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TEN: This Week in Local Art. Art Sale Edition

There are so many great events over the next couple weeks, I just wish I could be in more places at once. With the over load of events over the next couple weekends I have decided to do an expanded edition of TEN to more like fifteen. 1. No Coast Craft-o-Rama began in 2005 as […]

nocoast_09-228x300There are so many great events over the next couple weeks, I just wish I could be in more places at once. With the over load of events over the next couple weekends I have decided to do an expanded edition of TEN to more like fifteen.

1. No Coast Craft-o-Rama began in 2005 as an event for local designers, artists, crafters and other talented creators of unique handmade goods to sell and showcase their products. Like the Local Food movement, contemporary craft has figured out how to market their work and expand an audience….and do it very, very well. This year’s event is this weekend-December 4th (3 p.m. to 8 p.m.) and 5th (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) at the Midtown Global Exchange building. This is one of the hippest events of the year.  For a full list of vendors to check click here.

2. Second Annual Monster Drawing Rally: Saturday, December 12 is Midway Contemporary’s Second Annual Monster Drawing Rally, a benefit event involving over 75 local artists. Midway’s three galleries will be cleared to hold a series of tables where participating artists will draw live in front of attendees.  Upon completion, each drawing will be hung on the wall and available for purchase (first come, first serve) for a flat price of $35. All proceeds will directly benefit upcoming programming and educational opportunities at Midway. The event provides the rare opportunity to watch artists work and purchase original artwork at discount prices.  Unlike many fundraisers, filled with expensive auction items, beyond the budget of most attendees, the Monster Drawing Rally offers an opportunity for art patrons of all income levels to support the institution and take home an original work of art.

mdr08_06

Image from Midway's 2008 Monster Drawing Rally

I can tell you from direct experience last year (as one of the participating artists…and I will be doing it again this year) that it was a crazy event and one of the best times I have ever had in the local art community.  Even though I was surprisingly anxious drawing in front of so many people.  But when you see someone eagerly follow your piece to the wall to purchase it..that is pretty special. The energy in the room is buzzing and everyone is just having a great time.  Not to be missed.

This event is free and open to the public. Full list of artists is listed below.


Kjellgren Alkire
David Bartley
Heather Bren
Ernest Bryant
Allegra Denton
Pete Driessen
Alexa Horochowski
Roxanne Jackson
Val Jenkins
Brian Jorgenson
Bethany Kalk
Chris Larson
David Lefkowitz
Janet Lobberecht
Rick Love
Suzanne Mahoney
Kirk McCall
Miles Mendenhall
Jennifer Nevitt
James Parmenter
Melba Price
Josi Severson
Joe Smith
Liz Wyland



Luke Aleckson
Rich Barlow
Ute Bertog
Betsey Byers
Mitchell Dose
Kris Douglas
Andy Ducett
Welles Emerson
John Fliescher
John Gaunt
Nick Howard
Nick Knutson
Ellie Montgomery
Suzanne Murphy
Ruben Nusz
Yubi Park
David Peterson
Gene Pittman
Alex Roche / Michael Aberman
Emily Sheehan
Scott Stulen
Oakley Tapola
John Vogt


Mark Fischer
Isa Gagarin
Noah Harmon
Jay Heikes
Brandon Holt
Tynan Kerr
Marshall LaCount
Josie Lewis
Fiona MacNeill
Andie Mazorol
Michael Mott
Isabel Norsten
Todd Norsten
Kelsey Olson
Margaret Pazzala-Granlund
Allison Pegaroro / Rachel Pegaroro
Justin Schaefer
Tony Sunder
Carolyn Swiszcz
Bruce Tapola
Tectonic Industries
Aaron Van Dyke
Chris Zerendow

Note: The idea for the Monster Drawing Rally originated with Southern Exposure in San Francisco.

3.  WAMPLIFIED: Mates of State at the Weisman: So after the Monster Drawing Rally head over to the Weisman for the Inaugural installment of WAMplified!, a new late-night series at the Weisman Art Museum which bundles together live music, food, drinks, a video game lounge and midnight gallery tour. The events starts at 9pm and features a concert by indie rock/huband/wife duo Mates of State.  Followed by a Midnight tour of the galleries with curator Diane Mullin and artist Lisa Bradley.

Tickets to the event are $22 for the general public and $18 for Weisman members and students. Doors are at 9 p.m. To purchase tickets, visit weisman.umn.edu or call 612-624-2345. The cost of admission also includes two free drink tickets and free food throughout the evening. The opening act is Minneapolis-based Anders Ponders.

Here is a video of the Mates of State covering Phantom Planet’s “California”.  Gotta love the OC theme song cover.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPsG1eWQ0Ks[/youtube]

Fennel Studio

Fennel Studio

4. Local Artist Gift Mart at the Walker Art Center:  Even more opportunities to find great local art gifts.  The Walker Art Center is hosting a local artist gift mart this upcoming weekend, Friday through Sunday, December 4-6. It’s open from 12 noon to 4 pm in Target Gallery.Its a very hip lineup of local artists over felted handbags, jewelry, wooden bike handlebars, t-shirts and I am sure a wealth of other surprises.

The featured artists include:

Brian Aldrich, Saman Bemel Benrud (Minty Fresh Monster), Adam Brackney (Workerman), Yen Chee, Kelsey Ciatti-Miller (TillyLula); John Danicic, Gia Gifford, Paul Hempe and Chad Campbell (ZerOw Bags), Michele Heidel (Fennel Studio), Raighne & Meghan Hogan (2D Cloud), Helen Jerlach (Numsi Design), Josh Journey-Heinz, Lisa Larson (The Green Squirrel), Keith Moore (Pilot Design), Sarah Nassif (Rectangle Design), Peter J. O’Toole, Lacy Prpic-Hedtke, Jill Smith, Molly Spilane, Caitlin Wicker (Sweater Toys), and Ashley Wokasch & Luci Kandler (Calpurnia Peach).

This also coincides with Member Double-Discount Shopping Days at the Walker and along with numerous other events throughout the weekend.

5. MNfashion welcomes Jay Arbetman of Chicago for their first Open Studio industry event and MNfashion Membership Drive  Friday, December 4th from 6-9pm. Individual 30-minute appointments for Saturday, December 5th between 10am and 6pm can be made by contacting info@mnfashion.org.  While you are at it check out all of their resources for local designers at their site.

6. Erik Friedlander: Block Ice & Propane at the Walker: In Block Ice & Propane new compositions are paired with family and “road cycle” images created by his father, celebrated photographer Lee Friedlander, and mother Maria Friedlander, films by Bill Morrison, and engaging short tales about the kind of travels familiar to so many of us. Taking inspiration from American roots music, Friedlander executes extraordinary finger-picking technique and reverberant tunings, creating a fresh form of American cello music that is lyrical, plainspoken, and emotional.

Friedlander’s fellow musicians have already been raving about Block Ice & Propane. John Darnielle from the Mountain Goats said, “There’s a breathtaking lyricism at work in these new tunes, but it’s infused with an almost breezy touch: like swirling dust in beams of light, the melodies dazzle and hypnotize and float along on their own currents. Emotional but never sentimental, profound but without pretension — these songs wordlessly communicate more easily and openly than a dozen singer-songwriters furiously scribbling in notebooks.”

robotlove_newpaint1009_ 001clean7. Robot Love: Out of gift ideas…this will fix your problems and most likely start a personal addiction as well.

8. CVA Annual Holiday Art Sale: Mark your calendar for yet another student and faculty art sale.  CVA’s newly expanded Holiday Art Sale December 5 and 6. This year’s sale promises to be ripe with fresh artwork for you to peruse and purchase. Your best bet at snatching up the hottest artwork is to attend the Preview Party on Friday, December 4. Preview tickets are $20 purchased in advance online, or $25 at the door.

