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2013-2014 McKnight Photography Fellows: Now Available on iBooks

For the past 30 years, the McKnight Artist Fellowships for Photographers program has supported the work of mid-career Minnesota artists, both to recognize their accomplishments and to assist ongoing work. The fellowship provides four annual awards which include a $25,000 stipend, visits with nationally and internationally recognized curators and critics, and the production of a […]

For the past 30 years, the McKnight Artist Fellowships for Photographers program has supported the work of mid-career Minnesota artists, both to recognize their accomplishments and to assist ongoing work. The fellowship provides four annual awards which include a $25,000 stipend, visits with nationally and internationally recognized curators and critics, and the production of a monograph artist book or catalog. mnartists.org has hosted and managed the fellowship for the past five years, working with a total of 20 mid-career photographers.

The 2012-2013 McKnight Artist Fellows include an accomplished group of contemporary photographers selected by jurors Kevin Moore, an independent scholar and curator; Lisa Sutcliffe, a former Assistant Curator at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and current Curator of Photography at the Milwaukee Art Museum; and San Francisco artist, Todd Hido. The fellows worked closely with the McKnight Photography Fellowship staff and Minneapolis publisher Location Books to produce four distinct monographs. The completed books are published in a limited edition of 100 copies, and they represent the distinct bodies of work made by each fellow. Each book includes an introductory essay on the artist’s work written by independent curator Charlotte Cotton. Below is a preview of the newly published catalogs: see a sampling of each fellow’s images, read excerpts from the essays. We encourage you to download a copy of each through iTunes if you’d like to read more.

Frozen by Jenn Ackerman

Jenn Ackerman, Crib Ruins. Lake Superior, Feb. 2013

Jenn Ackerman

Ackerman’s work has been recognized by the Inge Morath Award, Review Santa Fe/CENTER, Magnum Expression Award, the Honickman First Book Prize, Communication Arts Photography Annual and others. One of her projects, Trapped, was named Non-Traditional Photojournalism Publishing Project of the Year, and the project’s short film won an Emmy. Ackerman studied photography at the Danish School of Journalism, and received a master’s degree in visual communications from Ohio University. During the fellowship year Ackerman continued working on her project, Frozen, shooting with a 4×5 camera in the rural areas of Northern Minnesota.

From the introductory essay by Charlotte Cotton for the book, Frozen: 

Jenn Ackerman moved to Minnesota three years ago, and it is perhaps not surprising that her first mature body of work created here would engage with one of the defining characteristics of this state.  In her series, Frozen, Ackerman responds to the unique visual drama of winter weather.  She gathers a series of scenes and encounters in northern Minnesota, seen through the eyes of a newly arrived photographer, each conveying a graphic sense of the infinite terrain that the ice and snow create in the winter months.  There are solitary structures and vehicles that she finds in remote places — almost comical and anthropomorphic, resilient and even optimistic in their ability to endure these harsh winters, disconnected from regular fall or spring time use.

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Teri Fullerton, from the series The Return, ongoing

Teri Fullerton

Fullerton is a 2010-11 Jerome Emerging Artist Fellow whose work has been included in 22 solo and group exhibitions in Portland, Seattle, Milwaukee, Santa Fe, the Twin Cities and Paris. Fullerton grew up in Lake Tahoe, California, completed a Master’s in Education (1996) in Portland, Oregon, and a Master’s in Fine Art (2008) from Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Fullerton traveled to both Molokai and Hawaii during her fellowship year, where she created photographic and video portraits of veterans for her project, The Return. 

From the introduction to Before Eros/After War:

Fullerton often takes an observation and something that is, for her, an emotional point of pressure, and thinks through how a photographic strategy can reveal the contradictions and hidden narratives of contemporary life.   There are a number of facets to Teri Fullerton’s photographic practice, which all centre upon the human condition of loneliness and the quest for a feeling of homecoming.  This is absolutely explicit in Fullerton’s ongoing series of photographs, which portray American military veterans.

But Fullerton also introduces her own interventions into this mediated system of desire, creating an artful gallery of ‘fantasy boyfriends’, reworking the iconography of heterosexual male desirability that the Internet now provides, reminding us of the deep-seated desires that we project so naturally upon online photographic imagery.

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Jason Pearson

Pearson has exhibited his photography and drawing both nationally and internationally and is the recipient of the Jerome Foundation Travel and Research Grant (2011), Djerassi Resident Artists Program Residency (2008), The Cooper Union School of Art Residency (2007) and the Anderson Ranch Arts Center Residency Program (2007–08). His work is in a number of private collections as well as the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL. Pearson was born and raised in Minnesota. He holds a BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (2002) and an MFA from Syracuse University (2007), both in photography. During his fellowship, Pearson traveled to Playa del Carmen where he staged photographs that function in tandem with a cache of images co-created with his twin brother for his project, No Kissing.

Cotton, on No Kissing:

Jason Pearson, in collaboration with his brother, has been creating a cache of photographic imagery. They construct a visual language of shared memories, notes, and proclamations that collectively provide an idiosyncratic glimpse into their histories and experiences.  Their photographs act as a set of codes and signifiers of imagined events, games and desires.  Jason Pearson has an eye for the visually strange and contradictory, and this is the overarching characteristic of all of the photographs shown here.

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Katherine Turczan, Reubens and Watermelon, Ukraine, 2012

Katherine Turczan

Turczan’s work is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art. She was a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow and 2010 Fulbright Fellow and has travelled extensively in Eastern Europe, making photographs which reflect the changes in the former Soviet Union. For her fellowship year, Turczan returned to Dneprodzerzhinsk, where she photographed the impact of social upheaval on the lives of young women in her project, Breshnev’s Daughters.

