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Artists of the Big River Continuum: Bloom Like a Wildflower in a Hurricane and Flow Like a River

The Big River Continuum Project cultivates creative exchanges connecting communities of the Mississippi River from the headwaters to the delta. Taking inspiration from the Ojibwe name Misiziibi, or gichi-ziibi (meaning Huge River), this initiative turns the Mississippi River in its entirety into a platform for creative collaboration. Supported by the UMN Extension Northwest and Central Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, this project strives to connect geographies and sectors to synergize the uniqueness of regional and indigenous cultures, artists and scholars in a shared process of inquiry.

The Artists of the Big River Continuum presentation is led by artist Monique Verdin and curator Rebecca Dallinger. Verdin will share stories and video of Artist Karen Goulet about the Indigenous Artists collaborative that flows from the headwaters to the delta, connecting Mississippi water truths with scientists through conversation, residency, rural art making and environmental knowledge exchange. Learn more about the Big River Continuum project.

This is a collaborative project between the University of Minnesota’s Weisman Art Museum, the University of Minnesota’s Itasca Biological Field Station and A Studio in the Woods within Tulane University Bywater Institute.


Karen Goulet is a multimedia artist whose work is informed by the people and places that define her. “I see my work as an artist to be a tributary of a larger body of a living, breathing creative spirit.” Karen considers herself a cultural hybrid – from Ojibwe, Métis, Saami/Finn people. She is the Program Director of  Miikanan Gallery at the Watermark Art Center in Bemidji, Minnesota.

Monique Verdin is a multidisciplinary artist responding to the complex interconnectedness of environment, economics, culture, climate, and change along the Gulf South. Her indigenous Houma relatives and their life-ways have been the primary focus of her storytelling practice. Monique is the director of The Land Memory Bank & Seed Exchange, a part of the Another Gulf Is Possible Collaborative core leadership circle, co-producer/subject of the documentary My Louisiana Love and co-author of Return to Yakni Chitto: Houma Migrations.

Rebecca Dallinger is the Curator-in-Residence for The Big River Continuum at the Itasca Biological Station and the Target Studio for Creative Collaboration at Weisman Museum. She has an extensive background in community organizing and rural arts development.  She lives in Ogema, MN.


Register on Zoom to receive a link to attend at z.umn.edu/BigRiverJune. Requests for event accommodations can be sent to Rebecca Dalinger at dalli018@umn.edu  or 218-849-1372.