The sale features artwork by students, alumni, faculty, and staff. Selected sale artwork and prints from the CVA Art Archives will be included in a silent auction. The auction closes at 3 p.m. on Sunday. Proceeds benefit CVA scholarship funds.

9. ffffound: I love this site…..you will too.

10. Art Hounds: is a weekly program featuring three people from the Minnesota arts community talking briefly about a performance, openings, or event they’re excited to see or want others to check out.  The programs organized and coordinated by Chris Roberts and Molly Bloom is a wonderful set of tips and hints from within the art community. Check the site for opportunities for you to become a “hound” yourself.

11.  Ruben Nusz is an artist and writer for mnartists.org. Ruben always has a fresh, unique and engaging take on every topic on which he writes.  His most recent essay is about The Louvre and the Masterpiece exhibition, now on view at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and the recent Spike Jonze adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s 338-word source material, Where the Wild Things Are.

12. Robyn Stoller-Awend’s Survival:When Truth and Fiction Intersect: is a new exhibition inspired by Vilna poet Abraham Sutzkever and his story of doomed Lithuanian Jews melting down lead printing type to make bullets as a last resort for survival against the Nazis. Very intriguing subject matter and well worth the trip downtown.  The exhibition is up through January 9th, 2010. Opening Reception Sat., Dec. 5, 7-9 pm and the Closing Reception Sat., Jan. 9, 7-9 pm

doctor-sam-logo-materials-75600013. Springboard for the Arts is hosting a FREE Seasonal Flu Shot Clinic for Artists this Sat, December 5 from 9:00 am – 10:30am at Doctor Sam’s office (1300 Quincy Street NE, Suite 100, Minneapolis, MN 55413). To register, PLEASE EMAIL your name, address, phone number and artistic discipline to nikki@springboardforthearts.org.   Thank you to both Springboard and Dr. Sam for making this opportunity available.

14. Recession Hits Artists Hard. A major new survey of American artists is out asking how they are weathering the economic downturn.  The survey found that slightly more than half of the artists polled experienced a drop in income from 2008 to 2009, a blow to an already struggling group, two thirds of whose members reported that they earned less than $40,000 last year.

15. “Ceremony” by New Order: Sometimes I just get obsessed over a song.  I have been in the studio a lot over the last couple weeks prepping for an exhibition in Chicago.  I watched Control a couple of weeks ago and have been totally on a Joy Division/New Order kick while working in the studio….and thus reinforcing several painter stereotypes.  To close out this week’s expanded list is Radiohead covering New Order’s Ceremony, which was originally written by Ian Curtis when the band was still Joy Division and then carried over to the band’s re-incarnation as New Order, after Curtis’ death.  Enjoy.[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xliP7OdBtM[/youtube]

TEN: This Week in Local Art – Sales, Scrap and Carl Sagan

1. Event Horizon and Benches & Binoculars: The much anticipated  reinstallation of the permanent collection opens on Saturday.  Previews of the exhibition are in the local media today, but I suggest reading them after visiting the exhibition…it’s more fun that way, personally.  You can get a jump on general public tonight at the always fun (and packed) […]

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Benches & Binoculars, Photo by Cameron Wittig

1. Event Horizon and Benches & Binoculars: The much anticipated  reinstallation of the permanent collection opens on Saturday.  Previews of the exhibition are in the local media today, but I suggest reading them after visiting the exhibition…it’s more fun that way, personally.  You can get a jump on general public tonight at the always fun (and packed) Walker After Hours party.  Lookbook will be playing upstairs in Gallery 8, screenings of Scorpio Rising in the Lecture Room, special performances at 10 pm and 11 pm by Dafnis Prieto and Judith Sanchez Ruiz in the Burnet Gallery  and I will be DJing in Cargill (shameless plug).  I plan on a mix of Mos Def, The XX, Carl Sagan and T.I. for my set….it should be a great night.  

2. Susannah Bielak at Bethel University: Bethel University continues a string of strong exhibitions with new work by Susannah Bielak titled Quake/Temblor: A Forensics of Interior Life and Natural Disaster.  The work combines formica table engravings, text, sound and videos of conceptual experiments conducted on seismic shake tables to explore ideas of unpredictability and social systems. The exhibition is up through January 16, 2010.  

09-karaken-090910_mia338_5014116

Michael Kareken "Compressed Oil Drums" 2009

3. Michael Kareken: Scrap and Tetsuya Yamada: Commuter at the MAEP:  This is a very interesting pairing of  Micheal Karekan’s huge paintings of industrial recycling plants and an installation by Tetsuya Yamada that explores commuting by train in his native Tokyo.  The two exhibitions make for combined commentary on issues of craft, repetition and industry.  The exhibition is open through January 24, 2010 and is free and open to the public.

4. MCAD Annual Art Sale: Do you think you can scout emerging art talent or do you just want to add to your collection…or maybe both.  This annual event at MCAD features students and recent graduates offering their work for sale. According to MCAD more than  7,000 pieces will be hung. Everything is under $1000 and most are under $100.  The preview party and sale begins Friday, Nov. 20 at 6pm and I would suggest arriving early. The sale continues (for free) on Saturday, Nov. 21.  All the proceeds go to benefit the artists. Also new this year you can preview the works available for sale by becoming a fan of the event on Facebook. Very cool.

5. 2010 Fringe Festival Applications are now being accepted.  You have until January 29th to submit your project.  The 2010 festival takes place Thursday, August 5, 2010 through Sunday, August 15, 2010.

6. ArtORG Projects: OnSaturday November 14, 2009 ArtOrg opened its biggest show ever “Going to California (Building) with a Boatload of Art” at the expanded California Building Gallery in Northeast in Minneapolis. The event features a showcase of five years of ArtOrg’s work including 58 artists from five ArtOrg projects, 2000 printing blocks from kids the Minneapolis premier of nine steamroller prints from Plains Art Museum Day of Dead Project and a celebration of recent “Twenty Views of Dundas” accession to Weisman Permanent Collection. A lot to see and but is limited as everthing comes down on November 29th.  Also check out local artist Aldo Moroni’s event in collaboration  titled “ART BAR”. Located just 20 feet from the ArtOrg Gallery Exhibit is the Mill City Cafe, location for the ART BAR gathering of all artists and patron, great and small.  The ART BAR is open Friday, November 20 from 5pm to 1am. 

[vimeo]http://www.vimeo.com/7242858[/vimeo]

7. Artist Jeanne-Claude dies: Best know for work with her husband Christo, including the 2005 Central Park installation The Gates and other large scale “wrapping” projects around the globe. She was 74.

8.  Lightsey Darst: Writes about dance for mnartists.org and does so in such an engaging and eloquent manner. We are really lucky to have her as part of our roster.  Check out her most recent piece about The Good Dance: Dakar/Brooklyn, a Walker commissioned collaboration between Brooklyn’s Reggie Wilson and Senegal’s Andréya Ouamba. 

9. Gallery Gray: is an new Minneapolis based online gallery founded by Dustin M Price who serves as Curator/Director. The goal of Gallery Gray is to have international online juried competitions, supplemented by group and solo shows for emerging to mid career artists interested in utilizing a digital gallery format. The current exhibition titled Tilting at Windmills opens at 11.23.09 7:30 MST.  According to the gallery website “We can all agree that viewing art is at its finest in the presence of the artwork itself. Gallery Gray in no way wants to eliminate or discourage the tactile gallery or museum space experience, only to accompany and encourage it. The digital format of Gallery Gray allows for a number of interesting opportunities that might not be available otherwise.” Interesting idea and project to watch or virtually patron. 