From Cotton’s essay on Breshnev’s Daughters:

Katherine Turczan uses a slow camera, the 8” x 10” large-format camera, positioned on a tripod, and that determines the gentle scrutiny that she gives her subjects.  Working in the women’s domestic spaces, with their distinct patterned carpets, wallpapers, paintings, and elegant displays of flowers, Turczan provides a sense of safety and respect in these photographic encounters with her use of black-and-white photography.  The delicacy in the play of light, of finely detailed fabrics, the women’s hair and skin are all palpably present in these monochrome scenes.

Complete catalogs, with full essays by Charlotte Cotton on these fellows’ projects, are available for download on iTunes.

Anne George: Readymade Gestures

Anne George welcomes me into her studio one sweltering Minnesota evening in late June. I’m greeted by the soft flutter of crepe paper flagging through the air as a standing fan oscillates. Her studio is — through my aspiring eyes — quite dreamy; easily 1,000 square feet laid out in the form of an “L,” […]

Untitled, Banner Series Canvas, twill tape, acrylic, 108″ x 96,” 2012

Anne George welcomes me into her studio one sweltering Minnesota evening in late June. I’m greeted by the soft flutter of crepe paper flagging through the air as a standing fan oscillates. Her studio is — through my aspiring eyes — quite dreamy; easily 1,000 square feet laid out in the form of an “L,” with generous daylight, massive walls, large utilitarian carts, flat files, a built-in bookshelf wall and seating area. Together we walk through several bodies of work, each which investigates medium as subject, and draw connections between formal interests, slippage of language, and non-fixity with respect to “gesture” and artists careers.

The artist's studio. Photo by Jehra Patrick

The artist’s studio

George’s earlier work was centralized in printmaking with a conceptual interest in sequential nature of film. Influenced by film and video’s emergence, and acceptance, into contemporary art practice during the 1990s, she transcribed an interest in time and framing into a motif of pagination carried out across books, prints, and multiples. Choice in medium, format, and therefore subject, within George’s practice tends to shift by happenstance and introduction, rather than placing an exterior interest into the medium as a vehicle. In example, her interests shifted from books and prints to working photographically, through the catalyst of simply being given a camera. The medium itself then becomes the cause for its employ. She’s not interested in resolving topical or content issues, rather the issues specific to medium, form, and the properties of both.

Untitled (Level), 1997. Image: Walker Art Center

Her earlier work in digital photography, bypassed traditional photographic concerns for framing, subject and documenting contemporary history. Rather, she became interested in the qualities of the digital mark – the pixel – and its ability to shatter and break apart an image. Digital cameras and resolution quality are now a part of everyday vernacular, but in the mid-90s this was an exploration of the nature of the object of the camera and its output – with concerns for what is can do, what kind of information does it transmit – rather then engaging the language of the photograph as commentary on, or reflexivity of, the medium.

George’s material interests are also apparent in her concerns for resolving two-dimensional design applications though drawings. She works on a smaller — we’ll call it store-bought — dimension, which bears a nice relationship to the body. Easily at arms length, the size of a torso, or something you’d carry. On that size, one’s hand can caress the paper and enjoy its smoothness, burrs, and other tactile qualities. George will also enforce the drawing paper by stretching it over foamcore, creating an airy tablet.

George approaches the substrate employing everyday materials as formal, and physical, “gestures.” For George, the notion of the gesture sprawls out in all its semiotic glory: as an action, doing, articulating movement through space, occupying dimensions, acting as lines, or compacting into iconography. One drawing bares a craft-paper brown bow on a dirtied piece of 18” x 22”paper; the charcoal-smudge across the paper’s composition a gesture as well. A decorative bow — the same thing one would find affixed to a present — is inducted as a drawing implement. As gesture, the bow has association with the act of gift giving, it signals appreciation — a warm gesture — and, located on the drawing’s surface, recalls the bodily motion of securing it with a gentle, pressing force. Its loops, folds, curves and bends, can be unraveled through one’s vision as a undulating planar line in space. All of these gestures George compresses in the bow. The drawing slips in out of flat space and sculptural space; just sitting there — half-object, half-image — it embodies art as an offering itself, being set into the world like a metaphoric open hand.

Assorted drawings.

Assorted drawings

A few other surfaces are adorned with paper shopping bag handles, seemingly functional, like little portfolios an art student might have filled with prints. Other non-traditional materials employed in the artists compositions include the ephemera of everyday: tape, paper, scraps, clippings, the kind of stuff organized by bins of some sort — recycling, discounted fabric, dust, hardware, discount. The drawings and their implements live between substrate, medium and object, each material forming a sculptural drawing or character. Though George is hesitant to say character, or even symbol; these meanings are fixed. Gesture implies malleability, movement, action. She holds her hand in the air, pursing her index finger on her thumb and waves her forearm side to side. This is the motion we all make when we perform the charade for “Drawing.” We also happen to be miming the production of a check mark, or tick. This check mark is the most reductive form of “gesture” for George — a readymade gesture – and we see this formal element reoccur throughout her oeuvre, pointing us to a movement, line, shape, and its denotation. Check. Good, I completed this. Or bad, I supposed, when next to our names on an elementary chalkboard. It is a simple and reductive motion, and drawn line, symbolizing both doing and undoing. Those things accounted for, or simply: yes.

