Jesse White hasn't talked about art in a long time.
Until he received a regional arts grant to create some new works.
White, who graduated from Westbrook-Walnut Grove High School in 1993, received a Developing Artist Grant from the Southwest Minnesota Arts and Humanities Council to develop and show a new body of work. His goal is to create artworks during the summer for an exhibit in Currie in September.
"I've always had an interest in the arts," he said. And since WWG was a Magnet Arts school at the time he attended, that "got me thinking in that direction," he said.
White went on to graduate from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He lived in the Twin Cities for more than a decade, doing a project here and there. He and his wife and children moved back to the area a couple of years ago, eventually settling in Currie.
"The whole time I've been sketching ideas," White said. "Basically I've been making lists of what I've wanted to do in the last decade."
Receiving the SMAHC grant will give him the chance to try some of the things he's wanted to do artistically for a long time, White said.
White had received his degree in painting, but his upcoming body of work will involve a variety of mediums, including sculpture and drawing as well as painting.
White had also bought the former hardware store building in Currie to use as studio space.
"I've kind of had my eye on it for a while," White said about the old hardware store. "It's in great shape." White said he tried to have studio space at home, but there were too many distractions; he wanted an area where he's focused on his art.
Most of the artwork he's creating is conceptual-based, White said. He plans to work on his pieces this summer and will have an exhibit and artist talk in September at the hardware store studio.
With his art, White wants viewers to rethink their experience living in the area, touching upon the themes of geographic and personal history and struggle with nature.
"This will be a great opportunity to re-introduce myself to the community," he said.
White said that he's grateful to SMAHC for awarding him the grant and that it's important to have organizations like this.
"(I would like) to use this (the grant) as a springboard for other shows," he said.