10. And finally here is the greatest thing I have found on You Tube in months.  And yes its in my DJ set.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSgiXGELjbc[/youtube]

TEN: This Week in Local Art

Another packed week of artist talks, meetings and writing deadlines and its already the end of the week. Before we get into this week’s TEN I have a request.  I am DJing next Friday’s Walker After Hours party for the Event Horizon and Benches & Binoculars opening.  I am opening the request line for songs that you think […]

Another packed week of artist talks, meetings and writing deadlines and its already the end of the week. Before we get into this week’s TEN I have a request.  I am DJing next Friday’s Walker After Hours party for the Event Horizon and Benches & Binoculars opening.  I am opening the request line for songs that you think fit the exhibition themes or mood….or are just awesome tracks.  Post them as a comment to this blog and will try to weave them into the mix.  

1.  Doctor Sam: Dr. Sam Willis is a board certified Family Medicine physician and visual artist who recently opened a new medical practice in the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District (1300 Quincy St. NE, Minneapolis, MN). Check out Wednesday Star Tribune article on how Dr. Sam Willis offers primary medical care that’s more personal and less costly by cutting out the middlemen. Dr Sam also has a exhibition space in his office featuring the work of local artists. On Tuesday, November 17 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm Dr. Sam is offering tour the clinic and learn more about his practice. Food and beverage will be served. The event is free, but please REGISTER online at springboardforthearts.org

David Leftkowitz

David Leftkowitz

2. Artist Lecture with David Lefkowitz:  Northfield artist  David Leftkowitz talks about his current solo exhibition  Other Positioning Systems Saturday November 14th at 1pm, at the Rochester Art Center. The exhibition is on view through January 10, 2010 but this a good excuse (if you are going to travel to see the exhibition anyway) to make it Saturday.  Also checkout a new installation/public sculpture by Minneapolis artist Jennifer Danos on the exterior of the building. 

3. American Craft Council is moving to Minneapolis: Its official!  After 66 years in New York City the American Craft Council is coming to the Twin Cities.  Reasons for the move include both economic challenges of remaining in New York. and the strength of the Minnesota craft community. This is a huge score for the Twin Cities and another indication of the vitality of the craft movement locally.   

4. Local-to-Global Jewelry Artist Mart: Time to start shopping…or just treat yourself, its been a long week, right?  The Walker welcomes more than a dozen international, national, and local jewelry artists and designers for this special event on Saturday, November 14. Among those attending are Nina Dinoff (Brooklyn, NY); Ann Lambrecht (Minneapolis); Tonia Kim (Chicago, IL); Grace Ann Hogan (Bayfield, WI); Amy Torello (Mexico City, Mexico); Kathy Frey (Nevada City, CA); Jennifer o*live Kraus (Chicago, IL); Carrie Hoffnagle (Des Moines, IA); Devon Driscoll (Minneapolis); Tia Keobounpheng (Minneapolis); Karin Jacobson (Minneapolis); Vickie Anderson (Madison, WI); Alice Roche (San Francisco, CA); Lauren Nicole (Minneapolis); and Alicia Piller (Brooklyn, NY).  Additional special events include an opportunity to meet Minneapolis chocolatier B. T. McElrath and sample chocolates from 11 am–3 pm.

FEAST5.FEAST MPLS is a recurring public dinner designed to use community-driven financial support to democratically fund new and emerging artmakers. The concept By getting together and pooling money, wealth becomes a plural communal attribute. The wealth is then shared with people whose projects the community finds most the valuable to implement. Check out the proposals here. Each person attending FEAST is making a cash donation on a sliding scale to receive supper and a ballot. At the end of the night, you cast a vote for which of a handful of artists’ proposals should get the evening’s proceeds. The winning proposal is funded directly from the donations collected at the door, and the grantee is asked back to present the fruits of their labor to you—the patrons—at the next FEAST dinner.

FIRST FEAST:
Saturday, November 14, 6:00–9:00pm
$10–20 cash donation, no one turned away
view the Facebook event invitation

6. XY and Z Gallery: 18 Months XYandZ  is new(er) project space in Minneapolis that is presenting a preview exhibition titled 18 Months opening on November 13th and running through December 30th. The show will feature original pieces of work from artists scheduled to show at XYandZ through early 2011. Participating artists include Totem2 & Viper, Broken Crow, Keegan Wenkman and more. Cool idea, great new space and excellent website. Opening Reception: November 13th 7pm-11pm 

7. sewtropolisSewtropolis: a do-it-yourself sewing studio and fabric store opened on Nov. 1 a few blocks from my house near the intersection of  Diamond Lake Road and Nicollet.  Its in the space of  Auntie Em’s bookstore, which recently closed. The studio is equipped with Janome sewing machines, cutting and design tables, fabrics, scissors, threads, needles and patterns by hotpatterns.com.  My wife and I are considering some classes that might finally lead to getting new curtains up in our house.  Welcome to the neighborhood!

8. The Precious Object: Obsession, Collection and Desire: Artists James Cleary, Beth Barron, Andy Ducett and Ginny Maki explore topics of appropriation, memory, and desire at the last artist talk for the Precious Object exhibition on Tuesday, November 17, 7 pm  at the Hennepin County Central Library’s Pohland Hall. This is a really intriguing and group of artists and I am excited to ask them about what their collection, how act of collection and selection influences their work and do they worry about ending up on that Hoarders show on A&E. Also checkout the full online archive of the exhibition on mnartists.org. 

9. Pam and Allen’s Studio Sale: Everything must go…or at least a pile of awesome pieces by local artists Pam Valfer and Allen Brewer who are having a studio clean-out sale.  Work will be priced to sell from $10 – $500. What a great way to start an art collection or inexpensively add to yours. Friday, Nov 13th 6-10pm and Saturday, Nov 14th, 12 – 6pm

Studio 202
Dow Building
2242 University Ave
St Paul, MN 55114
(corner of Hampden and University)
Parking in rear of building on Hampden

10. Sesame Street Celebrates 40th Anniversary: One of the most influential programs of my childhood still continues to be relevant.  NPR had a great piece on the 40 lessons of Sesame Street this week in honor of the 40th anniversary this week.  One of my personal favorite clips is below in which Herbie Hancock demonstates his Fairlight synth/sampler to a young girl (Tatyana Ali) ewho later played  Ashley in the Fresh Prince of Bel Air.  I cannot overstate the impact of introducing electronic music and contemporary jazz to a young boy in rural Minnesota. Have a great weekend everyone.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oKoisNv1ftw[/youtube]

TEN: This Week in Local Art

Another week has flown by so here are another ten picks from what is happening in local art.    1. Franklin Art Works NexTen Benefit: Franklin Artworks turns ten years old with a benefit celebration and auction on Saturday November 7th from 7pm to 11pm. The auction features an impressive lineup of 40 local, national and international artists including Uta […]

Another week has flown by so here are another ten picks from what is happening in local art.  

 1. Franklin Art Works NexTen Benefit: Franklin Artworks turns ten years old with a benefit celebration and auction on Saturday November 7th from 7pm to 11pm. The auction features an impressive lineup of 40 local, national and international artists including Uta Barth, David Rathman, Nicola López, Shinique Smith, Ghada Amer, Paul Chan, Santiago Cucullu, Stacey Davidson, Kota Ezawa and Rob Fischer, Xavier Tavera, Javier Piñón, tectonic industries, Zak Smith and Maximillian Toth, among many others. There will be music, drinks and all the other reasons to come out and support an important local art venue.  If you are a student ask about discounted tickets as well! 