One of the artist's book compositions

One of the artist’s book compositions

George’s palette is also reductive, working in the values and colors inherent to her substrates, drawing implements, and readymades, often black, brown and their tonal and textural variances — sometimes glossy, inky, dull, or matte. Her lack of pigment allows for greater emphasis on form, as well as removes the connotations of color from her compositions.

Along side object-drawings and material collages, George continues to work in book format. Her artists books are living documents, rather then a finalized container for a collection of content and function more like notebooks and sketchbooks.  They allow her to work in demonstrations, exercises, and modular units. On each page she introduces new problems to solve and alternate delineations to break apart, ruin, pull back, and reclaim. Each page gets eradicated and repaired, interrupted and completed. The drawings, while manipulatable, are also vulnerable, delicate and often times loosely assembled, such that an element can detach, fall or hang limply; all of these actions being gestures as well.

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Untitled, Banner Series. Canvas, twill tape, acrylic. 90″ x 70,” 2012

In her newest works, the Banner series, draping tarps speak their own language, hanging raw with solid icons, panels or washy stains. While she’s not one to look into the self-awareness of medium, these new works invoke the language of painting.

George is quick to say that she has, “never been a painter,” in fact, in her formative years was adamantly anti-Painting. George recalls from her instruction that, “in the hierarchy of art processes, painting sat predictably at the top, valued over the others.” It was this disdain that motivated George to pursue less predicated avenues — or those lower on the ‘hierarchal’ totem – for production. She confirms this is an old ethos, but it is a reminder of her influences and values.

If her pages, tablets, boards, are intimate and flexible palimpsests, the tarps provide a solution for scale and durability, as well as offer an out from the traditional picture plane. The weight and texture of the material and its ability to accommodate forward-jutting attachments, allow the piece to suspend between image and object. This discursive and gestural, ne symbolic, properties of the tarp pieces are amplified when George introduces the accompaniment of tributary objects and loose images as a supporting cast. Despite the spatial orchestration of the arrangement, George is also hesitant of claiming territory in sculpture and installation – she didn’t confirm this, but I suspect that it, too, is because of the hierarchal weight of those disciplines. In plain speech she said she ‘didn’t really like having those objects around. ‘ Which, as an artist who produces wall-hanging work,  I grinningly agreed with. Where do these things live?

Does it really matter if her work fits neatly into a league of drawing, collage, sculpture or another discipline? I would argue that it does. Not that the lack of identification and medium-specificity is detrimental to knowing what she makes, but it is precisely that she is not concerned with these medial differences that defines the ambit of non-fixity of her practice. After all, an artists work is defined by as much by what it is not as by what it is. Her work is about an output that lives between and around objects and images — this is also what the works do — they escape the picture plane and point away from themselves – these are the areas of interest. It’s not the thing. It’s the movement that expresses the meaning. It’s the gesture.

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The artist in her studio

With gesture as the subject, Anne George is  more interested in formal and compositional resolutions then pursuing medium or composition as a vehicle for content. Whereas some artists tend to load a lot of narrative into work — in promotion of an idea, or inclusive of a story — she’s not that kind of artist. She is willing to offer us a premise. She is also aware of that, now, and encouraged that artists to also be open to non-fixity in their work and pursuits. Gesture, in its non-fixed nature, allows for a longer life and an open reading, which also allows for artists to be agile, open their work up for new audiences and markets, and continue to offer new approaches through the gesture of their individual practices.

Posture Is Everything: An Interview with Artist Kristina Estell

Duluth-based artist Kristina Estell’s recent exhibition Posture Is Everything currently occupies the north gallery of the Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program (MAEP) at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA). Composed of cool, pale blue sheets of silicone elegantly draped atop triangular wooden armature, Posture Is Everything calls to mind winding river beds, fallen skies and couch-fort mountain ranges. […]

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Posture Is Everything, 2013. Image courtesy of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Duluth-based artist Kristina Estell’s recent exhibition Posture Is Everything currently occupies the north gallery of the Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program (MAEP) at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA). Composed of cool, pale blue sheets of silicone elegantly draped atop triangular wooden armature, Posture Is Everything calls to mind winding river beds, fallen skies and couch-fort mountain ranges. Like many of Estell’s sculptural forms and installations, this ethereal work evokes the gestures and forms of nature, rather then offering a direct representation of the natural world. I chatted with the artist recently by email to learn about the complex process involved in making the work in her exhibition, nature as medium, classical drapery and institutional posturing.

Jehra Patrick

I heard that the “drapery” in your piece was produced by the very labor-intensive process of painting silicone onto the walls of the MAEP space. Can you walk me through that process?

Kristina Estell

Actually, the piece in the MAEP gallery was produced in my studio! Due to material off-gassing and other concerns, the museum didn’t approve the original proposal to use the silicone on the walls of the space to create the work. A connection to the MAEP space is made apparent through the actual size of the combined dimensions of the sheets of rubber in the exhibition. These dimensions equal that of the MAEP space – 1352 sq. feet.

For Posture is Everything, the process was labor-intensive, but necessary to achieve the desired thickness – as well as to economically use the material — and to make it strong enough to support itself on such a large scale. Once I had determined the size of the pieces of rubber I needed, I mapped those dimensions out on the wall’s surface and then applied a thin layer of the silicone directly onto the wall using a three-inch chip brush. The liquid rubber is quite thick and has to be applied fairly evenly to achieve the effect that I want.

