Miranda Shunkwiler

ALIENS Artist Profile: Miranda Shunkwiler

“My Great Grandmother came over from Germany when she was 2 years old. She was one of my favorite story tellers. Since she was very young when she came over she didn’t have many stories of her time in Germany that I remember, however, I loved listening to her stories of growing up in her family culture. I think my Papa definitely brought some of that culture into his family and my dad brought that to me and my sisters.”

Matt Wall

ALIENS Artist Profile: Matt Wall

“All too many immigration stories involve a harrowing, death-defying flight from danger. But all of them, every one, involves the dream of a better life for the immigrant and their family, the risk that those dreams won’t come true, and the hope that their adoptive country will embrace and shelter them. This perspective is a gift my grandmother gave me, and it’s the perspective I try to keep in mind as our country strives to understand what, from now on, it means to be an immigrant.”

Melissa Simmons

ALIENS Artist Profiles: Melissa Simmons

“Both my grandparents on my dad’s side were from Bohemia (Czech Republic). They were first generation in the US. My grandfather was born just a few months after his parents arrived. My grandmother was 6 or 7 when her family arrived. Both families moved to Nebraska. I know it was a hard life more because of the stories they didn’t share than those they did.”

ALIENS Artist Profiles: Stephanie Ruas

“I think of my dad when Borat talks about his mother who is sick back home in Russia. Like Borat, my dad would often send money back to his family. My grandmother did have the opportunity to visit Minnesota, and though my dad begged her to stay and assured her he would pay for everything, she said she had to go back, ‘where I am loved and I am needed.’ He knew that would be the last time he saw her.”