately with Mary Savig about their specific projects and how their creative practices have evolved. Near the end of the conversation, there will be time for audience questions. After the panel discussion, please join us for a reception outside Target Performance Hall.

Masks are required for this in-person event.

Watch a recording of this event below!

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2021 McKnight Book Artist Fellows

Mary Hark is the proprietor of HARK! Handmade Paper Studio, located in the Frogtown neighborhood of St. Paul for more than 20 years. She produces limited editions of flax and linen handmade papers in collaboration with book designers and artists, as well as unique paper artworks that have been exhibited internationally. Hark leads an initiative in Kumasi, Ghana, building the first hand paper mill in West Africa capable of producing high-quality papers using local botanicals and textile waste. An artist committed to sustainable practice and community, Mary has collaborated with her neighbors to produce public artworks that are installed locally. Mary Hark’s work can be found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Smithsonian Museum of African Art, the Ginsberg Book Arts Collection in Johannesburg, South Africa, and in many university special collections. Hark is regularly invited to teach workshops and lecture on papermaking at art centers nationally and is a professor in the Design Studies Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Sonja Peterson received her BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art & Design and her MFA from the University of Minnesota. She is a recipient of Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grants and the Jerome Travel Grant and has had residences at the Bell Museum and the American Swedish Institute. Peterson has exhibited nationally and internationally, with shows at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Weisman Museum, the Minnesota Museum of American Art, the Walker Art Center, Purdue University, and Gallery Myotatuuli in Raahe, Finland. Peterson is represented by Burnet Fine Art & Advisory and lives and works in Minneapolis.

Visiting Curator

Mary Savig, born and raised in North Mankato, is the Lloyd Herman Curator of Craft at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery. She is curator of the Renwick Gallery’s 50th anniversary exhibition, This Present Moment: Crafting a Better World (2022), and co-curator of the upcoming exhibition, Subversive, Skilled, Sublime: Fiber Art by Women (2024). Prior to the Renwick, she was the curator of manuscripts at the Archives of American Art, where she organized numerous exhibitions and publications. She holds a PhD in American Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park.