Installation in progress for Posture is Everything. Image courtesy of The Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Installation in progress for Posture is Everything. Image courtesy of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Once the first coat is applied, the material cures for 24 hours, all the while creeping down the wall’s surface as it sets. I then laid down a layer of thin nylon mesh fabric on the silicone’s surface and applied another full coat of rubber, adhering and sandwiching the material onto the first coat of rubber. Once the second layer was set, I simply peeled the rubber off the wall, rolling it onto a large cardboard tube to keep it clean and flat. The color of the silicone rubber comes “naturally” from the chemical activator provided by the manufacturer, and it’s one of the reasons why I like using this particular kind of silicone. Another great characteristic of this silicone mold material is that it doesn’t permanently adhere to (almost) any surface except itself, which makes it very user-friendly and flexible in terms of potential applications.

treatment (covered), 2011. Image courtesy of the artist.

Jehra Patrick

A process similar to that was used to produce a previous work, treatment (covered), completed for the Kabinett Gallery during your residency at the Akademie Schloss Solitude, Germany – how was that process different?

Kristina Estell

For the treatment installation, the goal was initially much more about creating a subtle and materially-charged space – treating the space, as it were. After many calculations, much prep-work, and a call for volunteer helpers, I set up a station in the middle of the gallery and just starting mixing silicone. This particular silicone was dyed with a bit of blue and gray color. Using the same small chip brush technique, my helpers and I brushed two layers of silicone onto the ceiling, walls, fixtures, windows and radiators, in this case, without the layer of fabric in between. I then let the material cure and migrate down the walls as it set.

Jehra Patrick

I’m interested in the relationship between the two pieces and your decision to repeat the action and make use of the material in a new way for the MAEP show. Can you speak to the evolution of your concept and process from one exhibition to the next?

Kristina Estell

treatment directly inspired the work at the MIA. At the end of the exhibition at the Akademie, I returned to de-install the work. Through this process, I realized a whole new experience of the material. My expectations for covering a room in silicone included, initially, the experience of the material as a direct part of the space as an installation, and secondly, being able to remove this material to retain the mold of the space as a rubber negative. In practice, the additional and unexpected part of the process became even more interesting to me as I started to remove the material from the space and learn about the spaces characteristics in such thin dimensions and at such a large scale. As the material started to come off, it began to peel itself from the wall — pulled down by its own weight — and that created really beautiful, and kind of theatrical, draping forms hanging from the surface of the walls. I found these forms so interesting, I knew I wanted to create another work that intentionally used this discovery in a more deliberate way and which might really exploit the weighty, draping potential of the rubber.

Installation in progress for Posture is Everything. Image courtesy of The Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Installation in progress for Posture is Everything. Image courtesy of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Jehra Patrick

Silicone, or rubber, seems like a particularly unnatural and permanent [non biodegradable] material. What is the importance of the material in this work? Is it the behavior of the material or the implications of its use that you’re primarily interested in?

Kristina Estell

The silicone material I am using is, of course, industrially manipulated to have the uses and properties it does, but it is not so very far removed from [unprocessed] silicon, the chemical element found in nature, and that makes up an enormous percentage of the earth’s crust, for example. And in this rubberized form, the silicone mold material is actually not permanent. In fact, the life of all these sheets of rubber is very uncertain. The “skin” will start to degrade and the color will change over time…probably pretty dramatically within the space of just five years.

Jehra Patrick

That is interesting! I had it in my head that silicone (probably in terms of medical implants, etc.) was this permanent, fake thing. Thanks for returning me to the Periodic Table! That really gives the piece an added dimension, to think about it behaving like a skin - in form and behavior – molting off the walls, really delicate and fragile, even taking on attributes of aging.

Kristina Estell

To answer your question: Drawing lines back and forth between the material and the referring implications of its use is exactly what interests me so much in this material as a central subject and object in my work.

Processing and Computation, 2013. Image courtesy of the artist

Jehra Patrick 

Working directly with the site, as in the walls of the exhibition space, or collecting materials – such as rocks – from the area where you work appears to be a thread in your practice. Does your general studio practice guide you to work in response to your site of production? Or, does this [site-specificity] differ from your general studio practice, having more to do with preparing for a particular exhibition?

Kristina Estell

Depending on the project, where I am working at the time, etc, my working practice is very flexible. I do find inspiration in being outside of my everyday environment, and often I create work for specific locations. Many projects only exist in certain locations, but others can translate to other sites as well.  I see my studio practice as a kind of magnification process — taking a small thing from outside and blowing it up into something else within my work space.

My working practice is materially inspired but conceptually relies on finding and creating simple connections and gestures. Depending on the idea, my working practice, materials, processes change for almost every new project. Recently, I have been studying glass working and am preparing a station in the studio to start exploring this medium. I work with a material for some amount of time until I am able to understand it, how it acts and what connections I can develop between its physical properties and a set of ideas that interest me. This naturally involves a lot of trial and error, but this is also the best way to actually learn and make discoveries that can inform finishing a project and inspiring a new one.

Jehra Patrick 

The natural world has long been central to your work, yet you often approach the subject in subtle, indirect ways. Is this reflective of your own experience of nature? Or, are you simply looking for less representational ways to discuss natural forms?

Kristina Estell

That’s an interesting question. I feel like I use nature within my work as more of a medium than a subject sometimes: a set of imagery and objects to think through, learn from, processes and events that are relative to my own experience but which are also just the common experience of living today. Nature is something that holds us all; it’s a reflexive subject and it makes sense to pay attention to it that way. It’s also just the language that seems most essential to me.

