Maybe it’s in the Water, Mississippi Musings
Growing up just outside the Quad Cities, in a tiny rural town, I often felt the rest of the world was outside my reach, and I’d never surface from the waves and waves of corn. I think I’d learned to resent my Midwestern roots because I’d been told the most exciting culture and art were on the coasts of the States. Since immersing myself into the museum field, I’ve grown to appreciate and fervently stand by the need for art museums in Midwestern communities, and how the Midwest fosters incredible talent and creativity. The Figge Art Museum, located in Davenport, IA, has one of the largest collections of Haitian art in the country, right there in my own community. That’s just one of several fantastic museums located in my home, and the culture and art has always been there. The last thing I want is for everything to be condensed and concentrated on the coasts. We need art here, and everywhere.
Since beginning my internship here in Dubuque, I’ve sensed a feeling of home here. DuMA, like the Figge or any Midwestern art museum, is a treasure within the community. Whether it be an exhibition opening or an event, you see familiar faces celebrating art. Like the Quad Cities, Dubuque is an old river community, with a rich history and so many stories to tell. The people are kind and nobody feels like a stranger. I think that’s one of my favorite parts of growing up in the Quad Cities- you’re not just a face in the crowd, you’re a friend, and if you have but one thing in common, it’s your home by the Mississippi. Maybe it’s the people that make the Midwest so special. Or maybe it’s in the water.
By Katherine Hellberg, Intern at Dubuque Museum of Art