 

 

Bruce Tapola

Bruce Tapola

2. Bruce Tapola: AU NATUREL: opens on Saturday night November 7th at Art of This Gallery  from 7pm -11pm..  This new installation is a can’t miss highlight of the weekend.   The piece combines two distinctive bodies of work to create a novel investigation within the artist’s painting and sculptural practice to initiate a dialogue between the distinctive and eclectic artworks.  All the cool kids will be there.


3. mnLIT Original: “The Four Hermans” by Brian Beatty is the first of mnartists.org’s newly commissioned pieces by the 2009 mnLIT grand prize-winning poets and writers. Each work will be accompanied by a curated selection of work drawn from mnartists.org’s vast database of artists.  Look for more original works in the coming weeks and announcement for the 2010 mnLIT series schedule soon.  


4.  Art and the Economy: Here is an interesting article from the Wall Street Journal about how art collectors are looking closer to home due the unstable global art market.  On a somewhat related note…I have had numerous discussions lately with local artists about the need to build an active and informed collectors base for local art.  There are a lot of good investment opportunities close to home which can be had on a limited budget. There is a trend in local food to buy local…it would be nice to see some of that same mentality carry over to the local arts.  Here is also an article from the New York Times about a sometime forgotten aspect of the downturn in the economy….the gallery owners.


art-attack-2009-banner-large5. Art Attack:  is an annual open studio and gallery crawl at the Northrup King Building, in the heart of the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District. The weekend-long event features over 200 artists working in all media.  Art Attack is an exciting opportunity to gain admission to private studios and to buy original art direct from local, nationally and internationally known artists. This a great one-stop event to see a dramatic range of artists and artwork and perhaps add to your art collection or get a few early holiday gifts.  


6. giveMN.org: Check out this site to research and contribute to Minnesota non-profits.  


7. Congrats to the 2009-10 Jerome Fellowship winners in visual arts Steven Accola, Caroline Kent, Tony Sunder, and the collaborative of Tynan Kerr and Andrew Mazorol.


8. Bad at Sports: is an awesome contemporary art blog and podcast based out of Chicago…. that everyone should check out on a frequent basis.  Their blog has an interesting post as to food as the hot trend in art events and performances.  Here is a link posted on the blog this week to best Halloween costume of the year …in my opinion.  8-bit is a bit played out, but this is cleaver. 


9.  As a tribute to the seminal local punk rock band the Suicide Commandos, newly re-elected mayor RT Rybak is declaring this Saturday, November 7, “Suicide Commandos Day.” The band will re-emerge to play three separate shows on Saturday: a pair of “10 and under” shows at the Walker Art Center during the day (one at 11 a.m. and one at 1 p.m.), and a late-night gig at the Dakota Jazz Club that begins at 11 p.m. The Walker concerts are first come seating and you must have a child with your group :) [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zs_RlJ_cLv8[/youtube]


10. mnartists.org / Walker Art Center artist pass program  We are launching a new program today for registered members of mnartists.org to receive admission to the Walker Art Center galleries and discounts on select events for the discounted price of $20 annually.  This program is intended to offer access and recognition to working artists  and active mnartists.org members within the state.  For more information and for an application for visit www.mnartists.org/artistpass.

TEN: This Week in Local Art

It has been the week of artists talks, openings and performances in town…. making for a very busy week in local art.  I have been running all week and think I only hit about 10% of them.  I think that is a good sign for the local art community.  Here is week number two of […]

It has been the week of artists talks, openings and performances in town…. making for a very busy week in local art.  I have been running all week and think I only hit about 10% of them.  I think that is a good sign for the local art community.  Here is week number two of the Local Art 10…I just made it in time to get it in this week.

1. Dan Graham 

2. Midway Contemporary’s current exhibitions: 800 Numbers — Ned Vena, Bingo, wait a minute… — Alex Hubbard and  The Ground — Felix Culpa, Todd Norsten, Conny Purtill, Josh Rickards up through December 5th. Excellent lineup of exhibitions that is a can’t miss as usual. Also, make sure you check out Midway’s extensive contemporary art library on your next visit.  It is one of the best resources for artists in the state.

3. The Minnesota Eye: This exhibition at the College of Visual Arts Gallery in St. Paul highlights many established and emerging photographers which call Minnesota home including Paul Shambroom, Alec Soth, Justin Newhall, JoAnn Verberg, Katherine Turczan and David Goldes.  The opening reception is Saturday, October 31 from 5-8.  Also of note is the related programming including a Photographer Panel Discussion moderated by Leslie Hammons, Director, Weinstein Gallery on Thursday, November 5, 6 – 8 p.m. and a gallery talk titled: Thoughts In and Around Photography Today with David E. Little, Curator and Head, Department of Photography and New Media at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts on Sunday, November 8, 4 p.m.

4. FEAST MPLS is a recurring public dinner designed to use community-driven financial support to democratically fund new and emerging artmakers. The concept By getting together and pooling money, wealth becomes a plural communal attribute. The wealth is then shared with people whose projects the community finds most the valuable to implement. Each person attending FEAST is making a cash donation on a sliding scale to receive supper and a ballot. At the end of the night, you cast a vote for which of a handful of artists’ proposals should get the evening’s proceeds. The winning proposal is funded directly from the donations collected at the door, and the grantee is asked back to present the fruits of their labor to you—the patrons—at the next FEAST dinner.

FIRST FEAST:
Saturday, November 14, 6:00–9:00pm
$10–20 cash donation, no one turned away
view the Facebook event invitation

Lee Walton: Momentary Performance near Whitey's in NE Minneapolis

Lee Walton: Momentary Performance near Whitey's in NE Minneapolis

5. Lee Walton: Momentary Performances:  Lee Walton’s momentary performances (presented by Bethel College and organized by Michelle Westmark) are taking place around the Twin Cities from September through November.   Each performance is a simple action from daily life.  Each performance site is home to a vinyl text didactic giving this action or performance a time, date, and location. Personally, I love how the project subtly exists in the public spaces calls attention to mundane acts as performative actions.  Check out Matt Olson’s nice piece on the project at his ROLU blog.  You should also bookmark his blog…its well worth being on your weekly stops around the web.  

6. Congrats to the new Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program (MAEP) panelists Andy Sturdevant, Megan Vossler, David Petersen and Brian Frink.  A very strong addition to the exhibition review panel at the MIA.  Follow the link for more details as to the program and exhibition proposals.

 

Rich Barlow: Silver Bromide Mural

Rich Barlow: Silver Bromide Mural

7. Rich Barlow: Silver Bromide Mural A very cool addition to the Powderhorn park neighborhood funded by the Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association through a Clean City Minneapolis Graffiti Abatement Grant. Beautiful piece which changes completely in different light. 

8. The Arts are well represented in a recent CNN.com list of the most stressful jobs with the least compensation. Curator checks in at number 12, membership manger at number 6, and special events coordinator (which is related to public programs and education) is at number 2. On the other side college professor is number 3 on the least stressful list….hmmm.

9. If you like these links and you are on Facebook consider joining the mnartists.org fan page.  

sn_hauntedbasement-910. The Soap Factory Haunted Basement: Okay so the Soap Factory basement is creepy to begin with…but this is so scary you need to sign a waiver.  Nice.  Happy Halloween.

10: The week in local art and other bits of interest

I have been a bad blogger.  I think everyone has good intentions and high aspirations when they start blogging….particularly as to frequency.  I tend to over-think things…everything simple turns into a long (and probably uninteresting project).  So in an effort to create more frequent posts and compelling reading, I am starting a new series of […]

I have been a bad blogger.  I think everyone has good intentions and high aspirations when they start blogging….particularly as to frequency.  I tend to over-think things…everything simple turns into a long (and probably uninteresting project).  So in an effort to create more frequent posts and compelling reading, I am starting a new series of blog posts. Each week I am going to pick 10 things, mostly from the local art scene, but sprinkling in other interesting nuggets which I have come across during the week.  And yes, I know that I am assuming that people care about my opinions and personal picks and that this format is tired…but I don’t care.