Installation view of Posture is Everything, 2013. Image courtesy of The Minneapolis Institute of Art

Installation view of Posture is Everything, 2013. Image courtesy of The Minneapolis Institute of Art

Jehra Patrick

That is beautiful and poetic — the notion of nature as medium. This resonates with so many disciplines: painting by way of oil, photography’s use of light and chemicals, sculpture’s origination in stone.  I also appreciate your intentionality in blurring subject-object-medium and the slippage between form and materials. These poetics seem to work their way into the title of your current exhibition. Would you talk a little about that title: Posture is Everything?

Kristina Estell

I liked the ambiguity and the structure implied by the title, Posture is Everything. It is obviously resolute, but I was hoping that – in combination with seeing the work in the gallery – this resolution would be dissolved a bit and the title would help create a sense of urging effort within the sculptural forms; a sense that this dense, heavy, sagging but beautiful material — with all its references — has intentions of real structure or ‘posture’ but no such actual potential without the wooden armature underneath it. The ‘everything’ in the title makes it just priceless, bringing up an elusive sense of value and what matters. I especially thought this title would be interesting within the institution context of the art museum.

Jehra Patrick

Let’s talk more about the work’s placement within the art museum. In form, the silicone brings to mind historical imagery within a museum such as classical painting, or assemblies of objects and fabric swaths from life drawing. The armature nearly references easels. In titling, ‘everything’ might refer to all the museums holdings, or all things of greatness – art as valuables, or the art or the artist’s role, or stature, but also implies that these roles or behaviors are misleading. Do artists, or the museum posture as well?

Kristina Estell 

Yes, all these points you bring up are connections I am interested in. Right away during the install process, I was getting comments from various people about the visual similarities the piece has to other artwork within the museum and beyond. I didn’t expect such a direct relationship to specific works held by the museum, but did anticipate the relationship to the tradition of drawing, painting, still lifes and enjoyed pulling from that [classical] ‘standard’ of beauty that suggests objectivity, as well as genericness of subject.

The practice of working from drapery or fabric shapes with such attention and detail to accomplish form without content is very interesting to me; it is the most simple and empty way to illustrate ‘posture,’ or the act of posturing, which I definitely believe art does. The genre of still life most honestly reveals its postured nature. Necessarily, I do think artists and art institutions build on a series of postures that feel flexible and tenuous…at times misleading as well, but possibly just more undefined in our culture.

Kristina Estell’s work references physical material systems through an exploration of the theme of landscape and vision. As sculpture, my work exists in pieces, parts of a whole. It is ephemeral in its design as well as in the quality expressed by the use of such materials as transparent resin, sheer fabric, lenses and clear silicone. Using a range of sculptural and drawing techniques, my work aims to expand our understanding of landscape to include sites outside of our immediate periphery, which might be deeply interior or vastly exterior. These processes often result in a collection of naturally suggestive but ambiguous forms that come together to narrate a space and question our perceptions of nature.

Kristina Estell’s Posture is Everything runs until Sunday, June 20, 2013 at in the Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program gallery at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Artist’s Talks: Thursday, May 16, 2013, 7-9 p.m.
Special Guests: Thursday, June 20, 2013, 7-9 p.m.

Look for Kristina’s work in the Minnesota Biennial at The Soap Factory, where she will create drawings from materials collected from the gallery, itself.

For more on the artist, visit her website at kristinaestell.com and blog kristinaestell.blogspot.com

Painter Painter Playlist: Molly Zuckerman-Hartung

What do you listen to in your studio? We asked this question to each of the artists included in the current Painter Painter exhibition. The artists responded enthusiastically with personal playlists, notes and reflections of what inspires them  or just what is currently stuck on repeat in their studio. The Painter Painter Playlist blog series will […]

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What do you listen to in your studio?

We asked this question to each of the artists included in the current Painter Painter exhibition. The artists responded enthusiastically with personal playlists, notes and reflections of what inspires them  or just what is currently stuck on repeat in their studio. The Painter Painter Playlist blog series will  shares these unique compilations on a regular basis throughout the run of the exhibition.  We hope these posts give a tiny bit of insight into the personalities of the artists while sharing some kick-ass music for you to enjoy.

Molly Zuckerman-Hartung leads off the series. Molly received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2007, where she now teaches painting and drawing. She also  is co-founder of Julius Caesar Gallery, an artist-run exhibition space in Chicago. Molly writes:

I came of age in Olympia, Washington’s nineties indie/punk scene. Music laid out the rules of engagement and I (badly) concealed my folk tendencies while absorbing the punk critique of hippies. Love is compromised, mediated. No one is happy. Graduate school, in my early thirties, I curtailed listening completely. I have no desire to channel feeling through sound. In the past few years I’ve cataloged my record collection into mp3s; been chastised for my sepia taste, while still locked in the last few decades of twentieth century music with few exceptions. Painting is (my paintings are) DOA; gravity bound, cadaverous, but the excess of ambivalent ardor is stored in the digital cloud. Folksy rage, acoustic angst, autumnal euphorics, all with a cracked voice.  A stubborn critique from voices who knew they would be instrumentalized or “sold out” as we said in the nineties, but chose to articulate their trap anyway. These cages are social, but they are politicized, haunted, agonistic, derailed, monetized and jealous. Recently a student posted a video on my Facebook wall by a band called Girls. The song was Lust For Life, and it was chillingly lite. None of the self-lacerating rage of Iggy Pop (hence none of the wild glee,) and the video echoed the aesthetics and cast of Kids, the Larry Clark NAMBLA train wreck of a movie that set the pace for white twenty-something sexual and social intercourse in the nineties. Unprotected, non-amorous fucking and HIV fear was status quo. This is how I talk about Painting. My studio is full of silence, but I hope it seethes, whoops and throbs, like some of this.

