This week, the whole gang is reunited to speak with artist Molly Hassler. Mac, Lindsay and David kick off the episode reflecting on the witches of Salem, Lindsay’s experience of relating to Milwaukee from afar while visiting other cities on the East coast, and The Office Season Four. They also discuss the afterglow of this year’s 414 Day video, which features a poem by Dasha Kelly Hamilton, and was directed by Samer Ghani.
Molly joins the group around 16:00. Molly is a queer interdisciplinary artist who was the recipient of a Mary L. Nohl Fund Emerging Artist grant in 2022. Molly’s work is “often embracing collaboration and primarily using drawing and fibers techniques to mine the complex relation between representation and identity as a queer person in the Midwest.” During the conversation, they reflect on how as an artist, their role is about “enhancing a community’s ability to care for itself.” They speak about the role of play in their practice, the influential experience of being a working artist at East Castle Assisted Living, and how they’ve persistently applied to opportunities despite receiving rejections. Molly reflects on the working-class communities that have shaped them, as well as artists’ unique capacities for looking and physically manifesting ideas into the world. They speak to the quandary of being advised early on to pursue either community art or fine art—and resolves that instead of choosing, each artist must instead “just do what they want” and carve their own path.