Enough rambling, here we go.

1. Minnesota Art Exhibition Series (MAEP) Annual Meeting  I can’t think of another event that brings such a diverse range of Minnesota artists into one room…..and sometimes that leads to a very interesting discussion and debate. The purposes of the meeting are to report on the activities of the past year, to discuss the program, and to elect four new members to the artist panel. Three of those artists must live within the Twin Cities metro area, and one must live in greater Minnesota. The Meeting is at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts on Saturday, October 24th from 10:30am – 1:00pm. Come on out and participate!  UPDATE: Congrats to new panelists Andy Sturdevant, Megan Vossler, David Petersen and Brian Frink!

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Margaret Wall-Romana - "Painting Painting with van der Weyden"

2. ARTmn 2009: The Precious Object brings together 14 artists from locales throughout Minnesota in the inaugural exhibition of mnartists.org’s ARTmn visual arts series, presented in partnership with the Hennepin County Public Library. The artists — selected from a pool of more than 300 applicants by a panel of curators, artists, and critics — explore issues related to nature, simulation, craft, collecting, and fantasy. Exhibiting artists Margaret Wall-Romana, Kristin Van Dorn, Erik Waterkotte, and Michon Weeks discuss their influences – from pulp sci-fi novels to 15th century painting on Tuesday, October 27th at 7:00 at Pohlad Hall at the library.  The talk and exhibition is free and open to the public. Here is also an interview with Liz Miller on her installation which invades the main stacks of the library space.

3. Vanilla Ice is big in South Africa ….who knew?  He is even sorry about the hair, pants and parts of his career. Ice, Ice Baby is still the biggest selling rap single of all time.  

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Amy Sillman

 4.  Amy Sillman artist in residence at Minnesota State University: Painter Amy Sillman will be in residence at Minnesota State University, Mankato on October 26, 27, 28. Her public lecture will be Monday October 26th at 7 pm Ostrander Auditorium the Minnesota State University, Mankato Centennial student union.  Well worth the drive from the Twin Cities!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Lookbook’s new video for “Over and Over” Lookbook is Grant Cutler and Maggie Morrison. They just released their new album Wild At Heart…and I can’t get these songs out of my head.  Great band, awesome video…totally deserving of the recent local hype. Check them out in person with Solid Gold at First Ave. on November 13th and at the Walker Art Center’s After Hours  for Event Horizon and Benches & Binoculars on November 20th!  

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/6860789[/vimeo]

6. Rob Fischer at Franklin Art Works: Fischer’s exhibition Few Landmarks and No Boundaries flows throughout the main gallery and into the expansive back space of the Franklin Artworks mixing found objects, video projections, a sunken pool and a re-configured gymnasium floor as a props surrounding performances spread throughout the run of the exhibition.  The exhibition is up through October 30 and there will be a closing performance and reception on October 29, beginning at 7 pm with live music by local band Dark Dark Dark.

7. Artists on the Verge 2: Northern Lights announces a second round of Art(ists) on the Verge commissions (AOV2). AOV2 is an intensive, mentor-based fellowship program for 5 Minnesota-based, emerging artists or artist groups working experimentally at the intersection of art,  technology, and digital culture with a focus on network-based practices that are interactive and/or participatory. Follow the link for all of the details, deadlines and other info.

8. Hélio Oiticica Fire  Fire destroyed or damaged nearly 90% of Brazilan Artist Helio Oticica’s work on October 16th.  The work was in storage while a dispute over money the quality of the storage facilities was being resolved.  Crazy and very sad.

9. Interesting Call for Exhibition proposals by apexart: Based on the idea of creating its own franchise, NYC based apexart is currently holding a worldwide, open call for 250-word proposals asking participants why the franchise should come to their town and provide all of the support necessary to produce an exhibition. The deadline is December 15th.

10. “Why the hell did I want to go here… again?”   With blogs everywhere, and good engines to sift through them, every once in awhile you stumble upon (or get sent a link by a co-worker with Google reader) a post like this review/rant by a young art student after recent trip to the Walker. Apparently the experience of visiting the museum is comparable to binge drinking.  The post drifts between the formal anaylsis of Chuck Close and snarky critique of Yves Klein. It was hit of the Education and Community Programs office for a few minutes on a rainy afternoon this week.

Until next week…

mnartists.org: Field Day at the Walker Art Center

For the past five years mnartists.org had a booth at the Minnesota State Fair.  Hundreds of mnartists.org members generously volunteered their time to hand out buttons, flyers and other materials and talk about mnartists.org to thousands of fair goers each year. Through outreach efforts like the fair mnartists.org has grown exponentially over the last few […]

mnartists.org Field Day

mnartists.org Field Day

For the past five years mnartists.org had a booth at the Minnesota State Fair.  Hundreds of mnartists.org members generously volunteered their time to hand out buttons, flyers and other materials and talk about mnartists.org to thousands of fair goers each year. Through outreach efforts like the fair mnartists.org has grown exponentially over the last few years by bringing artists and audiences together, providing news and information about the local arts scene, and fostering dialogue on matters of importance to the arts community in Minnesota and beyond. Today, mnartists.org is a primary resource for Minnesota artists and audiences and home to 15,196 registered artists, 1113 arts organizations, and 102,654 posted works of art.

While mnartists.org is an online resource, it is not fundamentally about technology. It is about an inclusive and democratic spirit of support for artists; creating a gathering place for the Minnesota art community, both on and offline.

With this in mind mnartists.org is trying something new this year.  mnartists.org: Field Day is a day-long event featuring Minnesota artists and most importantly inviting the local and regional art community to gather for a day to relax and meet fellow artists from across the state.  So join us Thursday, August 27th from 11am – 10pm at the Walker Art Center for a celebration of the diverse creative talents of the Minnesota art community. Picnic on the grass, socialize with fellow artists, participate in workshops and lawn games and enjoy the close of summer on the beautiful campus of the Walker.  

Here are the details…spread the word and bring your friends!

MNARTISTS.ORG: FIELD DAY AT THE WALKER
Thursday, August 27, 11 am–10 pm
Walker Art Center/Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

All events and activities of mnartists.org Field Day are free.  Members of mnartists.org receive free admission to the Walker Art Center galleries throughout the day. 

11 am–8 pm: .org Mall
Bazinet Garden Lobby

See why Minnesota is a great home for artists. Meet mnartists.org partner organizations, to learn about services and opportunities for artists, audiences, and inquisitive citizens. Scheduled organizations include Springboard for the Arts, The McKnight Foundation, ARThouse,  3 minute-egg, MCAD, College of Visual Arts, Walker Art Center, ARP!, Art Shanty Projects, Rain Taxi, Minnesota Center for Books Arts, The Onion/Decider, MAEP/MIA, Minnesota Public Radio, Forecast Public Art and mnartists.org members. 