1. The Game (acoustic demo). Echo and the Bunnymen
2. Ninety-Nine and a Half – Dorothy Love Coates

When the only available critique for the affective and cognitive labor class (ie the cultural worker) is apathy, well, my sentences get elliptical…
3. Hot Topic – Le Tigre
Name checking Yoko Ono, Gayatri Spivak, Dorothy Allison, Gertrude Stein, Valie Export, James Baldwin and so many other fighters. Don’t stop.
4. Come Again -The Au Pairs
The Rules for Sex under Network Capitalism in the guise of false feminism.
5. Season of Risk -Ether Island
6. Watchmaker – Excuse 17
7. Yr Mangled Heart – The Gossip
For Doug Ischar and my forever love of Beth Ditto, who I suspect is playing endgame in pop culture, and cuz everything I do has got a hole in it; the only way I can let the absence in.
8. The Ballad of Lucy Jordan – Marianne Faithfull
Regret is nostalgia for grown-ups. I said at the age of thirty-eight.
9. Here Come Cowboys – Psychedelic Furs
10. Vicky’s Box – The Throwing Muses

Kristin Hersh rides mood sidesaddle. When I was eighteen I thought the Throwing Muses were like the Cocteau Twins. I was a fool. I want to make paintings like Hersh makes songs. They are perfect, stubborn, thick and mutable.
11. Is This What You Wanted -Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen always knows the you he is singing to, and he knows that he will never know you. The album New Skin for the Old Ceremony is tinny, violas, a little Vegas strip mall razzmatazz and cynicism, K-Y Jelly and Steve McQueen. Neil Young and Leonard Cohen painted the 1970′s a rusty metallic orange sunset with backup singers.
12. BMFA – Martha Wainwright
13. I Don’t Like Mondays. The Boomtown Rats

Written by Bob Geldof after reading of 16-year-old Brenda Ann Spencer, who shot and killed two adults and injured eight children   at Grover Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego, California on January 29, 1979, because, as she said, “I don’t like Mondays, this livens up the day.” Geldof made a rock opera. I listened to this song on repeat after the Newtown Connecticut shooting. Something about the pop orchestration helps me cry.
14. I’m Not Saying – Nico
15. Throw Silver – Mecca Normal

“I used to be very careful about how I represented myself. I was responsible for everything I did and said. I learned that humour didn’t translate well. No matter how clear I thought I was I noticed that I was still misunderstood. In fact, the clearer I was, the larger the degree of misinterpretation. I regained control by deciding that I could allow that to happen. Then I was in the same position. In control. In order to get beyond this I needed to explore the dark. I would like to work my way back from the darkness taking slow steps, breathing in everything I missed along the way.”
-Jean Smith, from The Ghost of Understanding 1998
16. Faces and Names – John Cale
17. Fake Friends – Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Anti-relational aesthetics anthem. What Markus Miessen calls the nightmare of participation. Or maybe I’m just bitter about not getting into Skowhegan.
18. Everything is Free – Gillian Welch
The melancholy backside of open-source downloadable culture. If everything is free now, why are we working so hard?
19. A Man Needs a Maid – Neil Young
20. People’s Parties – Joni Mitchell
21. Insanely Jealous – The Soft Boys
Green used to be the color of jealousy. Now it’s the color of virtual presence. It’s easier this way.
22. Green Gloves – The National
23. Black Walls – Mythical Beast

24. Pink Sunshine (acoustic version) – Fuzzbox
25. Roman Candle – Elliot Smith
I was an angry young woman.
26. I Shall be Released – Nina Simone
I love the beginning, when she says “y’all pushing, you’re pushing, you’re pushing, just relax, relax, you’re pushing it. It’ll go up by itself. Don’t put nothing in unless you feel it.”
27. Rise – Public Image Limited

Anger is an Energy
28. Brand New Love – Sentridoh

FINAL LIST! Monster Drawing Rally 5: More Artists, More Art, Same Entertaining Format.

Midway Contemporary Art’s Monster Drawing Rally returns! In celebration of its 5th year, the very popular annual fundraiser/community event is moving locations to the Grain Belt Bottling House at 79 13th Ave. NE Minneapolis on Saturday, December 15th from 6-10pm.  The new location will accommodate nearly twice as many artists as prior years, meaning more […]

Midway Contemporary Art’s Monster Drawing Rally returns! In celebration of its 5th year, the very popular annual fundraiser/community event is moving locations to the Grain Belt Bottling House at 79 13th Ave. NE Minneapolis on Saturday, December 15th from 6-10pm.  The new location will accommodate nearly twice as many artists as prior years, meaning more artwork and more space to socialize and scout the next acquisition to your personal collection.

For the last four years The Monster Drawing Rally has given artists living in the Twin Cities the opportunity to support the programming at Midway Contemporary Art while simultaneously gaining exposure within the community. For this years event over 80 artists will generously donate their time and talent by drawing live at the event during three one-hour rounds beginning at 6pm, 7pm and 8pm. Admission to the event is Free. Each of their drawings is available immediately for sale (first come/ first serve) for a flat price of $35.  The casual atmosphere lets visitors watch the art making process while keeping a close eye on the walls filled with finished drawings available for purchase. Even if you are not in the market for art, its still an unique opportunity to interact and watch local artists at work.

