Minneapolis artist Jenny Lion, a visiting assistant professor in the media and cultural studies department at Macalester College, received a $50K Creative Capital grant for her documentary film/video art project "untitled (Nevada/Utah)," which explores landscape and historically relevant cultural sites. She will use the funds to finish pieces in process, and make new work.

"I'm so happy to be able to take some time (and Creative Capital resources) to focus on my own work, especially at a time when basic survival is so hard for so many," Lion wrote in an email to the Star Tribune. "It's a very lucky opportunity, especially right now."

Creative Capital grant winners receive up to $50,000 in project funding, as well as additional career development services. Since 1999, Creative Capital has worked with more than 20,000 artists across the nation.

"We are thrilled to honor these brilliant artists and the powerful, boundary-pushing work that they are creating,\" said Leslie Singer, Creative Capital's Interim Executive Director, in a press statement. \"We look forward to seeing these projects grow to make their mark on the world, in spite of the tremendous challenges this year has posed for so many artists."

Lion, who holds dual U.S.-Canadian citizenship, was originally trained as a dancer/performer, and now works primarily in film and video. She described "untitled (Nevada/Utah)," a project started in 2005, as video documenting military, settler, industrial and Indigenous cultural sites Utah and northern Nevada.

With the Creative Capital grant funds, she will return to Nevada and work on a new collaborative piece in the next year or two.

Lion's relationship with Minnesota started in 1997, when she taught at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and Macalester College, and worked as a guest curator of film/video at the Walker Art Center. She curated a 47-artist retrospective touring series "Magnetic North: Canadian Experimental Video," with an accompanying book published by the University of Minnesota press.

She left the Twin Cities in the early 2000s and returned in 2006, living between Minneapolis and another location. For the past four years, she's been in Minneapolis full-time.

Lion's work has been screened at the Whitney Biennial, Rotterdam Film Festival, and the Banff Center, among others, and she has received funding from the Jerome Foundation and Canada Council for the Arts.

Like many artists, Lion applied for the highly competitive Creative Capital grant several times. She is the only Minnesota artist out of this year's 42 winners.

Alicia Eler • 612-673-4437