Flat Pak House

Flat Pak House

11 am-12 noon: Kid-friendly dance with guest artist Sarah Jacobs
FlatPak House

Dance artist Sarah Jacobs presents a fun-filled hour of creative movement and kinetic play, especially tailored to engage young children. Families with children of all ages are welcome to join in and burn off some pre-nap energy.

mnLIT Picnic
FlatPak House

Geoff Herbach12 noon–1 pm: mnLIT Picnic Geoff Herbach of the Electric Arc Radio players and author of The Miracle Letters of T. Rimberg teams up with artist/writer/Salon Saloon creator Andy Sturdevant to host a matinée event in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. They will be joined by authors of mnartist.org’s mnLIT competition for live readings of their winning flash fiction and poetry compositions.  
Kickball trophies created by artist Ginny Maki

Kickball trophies created by artist Ginny Maki

1–5 pm: Greenspace Games
Outside Bazinet Garden Lobby

Field Day, or the elementary school Olympics, was an event typically held toward the end of the school year.  For many it was a day of mixed feelings.  The good was that you got out of school for the day, however your athletic shortcomings were also on full display.  I was the average to below-average athlete just good enough to not embarrass myself, but exactly a threat to any of the talent people.  This resulted in a bulletin board of 3rd – 7th place ribbons, which came in such heroic colors as purple, pink and brown.  Then there was the dreaded participant ribbon, the ribbon awarded and reminded you that you were involved in the particular event but merited no further recognition.  

This will be nothing like that kind of Field Day…so whether you go in for hardcore tactics or free-for-all antics, join or cheer the artistically (and not necessarily athletically) inclined for lawn sports in the Walker’s west-side park. Pre-registered teams may participate in the kickball tournament  (if you aren’t registered we can find a spot for you anyway)and anyone can drop in to play badminton and other lawn sports on the south side of the green space.  We also have trophies created by local artists and MCAD grad student Ginny Maki for the winners. 

Calpurnia Peach

Calpurnia Peach

1:00 – 5:00 pm Remake and Revamp
Outside Bazinet Garden Lobby

Calpurnia Peach—a collaboration between Luci Kandler and Ashley Wokasch, whose line has been a hit at Minneapolis’ annual Voltage: Fashion Amplified show extend their summer screen printing workshop to field day inviting participants to design a personal emblem of summery good times, mnartists or field day and screen-print it on clothing brought from home and make your own mnartsits.org t-shirt.

11 am-4 pm: Family art-making workshop and Arty Pants scavenger hunt
FlatPak House

Kids are mnartists too! Families are invited to stop by the FlatPak house in the sculpture garden to nurture the artist within by making a cool, personally designed sketch pad. (Materials will be provided)

Scavenger Hunt: Field Day’s family visitors are invited to traipse through the Sculpture Garden all afternoon, to hunt down fine (and not-so fine) arty treasures tucked amid the greenery and artwork.

3:00 pm Open Eye Figure Theatre’s “The Adventures of Katie Tomatie”
FlatPak House

The artists of Open Eye Figure Theatre will present a puppet show sure to delight children and adults alike. Come to the Sculpture Garden’s Flat Pak house to see “The Adventures of Katie Tomatie,” one of the shows in this summer’s “Driveway Tour” series by this acclaimed Minneapolis theater company.

5:30 pm Minnesota Artist “Class Photo”
Outside Bazinet Garden Lobby

Gather on the Greenspace for a Minnesota Art Community group photo….all artist, art appreciators and supporters welcome! The photo will be posted online for tagging and sharing.  So come out and be counted….we want to see hundreds of you!

Solid Gold

Solid Gold

8:30 pm: Skyspace/Soundspace: Solid Gold
James Turrell’s Sky Pesher, 2005 and Walker greenspace

The last of our summer Sky Pesher series is capped with a very experimental set by local favs Solid Gold.  This will NOT be a typical Solid Gold gig….think sound collage and percussion to live video projection on the side of the building.  It will be a special performance not to be missed.

Food and Refreshments
Outside Bazinet Garden Lobby and Gorilla Garden

Food and drinks will be available at the Wolfgang Puck Garden grill from 11am – 8pm
The Gorilla Garden Bar will be open 6pm – 10pm 

Document and Share
Share your photos and thoughts online during and after the event.
Twitter #MNFIELDDAY
Facebook.com/mnartists.org

Target Free Thursday Nights sponsored by Target
mnartists.org is a project of the McKnight Foundation and the Walker Art Center.
mnLIT and mnartists.org Field Day is sponsored by the Twin Cities Decider and the Onion.
Walker Art Center programming is made possible by its Premier Partners: General Mills, Target, and Star Tribune.

Remembering Jean Matzke

Early last Friday morning, fiber artist Jean Matzke went out for a stroll in downtown St. Paul with her boxer, Maya, just like she did every morning. As she crossed the street near her condo in Lowertown Artist Lofts, she was struck and killed by a passing garbage truck. The strange, sad nature of the […]

Portrait of Jean Matze by Chris Felver

Portrait of Jean Matzke by Chris Felver

Early last Friday morning, fiber artist Jean Matzke went out for a stroll in downtown St. Paul with her boxer, Maya, just like she did every morning. As she crossed the street near her condo in Lowertown Artist Lofts, she was struck and killed by a passing garbage truck. The strange, sad nature of the tragic accident has grabbed a number of headlines; but not enough has been published, thus far, about the woman, herself.

Matzke was a fixture in the local art and fine craft scene — in addition to her distinguished career as an artist, she ran a gallery in St. Cloud for years and years before moving to the Twin Cities in the early 2000s. Her distinctive artwork was shown regularly at the Grand Hand Gallery and Textile Center; she was a stalwart of the seasonal St. Paul Art Crawl scene and a lifelong booster of her fellow artists’ work. In the wake of her sudden death, artists from all over the state are struggling to make sense of her loss.

One of Matzke’s friends and Lowertown Lofts neighbors, filmmaker Deborah Wallwork, offers her own tribute to Jean below.

*****

It’s our deepest fear — that your life could be over in an instant. One day you are talking and laughing with a friend in the elevator, about to take your dog for a walk; and then, the next minute, you are gone, kaput, finished.

Lowertown artist Jean Matzke was killed a week ago, struck by truck at the intersection of 5th and Sibley, close to Mears Park. There’s a memorial there, one of those ad hoc folk shrines — roses and sunflowers, photographs and news stories, all bound to a lamp post. That Jean died instantly is maybe a blessing; but it also left a hole in many lives. Here was someone who held many threads in her hands; an individual who gladly took on many roles and made many connections in the circles of her community.

Jean was, first of all, a bright smile you encountered at the Textile Center, the WARM meetings, the St. Paul Art Crawl. A can-do person, she was enthusiasm incarnate, someone who’d jump in to help out, who took up others’ ideas and ran with them. Never one to complain, she embraced life and its challenges with a little twinkle of humor, in way that was both admirable and charmingly self-deprecating.

Jean Matzke, "Tangled"

Jean Matzke, "Tangled"

Being so warm, upbeat, engaging, she was, naturally, a light to others. A wonderful artist in her own right; she was also loved for being one who served. She ran a gallery in St. Cloud for many years, and she continued to be a resource for many artists and students from outstate who came to the Cities. After she moved to St. Paul, into Lowertown Lofts Artist Coop, in addition to showing her own work, during the Art Crawl, she organized a “theme wall,” where she curated and hung a show of other members’ work.

That was Jean, always looking around to see what she could do.

I loved her work the second I saw it. It’s deeply personal, and yet, intellectual. She was thinking, through her art, about the life she led–about being a woman, a mother, a passionate reader. Her art took the thread of her life and worked it intensely into the fabric of the world around her. Interested in the figure, in the combinations of text and image, she put her ideas in a medium that is rich with feminine history — is there a woman out there who doesn’t lust after fabric? And yet, somehow, hers is a medium that still hangs in the halls of art history under the rubric of “craft.” Jean made art: pieces that are serious, thoughtful, playful, and expressionistic.

Jean Matzke, "Fall at 5"

Jean Matzke, "Fall at 5"

Stubbornly independent, full of energy and optimism and physical stamina — at 70, Jean was vital, as antsy and eager as a young teenager. At a gathering which friends recently held in her memory, there were many stories about Jean climbing up 14-foot ladders, hauling great boxes of exhibit materials to and fro in her capacious van, refusing all offers for help. She walked at least five miles a day; on the day of the accident, she was probably on her way back to Lowertown from her ritual route around the St. Paul Cathedral, arriving back home as the sun rose above the buildings at five in the morning.

