Born and raised in Portland, ME, Mike relocated to the Twin Cities in 2014 to attend Macalester College, where he studies Geography and Urban Studies. That course of study has led to a deep interest in understanding how community and landscape is imagined, chosen, and shaped, from the neighborhood to the national level.
Influenced by his upbringing in the northern borderlands of the United States, his current academic and creative work involves interrogating how the U.S.-Canada and U.S.-México borders are constructed as two very distinct imagined landscapes by national media sources, with immigration represented very differently through both borders. That project stems from conversations with artists working along the U.S.-México between El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua.
As a white man and a millennial working and making art at this particular moment, Mike is concerned with the way that art is currently being consumed and how creative production intersects with gentrification and appropriation. His recent projects are concerned with disrupting ideologies that often go unchallenged by himself and those who share his identity, and are meant to slow down this process of production and consumption to allow for the creation of works that can be chewed on, reflected upon, and spark deeper conversation.
Mike Curran is an emerging curator and artist who is interested in nurturing third places for community to collectively challenge, imagine, and support one another. Thus far, that often looks like programming house shows, peer-led workshops, and other DIY programming for folks to meet, experiment, and hear each other’s stories. Through his work, he’s interested in challenging both the internal/imaged and external/physical borders that prevent folks from authentically investing in one another’s well-being. Mike believes that the role of artists and curators is to act as critical agents for broad community change, and he’s committed to supporting fellow emerging artists and organizers in his community.