Valérie Déus Q&A

April 19, 2021
Valérie Déus is all the way up.

“There aren’t as many BIPOC people in the Midwest as the East Coast, so I’d say the artistic sensibilities and culture expressions in New York are more combined and reflective of blended cultures. Also the larger numbers of folks make finding your artistic family easier.”

Congratulations on winning the George Floyd Memorial Award from Augsburg. What do you plan to do with the award?

I will be pursuing an MFA from Augsburg University.

You’re involved in so many artistic endeavors, from publishing a zine on South Minneapolis to writing poetry to curating a film series to hosting a radio show. When did you decide that you would pursue a life in the arts?

I’ve been writing and going to museums since I was little so art has always been part of my experience. The world is a lot to process on a daily basis. Creating, curating and being connected to the arts is how I process and filter the experience of being in the world in this physical plane.

You’ve described your work as being one of collage; you absorb things as you move through your life. Do you find that one idea may show up in more than one place in your work?

Artists are all pulling from the same source, the world; the difference is how we filter and express those ideas.

You were raised in New York and then moved to MN with your partner. How do you compare the artistic sensibilities of the Midwest and the East Coast?

My parents were immigrants from Haiti so I’m Haitian-American. There aren’t as many BIPOC people in the Midwest as the East Coast, so I’d say the artistic sensibilities and culture expressions in New York are more combined and reflective of blended cultures. Also the larger numbers of folks make finding your artistic family easier.

I love your Illuminating History cards that tell the stories of Black Minnesotans who have made great contributions to society. Are you still making them?

Yes, I am! I am currently distributing this current set through the Little Free Library system in my neighborhood and once I’m done, I’ll be working on a new set with new Black Minnesotans.

What’s next for you?

Everything. To quote Fat Joe: nothing can stop me, I’m all the way up.

Photo by Eric Mueller