We couldn’t keep up with her.

I’ve been thinking about Jean and thinking about threads–about how so many stitches, in embroidery, are circles. Each stitch is like a tiny brush stroke, in each one you have to travel into something and then find your way out.

I’m thinking now about how there’s always two sides to a cloth, the one you see, which is realized, an image created through meticulous and demanding labor; and then there’s other side, the one that is a tangle of knots and cut ends.

Paul Klee defined drawing as “taking a line for a walk”; it’s a phrase that fits if you think about embroidery as the complex elaborations of a thread.

One of Jean’s recent pieces is about tangles. Another one is about the fear of losing one’s memory–a different kind of tangling, so I’m told.

In Greek mythology, three ancient crones weave the threads of Destiny. Clotho spins the Thread of Life, Lachesis allots the length of the tether, and Atropos positions her scissors over the loom for the final snip. One by one the threads are cut in this life, almost unnoticeably. And sooner or later the garment or quilt or weaving is freed from that endless spool.

We in the arts community were all devastated by the suddenness of this loss. At the Lowertown Lofts, we held a remembrance ceremony. We all brought candles and lit them, one from another, told stories, and brought them together into a brilliant shrine of many points of light. Someone sang a Tibetan prayer, and another person did a releasing of the spirit. Improvisationally, as artists, we knew we needed to turn this tragedy, to tuck in the threads, tie up the loose ends.

Jean didn’t get a chance to say goodbye. Her thread was precipitously cut. But the embroidery of her life, her work, goes on.

–Deb Wallwork

Q & A with Kristin Makholm, new director of the Minnesota Museum of American Art

A Q & A with the newly hired director of the Minnesota Museum of American Art, Kristin Makholm, about her vision for the soon-to-be-revived St. Paul art museum.

Kristin Makholm with British artist Graham Rawle and the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow, Dorothy, Toto, and the Tinman in the field of poppies.

Kristin Makholm with British artist Graham Rawle and the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow, Dorothy, Toto, and the Tinman in the field of poppies.

Last week, the Minnesota Museum of American Art (MMAA) announced that the St. Paul museum has hired a new director, Kristin Makholm. In addition to her duties as an adjunct professor in the Minneapolis College of Art and Design’s liberal arts department, Makholm has spent the last five years as MCAD’s director of gallery and exhibition programs, as well as being the administrator of two large artist fellowship programs, the McKnight Artist Fellowships for Visual Artists and the Jerome Foundation Fellowships for Emerging Artists. (You can see a list of the recently named 2009/10 McKnight Artist Fellows here.)

Frankly, the news that MMAA was hiring a new director at all came as something of a surprise to me–last I’d heard, the institution’s very future was in doubt. With all the misfortune hitting arts organizations in recent months, hearing about the MMAA’s plans for revival is heartening news, indeed. In spite of its recent troubles, the museum has been a valuable addition to the Twin Cities (and, in particular, St. Paul’s) contemporary art landscape, particularly for its impressive (albeit too rarely seen) permanent collection of artwork and an admirably enduring commitment to showcasing work from regional artists.

Kristin Makholm will assume her new post at the MMAA quickly, on June 22, so before she’s swamped with the tasks of settling in to her new job, we hit her up for some information and insight–about the MMAA’s new plans, her new role in and vision for the museum, and what we can expect from the institution as it regroups and moves forward.

*****

What prompted you to make this move from an influential position in a nationally known educational institution to take the helm at MMAA, by all recent accounts a struggling organization? And why now?

KM: My background is as a museum curator, and I always knew I’d want to return to the museum someday. I’ve been at MCAD almost five years, plenty of time to make my mark on a thriving college art community and to develop my knowledge of local and regional artists, especially through the McKnight and Jerome fellowship programs. Why now? Due to the MMAA’s leadership vacuum and loss of its building, it needed someone now to take the reins, not last year, not a year from now. The timing was basically dictated by these other circumstances, not necessarily my own timetable.

The MMAA has seen hard times in recent months–turmoil in the leadership, a need for space to house the museum, not to mention the loss of momentum from the MMAA’s closing several months ago. What do you see as the lingering obstacles for the museum going forward, and how do you plan to tackle them?

KM: Well, the biggest obstacle is clearly the lack of a building, so determining what will be the best space to house the next museum will be one of my first priorities. Hand in hand with that is raising support and money for the new museum and its programming. And this will mean reestablishing confidence that the museum can thrive–both fiscally and artistically–offering donors and supporters a program, a mission, a vision that is dynamic, distinctive, and doable.

Some logistical questions –

  • About the location: will there be a permanent home for the MMAA, and will it remain in St. Paul?
  • About the artwork: are there plans in the works for allowing the public more opportunities to view work in the MMAA collection (and how much of it will be on view on a regular basis)?
  • About money: has a new revenue stream opened up, or has the museum found a new philanthropic benefactor that turned the tide and assured MMAA’s future viability?

KM: About the location: I think it is imperative that the museum stays in St. Paul. Minnesota’s capital city needs its own art museum, an art center that can be a real destination point for people across the region and beyond. A permanent home is the goal of both the board and myself. This is part of giving the museum an established identity that people can count on, year in and year out.

About the artwork: The MMAA’s permanent collection is a major asset to the city and the state and will be seen on a regular basis. Of course, how often and in what capacity this happens will depend to a large extent on space considerations in a new building. However, it is my goal to refresh the public’s knowledge and appreciation of the museum’s permanent collection as part of the overall programming of the museum.

About money: We have received an extremely positive sense from individuals, the city, local foundations, and corporations, that the continued vitality of the MMAA is important to the cultural life of the region. Many have committed funds to help us restart our operations and search for a new building. One of my big tasks will be to bring back supporters who may have committed themselves elsewhere and reignite the enthusiasm of new donors and philanthropists on both sides of the river.

Given the abundance of art galleries and museums in the area, what do you envision the MMAA, under your leadership, will add to the scene? Put another way: Do you see gaps in the area’s exhibition and arts programming where the new-and-improved MMAA can step in and offer something distinct?

KM: That was one big question I needed to answer before accepting the job, because why do something second best or as an also-ran to other established local museums? The Twin Cities are awash with great art museums, galleries, and art centers. What niche could the MMAA fill that would make it important, distinctive, and long lasting? One thing I saw missing was a museum dedicated to art of Minnesota and the region, both past and present. This is a focus that has actually marked the MMAA’s programming for a long time now. I want to ramp it up, provide more scholarly, in-depth exhibitions that focus on regional artists, consider the “state of the state” at regular intervals, offer more cross-disciplinary events and exhibitions, collaborate with other local arts organizations, coordinate with other museums from the region, that sort of thing. This doesn’t mean we will sideline the museum’s dedication to American art, which is a key component of the collection and the history of the institution. I think programming can include work of both regional and national artists; it’s all American, after all.

What is your five-year vision for the reopened MMAA? How will the revived museum’s programming and exhibition line-up differ from what the museum has focused on previously? Specifically, do you see the MMAA continuing on as a regionally-focused contemporary art museum, or do you see this as an institution with possibilities in larger national and international art circles?