Photo courtesy Dan Ruth and Ellie Roscher

Many of you know the format, but for any first-time Monster Drawing Rally attendees here are some tips to make your evening a success.

1. There are three one-hour rounds with approximately 25 or so local artists drawing for each shift. We will be releasing the full list of artists on this blog over the course of the week.  Check back often and see if your favorite local artist will be participating.

2. This is a rare opportunity to watch and interact with an artist as they are working. I have personally participated as an artist ever year of the event, I can say it is an interesting experience from the other side of the table as well. No hiding your miscues with an attentive audience and there is a wonderful satisfaction is a meeting someone that has excitedly purchased one of your drawings.

3. All the work is a flat fee of $35. However, drawings may not be purchased, claimed, or snatched prior to hitting the wall. Conflicts or ties for purchasing a work will be resolved by drawing cards. Fighting, hoarding, hovering, or any other bad collector behavior will be sternly frowned upon.

4. At $35 you WILL find something you want to buy.

5. When you purchase the piece you will also get the contact information for the artist. If you don’t get a chance to meet them or talk to them at the event…contact them and let them know you bought their work. Artist love to meet people who  invested in their work….we really do.

6. This is one of the most community driven and artistic centric fundraisers in the city and one of the most popular.  This is also an event the rewards people that show up early and stay throughout…so plan accordingly.

Here is the full list of participating artists and their websites so you can do some pre-rally scouting.
Brendan Dawson
Brain Downs
Welles Emerson
Kelly Filreis
Mark Fischer
David Frohlich
Matt McAuliffe
Miles Mendenhall
Kelsey Olson
Melba Price
Jack Stanley
Bruce Tapola
Hannah Varn

The 5th Annual Monster Drawing Rally is sponsored by:

                          

Reviewing the Reviewer: The Conclusion of our Conversation Between Artist Paula Mann and Critic Lightsey Darst

Editor’s note: In February 2012, mnartists.org’s dance critic, Lightsey Darst, reviewed Far Afield, a then-new dance performance by Penelope Freeh and Paula Mann with Steve Paul and Time Track Productions staged in late January at Red Eye Theater in Minneapolis. A short time after the review was published, Paula Mann wrote to Lightsey in response; […]

Steve Paul, Cyclotron from The Train Wreck is Proceeding Nicely. Pictured: Paula Mann. Photo by William Cameron, courtesy of Time Track Productions.

Editor’s note: In February 2012, mnartists.org’s dance critic, Lightsey Darst, reviewed Far Afield, a then-new dance performance by Penelope Freeh and Paula Mann with Steve Paul and Time Track Productions staged in late January at Red Eye Theater in Minneapolis.

A short time after the review was published, Paula Mann wrote to Lightsey in response; Lightsey wrote her back, and asked if she’d like to embark on an experiment, a conversation about the work, between the reviewer and reviewed, undertaken for publication here. And so began a fascinating, weeks-long exchange between the two — on art and dance and the balancing act of bringing critical judgment to bear on both; on audience perception and creative intentions, and the mettle-testing value of flopping in public. We’re publishing their back-and-forth in two installments.

You can read the first half of the conversation here.

Find the second half of their exchange below.

Related links and information: Lightsey Darst’s column on local dance last week reflected on a new collaborative, multimedia dance work by Time Track Productions, Here and After, featuring choreography by Paula Mann and media imagery by Steve Paul, with original music by Michelle Kinney (Jelloslave). The work was performed at TEK BOX  in Minneapolis September 27 through 30, 2012. You can read the review of this new work, Here and After, on mnartists.org now.

*****

From: Paula Mann
To: Lightsey Darst
Subject: Where’s a forum for artists to talk about what they’re attempting to create?

Hi Lightsey,

First of all, just want to say that I think this conversation is immensely valuable to me as an individual artist and hopefully to others in the community. In fact, it has taken me a while to respond because there is just so much I want to say. There really isn’t a forum for artists to state what they were attempting to create. After working with young artists for over 20 years, I’m going to venture the following generalization: Most dance artists are extreme perfectionists. And, of course, we are all trained that way, and there are real-world reasons for this; the same thing applies to creation of a work. Initially, I live in the world of ideas while creating; it’s an exciting place where anything is possible and perfect. Then, you actually have to make the work, with whatever limitations are present — be they money, time, or energy. I’ve never had a piece turn out exactly the same way as I imagined it (‘O, The Humanity’ was supposed to have 20 extra people in it, etc.), and because I value the imagination as a real source for my work, there is always an uncomfortable gap between what I wished to create and what was actually created. I would like to get better at this (big sigh).

Now, on to the question of reviewing dance for public education and/or consumption: I hate to admit that I was around back then, but in the 1980s and 90s we all read reviews, and they seemed to have an impact on our careers. A good review could mean more audience, money at the box office, getting noticed by a presenter and, it could add to your artistic persona. At least, that was the game we all seemed to be playing. One person’s opinion (educated or not) had some power then.

Who reads reviews now? I can’t be sure. I know I do. It’s difficult to get my students at the university to read reviews, unless it’s required in the syllabus. Is there just too much information to consume and not enough file space left in our brains?  And getting back to your question about the real effects of technology, I’m going to step out on a proverbial limb here and say we (as humans) might have just reached a state of total brain-fry. Or maybe we will soon. Jump cut to me as a teacher, trying to help people create choreography, which requires some inward reflection. To heighten creativity, research has shown that we need to cultivate a more diffused consciousness at times, contrary to the minuscule focus necessary to watch and respond to and on our techno-devices. Simply put, we need to let our minds wander more, silence.

