Daniel Minter’s artwork is a study of memory and the many ways in which memory is embedded into our past, present and future. Using archetypes, symbols, icons and folklore steeped in the context of African-American and African diaspora culture, Minter creates a visual vocabulary. Metaphors take shape out of common objects, infusing the energy of emotion, action and place to everyday life and everyday being.
“States Of?” is Minter’s first solo exhibition at Greenhut Galleries. The show opens July 16 and runs through Aug. 8.
Minter is an American artist known for his work in the mediums of painting and assemblage. He works in varied media, including canvas, wood, metal, paper, twine, rocks, nails and paint. This cross-fertilization strongly informs his artistic sensibility. His carvings become assemblages. His paintings are often sculptural.
His overall body of work often deals with themes of displacement and diaspora, ordinary/extraordinary blackness; spirituality in the Afro-Atlantic world; and the (re)creation of meanings of home.
Minter’s work has been featured in numerous institutions and galleries including the Portland Museum of Art, Seattle Art Museum, the Center for Maine Contemporary Art and the Northwest African American Art Museum, among others. A travel grant from the National Endowment for the Arts enabled him to live and work in Salvador, Bahia in Brazil, where he established relationships that have continued to nurture his life and work in important ways.
Minter has illustrated over a dozen children’s books, including “Going Down Home with Daddy,” which won a 2020 Caldecott Honor, and “Ellen’s Broom,” which won a Coretta Scott King Illustration Honor.
He also served on a team of artists commissioned by the City of Seattle Parks Department to create a water park in an urban Seattle neighborhood and was commissioned in 2004 and 2011 to create Kwanzaa stamps for the U.S. Postal Service.
As founding director of Maine Freedom Trails, Minter has helped highlight the history of the Underground Railroad and the abolitionist movement in New England. For the past 15 years, Minter has raised awareness of the forced removal in 1912 of an interracial community on Maine’s Malaga Island. His formative work on the subject of Malaga emerges from Minter’s active engagement with the island, its descendants, archeologists, anthropologists and scholars. This dedication to righting history was pivotal in having the island designated a public preserve.
In 2019, Minter co-founded Indigo Arts Alliance, a nonprofit dedicated to cultivating the artistic development of people of African descent.
Minter is a graduate of the Art Institute of Atlanta and holds an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from The Maine College of Art.
Greenhut Galleries is at 146 Middle St., Portland. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Call 207-772-2693, email email@example.com, or go to www.greenhutgalleries.com for more information.