KM: In five years, the plan is to have a thriving art museum in St. Paul, a center that people regularly visit to experience high quality, innovative exhibitions and events, educational opportunities, and even parties, openings, maybe even patio nights again, which were so successful at the last MMAA. My belief is that as long as you provide high quality programming, with vision, with integrity, with unique flair–whether that be more regionally centered or more broadly American–that the institution can be a model for museums and museum professionals anywhere in the world, museums that want to refocus their attentions on the talent and individuality in their own backyards. My main concern right now is reestablishing a museum that has this integrity, excellence, and commitment. At the moment, how that will be viewed nationally or internationally is not on the top of my list of priorities. I DO feel however that if you do things right, you can be a model for anyone, anywhere.

Finally, what about the 2-D and 3-D Biennial exhibitions of work by local artists the MMAA has hosted over the years–will they go on?

KM: I don’t know. I certainly feel the museum should engage recent trends and current work in the region, but perhaps there’s a better way to go about it. Nothing’s off the table at this point.

Sky Bender

Join us this Thursday night for the second Sky Pesher concert as part of  Target Free Thursday Nights: Summer Edition.  Up next is electronic duo Beatrix*JAR (Bianca Pettis-Beatrix and Jacob Aaron Roske -JAR) who create fuzzy sound collages with glitch beatboxes, rewired toys, circuit-bent keyboards, and other mutant sound machines. Beatrix*JAR’s performances are high energy dance parties so come on […]

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Lookbook performing in the Sky Pesher: Photo by Cameron Wittig

Join us this Thursday night for the second Sky Pesher concert as part of  Target Free Thursday Nights: Summer Edition.  Up next is electronic duo Beatrix*JAR (Bianca Pettis-Beatrix and Jacob Aaron Roske -JAR) who create fuzzy sound collages with glitch beatboxes, rewired toys, circuit-bent keyboards, and other mutant sound machines. Beatrix*JAR’s performances are high energy dance parties so come on out and move to the funky Fisher-Price driven beats, relax on the Greenspace and enjoy a drink with friends.

If you are unfamiliar with the circuit bending process please check out this great piece for MAKE magazine’s television program featuring a demonstration by Bianca. The circuit bending movement is quickly gaining popularity and I can personally attest to the dwindling cache of old Casio keyboards, Speak & Spell’s and kiddy drum machines at local thrift stores.

If you didn’t make it to the last Sky Pesher concert with Lookbook  here is a rundown of this unique concert experience. Five Minnesota bands will venture out of the clubs for performances inside and around artist James Turrell’s meditative Sky Pesher installation in the greenspace to  the west side of the Walker.   Sky Pesher concerts are free events, however there will be two different, but equally enjoyable ways to experience these exclusive, one-night-only sets from some of the area’s hottest music-makers.

  • 1. A limited audience will be seated surrounding the band inside the Sky Pesher interior. The interior seating is very limited and available on a first come basis.  Tickets will be released at the Bazinet Lobby desk at 6pm the evening of the performance.  You must be present to receive a ticket (so if your friends want to get a ticket too…they need to be here).
  • 2. There is unlimited space on the exterior of the Sky Pesher on the Walker Greenspace. Tickets are not needed for experiencing the concert outside the Sky Pesher.  There will be speakers to hear the performance while watching the sunset and enjoying your favorite beverage from the cash bar (note: drinks will not be allowed inside the Sky Pesher). Spread out, bring your blanket or lawn chairs and enjoy the beautiful summer evening to a live soundtrack.
Walker Greenspace: Photo by Cameron Wittig

Walker Greenspace: Photo by Cameron Wittig

After the approximately 45 minute performance in the Sky Pesher the band will emerge and gather near the Sky Pesher entrance for a short Q&A and perhaps a bonus performance.

Event Schedule

5:00 Target Free Thursday Nights Begin – Free Gallery Admission
7:30 Bar opens on the Greenspace
8:30 Sky Pesher Concert with Beatrix*JAR
9:45 Last Call

Again…the event is FREE, however seating in the Sky Pesher is limited on a first come basis available only in person at the Bazinet lobby desk the night of the performance. Seating outside the space is unlimited. A cash bar will be available in the outdoor seating area. Blankets and lawn chairs are allowed. Another suggestion for this week is…things that glow-in-the-dark.

beatrix_jar-couchFor this week’s Sky Pesher concert I asked Jacob and Bianca to list their favorite Circuit Bending Workshop experiences…and a few of the resulting creations.

Having recently been accused by a fan of being altruistic sound artists, we decided instead to give you a list of our Top Ten Circuit Bending Workshops. We started offering workshops to encourage others to do it to. We taught our first workshop in our old studio apartment in downtown Minneapolis – the 3 kids that came circuit bent their Talking Elmo, Wiggles Guitar and a Casio SK-1, when it was over we couldn’t stop smiling. – Beatrix*JAR

Top Ten Workshops

1. Ong King Arts Center:  Honolulu, HIHawaii
Circuit Bending in Hawaii, need we say more? We saw several different Casio Keyboards come out at this workshop and based on our experiences at the thrift stores in Honolulu, we’ve christened Hawaii – the Island of Lost Toys!

2. The Museum of Contemporary Art, San DiegoMCASD
One of the first places we were ever flown to for our work! We performed at the museum’s first Thursday event that included an Art Technology Fashion show – with designers from San Diego and Tijuana. The workshop took place on a beautiful Saturday afternoon at the Museum’s Ocean room which looked out on the La Jolla coastline. There is something special about circuit bending with the ocean near…

3. The American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, MD VISIONARY
“Visionary art as defined for the purposes of the American Visionary Art Museum refers to art produced by self-taught individuals, usually without formal training, whose works arise from an innate personal vision that revels foremost in the creative act itself.” That’s us – self taught with personal vision!  AVAM invited us out to host a workshop and performance for a “Couples Night” at the museum!

4. Urban Ventures Leadership Foundation urban-leadership
An afterschool program right here in Minneapolis. This was the first workshop we taught in which we invited the kids to play our machines. The kids held up signs with the number 10 written on them like Olympic Judges and expressed themselves with our gear the sonic results were amazing.

5. High Mayhem, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Sunday morning Circuit Bending with a bunch of bohemian artists in beautiful Santa Fe, our “Ah ha” moment!

culture-camp6. Walker Art Center Culture Camp
We worked with students to “design” their toys from the outside. A really fun and unique experience.

7. Zeum, Art Technology Museum in San Francisco
Circuit Bending with families – adults and kids working hand and hand!

8. The Andy Warhol Museum & the CAPA Performing Arts High School in Pittsburgh capa
Circuit Bending in the name of Warhol.

9. Wexner Art Center, Columbus, Ohio
The Wexner placed us in a room and we hosted seven sold out workshops. “You guys are HOT!”

WEXNER10. Erie Art Museum, Erie PA
We made our first news appearance on the Erie Morning News and met the Mayor. We’ve been back to Erie twice – it’s a really warm and unique town with a great museum.

 

 

 

TOP THREE TOYS TO CIRCUIT BEND:

The funny thing about our favorite toys is that they don’t have official names, usually they just say “Made in China” – so we’ve assigned them names below:

Golden Toy1. GOLDEN TOY

 

 

 

Animal Organ2. ANIMAL ORGAN

 

 

 

lilkeyboard3. LITTLE KEYBOARD

 

 

 

 

 

Mark your calendars for the remaining three concerts of the Sky Pesher series.

July 2: Mandrágora Tango
This vibrant collective is dedicated to preserving tango music as well as translating it into
fresh yet nostalgic forms.

July 23: Machinery Hill
Deftly combining ska, klezmer, Celtic music, rock, and American folk, Machinery Hill’s style
“hurtles all over the musical map with impish delight” (Star Tribune).

August 27: Solid Gold
Summer winds down in style with an experimental performance by this trio, which creates gorgeous collisions between digital and analog instrumentation by mixing heavy beats with surprising twists on Americana. This is the culminating event of mnartists.org’s daylong field day extravaganza.

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