Jeanine Malec is a Minneapolis-based artist, creating under the moniker Nest and Tessellate. Her work explores visual languages derived from forgotten folk art patterns and symbolism. Her practice seeks to revive the use of these ideograms as a way to connect with ancestral traditions, anchor our energies in the present, and craft symbolic stories about who we want to be as a community going forward. Sigils, or symbols charged with intention, have a long history of use as agents of healing and protection. Collecting imagery from around South Minneapolis, she hopes to draw attention to different folk art traditions, draw parallels between forms, identify shared meanings and with the help of collaborators, construct a contemporary folk art language rooted in the magic of this place and its people. The results of this inquiry are intended to act as a reference point, inspiring positive change through the intentional use of symbols or sigils. The goal, in short, is to create a magical folk art for our time.


We believe that cultivating greater sensitivity to our immediate environment allows us to become better tuned-in to what’s going on in nature, each other and ourselves. We see a direct correlation between the predominant materialist worldview and ecological-social injustices. In contrast, animism posits that everything is alive in it’s own right and thus deserving of consideration and respect. The animistic worldview is a part of everyone’s ancestral tradition, regardless of cultural origin. By abusing the spirit of our Earth, we injure ourselves, causing environmental destruction, climate change, conflict over resources and widespread suffering. Nest and Tessellate seeks to act as an agent of healing by cultivating positive energy feedback through intentional interaction with art objects inspired by a relationship to place and folklore. This work is part of a devotional practice, grounded in natural cycles, toward a re-enchantment of the world. Join us as a collaborator in creating a forward-looking folk art!