Inaugural Art Schmooze – Matt Fluharty & Art of the Rural


Who is Matt Fluharty, what is Art of the Rural, and what are they doing in Winona?

Find out the answers these and other important questions by attending RAA’s inaugural Art Schmooze on Wednesday, April 20 from 5-7 pm at the Mid West Music Store, 168 E. 3rd. St., Winona. The Schmooze begins with a short program with Matt, Executive Director of Art of the Rural, followed by time to meet and greet others. Refreshments will be available. Stick around after 7 for Mid West Music Store’s monthly Poetry Slam!

Matthew Fluharty is an artist, writer, and field-based researcher. He is the Executive Director of Art of the Rural, a member of the M12 collective, and currently a Research Fellow in the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis. Matthew is the son of a fifth-generation farming family from Appalachian Ohio.

Matthew’s poetry and essays have been widely published in the US and abroad and are present within the field-establishing publication A Decade of Country Hits: Art on the Rural Frontier (Jam Sam, 2014). His independent work and the work of M12 have been featured in art spaces and universities across the country, and his collaborations with the collective this year include a multi-year project with the Irish Museum of Modern Art.

Matthew’s multidisciplinary collaborations in the American Bottom region of the Mississippi River were the subject of an exhibition at Central Features gallery in Albuquerque and the recipient of a Divided City grant from the Mellon Foundation and the Center for the Humanities at Washington University.

Matthew and his family recently moved to Winona, which is now the home base for Art of the Rural and its national partnerships and exchanges within the fields of arts, culture, and creative place-making. This spring, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and a range of national partners, Art of the Rural launched Next Generation, a national creative place-making initiative.

In April, Art of the Rural will launch Outpost, a space for community projects located on Third Street in Winona. This open, multi-functional space will serve the Winona region, function as Art of the Rural’s national office, and also serve as a collaborative studio with a focus on the culture, landscape, and industry of the Upper Mississippi region.


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