home ~ exploring, mending, reimagining

May 21 - August 21, 2022

H O M E ~

exploring, mending, reimagining
Cecilia Cornejo Sotelo

May 21 – August 21, 2022

home ~ exploring, mending, reimagining features, for the first time in one single location a multimedia body of work, composed by quilts, audiovisual collages, and participatory artworks, that artist Cecilia Cornejo Sotelo has produced since 2019 with various communities in southeastern Minnesota.

home ~ exploring, mending, reimagining offers audiences within and beyond the Midwest the possibility to explore, mend, and reimagine our relationship to home in order to create communities where all of us are heard, seen, and valued. The exhibition features a series of audio testimonies recorded in the summer and fall of 2019 through the multi platform project, The Wandering House, a former ice-fishing house turned into a mobile audio-recording studio. The Wandering House offered Northfield and Lanesboro residents the opportunity to reflect and record their thoughts on home and hopes for each community.

Also included in the show are the “Northfield and Lanesboro Community Quilts” (2020-2022), that display fragments of these audio testimonies, through embroidered interventions by 85 community members—embroidery artists and enthusiasts alike. While the exhibition runs from May 21st to August 21st, indoor, in two galleries on the second floor, the outdoor patio facing Mayo Park will host the public art project The Wandering House from July 5th to July 19th. The Wandering House will be open to those who want to add their voices to this multilayered, ongoing examination of home. After the stop in Rochester, The Wandering House will spend the month of October engaging community members in Red Wing, Minnesota.

In the galleries, visitors at the Rochester Art Center will be immersed in a space designed for listening and reflection as much as for participation. Visitors are invited to add to this rich and multifaceted portrait of what “home” in Minnesota means through several interactive components. The second floor Davies Room, will be turned into a participatory embroidering and quilting station where community members can learn from professional quilters various sewing and stitching techniques while sharing their stories of home and engaging with the exhibition. In the Main Gallery East, where the Community Quilts and artworks are exhibited, an interactive recording booth will prompt community members to contribute with their individual stories in an intimate and safe setting. Lastly, toward mid-August, the exhibition will serve as the launching place for “Sonic Landscapes of Southern Minnesota,” a sound-mapping website and archive that will house most of the work generated through The Wandering House to date. Sonic Landscapes will function as an acoustic mosaic, an evolving installation in virtual space, and a catalyst for transformation at a crucial time of social reckoning.


Cecilia Cornejo Sotelo is a documentary filmmaker, artist, and educator engaging rural communities in southern Minnesota in a multilayered exploration of home. Locally rooted yet globally minded, her examines notions of belonging and the immigrant experience while exploring the traces of historical trauma on people and places. Her experience growing up under dictatorship in her native Chile led her to develop an artistic practice that encourages community members to reflect in order to envision and generate paths toward collective wellbeing.

An inaugural recipient of the 2020 McKnight Fellowship for Community-Engaged Artists, Cecilia’s work has received support from Forecast Public Art (2022), the Minnesota State Arts Board (2016, 2018, 2020, 2021), the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture (2019), the Jerome Foundation (2016), and the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (2014). Her film work, currently distributed by Women Make Movies has shown at MoMA’s Documentary Fortnight, the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival, Cine las Americas (TX), Lonestar Film Festival (TX), as well as internationally at L’Alternativa (Spain), Arsenale (Germany), InVideo (Italy), Melbourne Latin American Film Festival (Australia), Puerto Vallarta International Film Festival (Mexico), Festival Internacional de Documentales de Santiago (Chile), Festival de Cine Pobre (Cuba), Festival Internacional de Documental de Buenos Aires (Argentina), and more.Cecilia is an Artist Career Consultant with Springboard for the Arts and teaches filmmaking in Northfield, the occupied ancestral land of the Wahpekute Band of the Dakota Nation.


Embroidery Workshop | Sunday, June 5 | 1:00 – 4:00 PM

Taught by Nancy Unnasch, this workshop will offer step-by-step guidance on appliqué, reverse appliqué, couching, and embellishment, all of which can be added to any embroidery project. These techniques are suitable for any skill level and are a fun way to add an extra dimension to your stitchery. We will be working on a dish cloth or any cloth item that workshop participants wish to bring along.

Guided Exhibition Tour | Sunday, June 5 | 11:30 AM

Open Home Event | Saturday, July 9 | 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM Artist talk in the gallery

Embroidery Workshop | Saturday, July 9 | 1:00 – 4:00 PM

Taught by Margit Johnson, an embroidery, knitting, and textile enthusiast, as well as a participant in The Embroidery Project, this workshop will offer step-by-step guidance using stem, chain, blanket, satin, feather stitches, and more. Learn for the first time or advance your embroidery and embellished mending skills on a cotton dish towel and/or your favorite but worn jeans or sweater.

Embroidery Workshop | Sunday, July 31 | 1:00 – 4:00 PM

Taught by Stena Lieb, a Visual Arts Educator and participant in The Embroidery Project, this workshop will offer step-by-step guidance using a variety of embroidery stitches. See where your stitches take you as a beginner or advance your embroidery skills on a cotton dish towel. You can also bring a favorite clothing item to mend or enhance with stitchery.

Quilting Workshop | Sunday, August 14 | 1:00 – 4:00 PM

Taught by Cindy Starkey Robinson, in this introductory class, learn how to piece, applique, and hand quilt while making a small, quilted mug rug. Instructions will be provided for finishing your mug rug at home. This diminutive quilt makes a thoughtful gift or can be displayed and used in your own home.

Film Screenings Cecilia Cornejo Sotelo’s movies “MAKING NOISE ~ The story of a skatepark” and “Ways of Being Home” will be screened in partner locations during summer 2022.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.