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mnartists’ Most-Read Blog Posts of 2013 (Spoiler Alert: Cats are Hard to Beat)

This year, here on the blog we beefed up our local arts coverage, but we also worked  to widen the scope of our stories at the same time and include sharp writing on timely national and international cultural conversations as well. To that end, there are a number of new columns around here, lots of linky […]

This year, here on the blog we beefed up our local arts coverage, but we also worked  to widen the scope of our stories at the same time and include sharp writing on timely national and international cultural conversations as well. To that end, there are a number of new columns around here, lots of linky mini-essays and discipline-mixing topical series penned by writers and artists from here and around the country — on art and science, music, dance, books, film, visual art, pop culture memes and fashion. All that, and we’ve got a clever comic strip, too.

I’m gratified to see that our most-read blog posts of 2013 mirror those evolutions and cross-pollinations: your clicks offer welcome evidence that there really is an audience eager for substantive regional arts writing.

So, before we dive into 2014, a list of our most-read blog posts from the year just gone by:

People of the Internet Still Really Like Cats: No question, our coverage of #catvidfest and its related hoo-ha was tops with readers in 2013, dominating our tally of most-read blog posts yet again. Thousands around the world responded, both to nominate and to watch contenders for this year’s Golden Kitty Award. We offered “15 Reasons to Attend a Cat Video Festival” and “10 Questions for #catvidfest Host Julie Klausner“, and readers pounced on the posts  like catnip; they also clicked through in droves to help Koo Koo Kanga Roo select the album art for their cats-themed record.

From Todd Balthazor's strip, "Pollock Theory"

From “Pollock Theory” by Todd Balthazor

Todd Balthazor’s comic for mnartists, It Is What It Is!, really hit its stride this year. His behind-the-scenes-at-the-museum strip has not only hit a sweet spot for our readers, it has earned him national notice as well. He was profiled in both the New York Times and the December 2013 issue of ARTnews magazine for his mnartists blog comic — we couldn’t be prouder.

Katharina Fritsch, Gehirn (Brain). Plaster, paint. 1987/1989

Katharina Fritsch, Gehirn (Brain). Plaster, paint. 1987/1989

Art and Science: Maggie Ryan Sandford’s art and science posts have been as winsome and engaging as they are erudite, and so it does our hearts good to see readers find her. Two of her posts were among our most-read stories:

“Art and the Right Brain Fallacy”

“The Fibonacci Sequence: Life Imitates Math Imitates Art”

Words woldrs woroid, Ute Bertog, 2011.

Ute Bertog, Words woldrs woroid, 2011.

Painters on Painting: Jehra Patrick’s posts on local artists picked up lots of clicks last year, particularly her coverage of painters.

“10 Artists to Watch in 2013”

“5 Artists Expanding the (Painting) Field, from the Midwest”

“Trouble in Paradise: A Conversation with Painter Melissa Loop”

“On ‘Painting in the Present Tense’”: Speaking of painting, artist and professor David Lefkowitz’s post for mnartists’ blog, in response to a particularly lively artist talk for the Walker exhibition, Painter Painter, also made our most-read list.

Mini-Golf, ArtPrize and Eyeo:

“ArtPrize Pitch Night Cheat Sheet” : On the mnartists/Walker collaboration with Grand Rapids’ annual art competition and cultural spectacle, and a local “pitch night” for a contest to encourage more Minnesota artists to participate in ArtPrize.

“Introducing the Artists and Teams of Mini Golf 2013”: Another mnartists/Walker collaboration, Artist-Designed Mini Golf, continued apace with summertime duffers in the Sculpture Garden and blog readers alike.

“5 Takeaways from Eyeo 2013”: Jehra Patrick’s rundown on new media arts and culture trends from last year’s Eyeo new media arts festival.

More from our most-read blog posts of 2013:

The Joffrey Ballet’s recent Rite of Spring: No Riots but Some Head-Scratching“: Camille LeFevre’s review of Northrop Dance’s presentation of the famed Chicago company’s performance of the historic work

Daft Punk: Need More RAM!” Tom Loftus’ charming post in anticipation of the robot duo’s buzzed-about LP from last year, Random Access Memories, and what would prove to be 2013’s official song of the summer, that album’s hit single, “Get Lucky”.

Crispin Glover’s Latest Flick: Are You Really Sure It Is Fine?” At an early June event in Duluth, Kat Mandeville walked out of a screening of Crispin Glover’s latest film, It is Fine! EVERYTHING IS FINE! Outraged as much by the fact of the film’s screening as she was its provocative content, she wrote a letter in response and sent it around to me at mnartists.org. I reprinted her missive, and wrote a bit about the film, her letter, and the critical conversations prompted by both.

From Vice to Africa to Duluth, the Places of Photographer Brad Ogbonna“: A profile of a young St. Paul-to-New York City transplant rediscovering his Nigerian roots in a new project he’s working on with DIESEL + EDUN