Founding: 100 Days at the Weisman Art Gallery – 100 stories in the faces of children on Target bags

Megan Rye’s Founding: 100 Days is touching and thought provoking. Rye was born in Seoul, South Korea and adopted to a family in Minnesota. The exhibit includes 100 portraits of international adoptees who were brought to Minnesota . Actually, it’s 100 sets of two images: an original photograph of the adoptee, and a painting of that photo done on a Target bag. What could be more familiar, especially in Minnesota, than a Target bag. The pictures are replicas; Rye captures the resemblance and more to the point the mood and ethos of each child. But the placement of the center target and the use of stark redness is masterful.

The  photograph used comes from the adoption records of each child; often that photo is the only keepsake an adoptee has from their community of origin. Many of these children are babies, some are toddlers or slightly older and a few include other people in the picture. It might be a mother or grandmother holding a baby. It might be someone from the adoption agency holding a hand. We don’t know. They might not know.

Some children seem happy, others seem pensive or brooding, others you can tell are the sorts of babies who keep you running after them. Each is a bundle of opportunity and for some reason their path is taking them far away to blossom. They are so little to be making such a big journey. As an adult, you realize these children will always have two stories even if only one has a chance to play out. And you hope that gives them strength and resilience for the journey head – all of it. It’s moving to focus on one child after another and realize that each image conjures a different emotion.

The children are grown or nearly grown now. There’s a monitor where you are read up on their stories. The ones I read were happy.

The Foundling: 100 Days is on exhibit until May 22
Weisman Hours:
Wednesdays, 10 AM – 8 PM
Thursdays & Fridays, 10 AM – 5 PM
Saturdays & Sundays, 11 AM – 5 PM
Also – suggested donation is $3; parking for an hour is $3. This is a perfect lunch time sneak-away if you need a break from zooms!

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