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Mary Welcome

Palouse, WA

Mary Welcome is a citizen artist and relationalist from Palouse, Washington (pop. 998), working in collaboration with rural communities and remote landscapes. She builds spaces that help people and places work better together. Her creative practices are driven by systems of sharing in order to enable positive change and compassionate action. She uses conversational research, publications, performance, picnics, and play to express and understand the places we situate ourselves within.

In recent years, she has focused on rural cultural advocacy and building community through arts initiatives. Being a neighbor and an active citizen are necessary components of her career as a socially-engaged artist. Her studio projects and social programming go hand-in-hand to create radical contemporary dialogue in unexpected situations. Rural communities are a minority voice among cultural producers and she has diligently built a practice that reaches out to audiences beyond the urban elite. She brings a nuanced perspective to the contemporary field, as a citizen artist working in service to small towns, as a cultural producer across American geographies, and as facilitator of entrenched place-based arts programming.