But the question of the purpose of reviewing and recording an event persists. How much weight does an opinion in print have? I know artists who never read reviews. More power to them, but I can’t seem to manage that, and…. I’m curious. Now, with the potential for many more voices to enter the conversation through online blogs or tweeting out short statements, I think it’s a good time to reevaluate the [critical] process.

So, a review could be a starting point for a discussion (among many diverse voices) — about the work itself and about making the work and the overall effect and place dance/movement/performance has in our society. If an audience knows more about the artist and the process used to create a work, how will it affect the audience’s experience?

A small anecdote: In 2005, Steve and I made a piece called The Train Wreck Is Proceeding Nicely — a mess of a piece to be sure, but it was so much fun to try. I think I was at my most creative, really taking risks by doing things I did not know how to do well — and I take full responsibility for that. I did try to edit the work when I realized how much information I was trying to impart, but I ran out of time and, quite frankly, perspective. Camille [LeFevre] (writing then for the Minneapolis Star-Tribuneabsolutely hated it, as it did not live up our last piece; I think your review of that show, Lightsey, was mixed (which is always OK). And after watching it, Philip Bither [performing arts curator for Walker Art Center] has not come to see any of my work since.

Ah, the harsh realities of our world. You might say, “So what, you kept working?” — and so I did, but am I working a little bit safer and thinking about audience reaction more [after that experience]? I learned a valuable personal lesson then, and I won’t go into detail, but I’ll say this: If you’ve never had a public flop, you really ought to try it — it tests your mettle.

1) About movement: I’ve looked at the role of movement vocabulary from a multitude of perspectives, and I’ve experimented a lot, too. I was trained in choreography at NYU by modernists and post–modernists. There, I saw these methodologies intertwine. Movement was developed to deliver the emotional content of the piece and sometimes the movement was just there, its reason for being not always apparent. I’ve always been able to create movement through how I move. In 2000, I stripped out all extraneous movement except what was driven and devised by character. But lately I’ve been revisiting the question of movement: What is it for? How does it function in a piece? Certainly, there’s a specific movement vocabulary — but it’s also about structure, ideas, and the movement all woven together into a whole. Your question remains: How can I, as choreographer, help the audience perceive, know, and understand what is important about that vocabulary?

2) Even though I love technology, or the images that it produces, there is always a non-technology impetus [for my work]. That said — yeah, I admit to sometimes being overwhelmed by the collaboration [between media and disciplines]; and in O, the Humanity, Robert and I were working a long time before media entered the picture. In fact, we didn’t add the media [to the work] until much later. And by saying that you weren’t sure “if I knew it or the piece knew it,” I think that might translate into: I could use more clarity; that is, to be very sure of what I was saying or say it better.

3) Yes and no. And I have no idea if the sci-fi wanderings of my imagination (or Hollywood screen writers) will really come to pass. I do wonder where we are headed as I walk down the street, and everyone I pass seems preoccupied with some device. I guess, I’d rather be occupied by the musings of my own mind, but there it is: What a difference a generation can make. Even if I’m smart enough to control the craziness of my own technology, I can’t separate myself from the rest of the world, or observations of how we, as a people, might be changing. And besides, I’m curious to see how it all turns out. About not buying the premise of the work: Well, that is the most difficult of all concerns, because the premise is my life, and the reason for that is probably my own choreographic blind spot. Now, if I could only figure out what that reason is…?

4) I probably reacted too strongly to the word “bourgeois,” which means, as I understand it, to be part of the elite. I’m a white, middle-aged, low-income artist who often wonders why she didn’t make smarter financial choices when she was younger. I consider myself a part of the 99%, and I’d like to see real change happen, socially and economically. But everything seems driven by commodity now, even art. How are we being controlled by what we think we should buy, or the art we think we should make? A student recently asked me to play ‘Words with Friends’ with him. I had to ask, “What kind of device do I need? An iPhone? Sorry, I have only a regular cell phone. iPhones are too expensive and seem like a waste of time.: Student looks at me and blinks, not knowing how to answer. For sure, I’m an alien creature (a.k.a. old).

I did kind of sense you were talking about the characters as being bourgeois, but since we use media as a way to deliver images, primarily, we are making a statement about technology simply by using it. And to use it, to be driven crazy by it, you have to be able to buy it.

Let’s keep talking,

Paula

*****

From: Lightsey Darst
To: Paula Mann
RE: A new paradigm for reviewing?

Hi, Paula!

I pulled this line out of your letter, because I find it really compelling: “There really isn’t a forum for artists to state what they were attempting to create.”

Someone’s bound to object that the program notes are exactly that forum, but we know it isn’t true. What you’re doing in this exchange, how you’re thinking about what you put into the work and how it turned out, we don’t get to see that at all. But why not? It’s fascinating and it’s instructive. Even being “on the inside” I’m not always sure how things work, what’s pivotal for an artist’s career and how that affects the artist’s development, etc. How could we know more about this?

Your email hints at a way: We can alter the reviewing paradigm to include just this sort of exchange we’re embarked on as a regular part of the discussion around dance… except, that it’s possible no one will read it. Because, as you point out, who reads reviews now? Well, I’m not sure. I can say that when I post my articles on Facebook (more technology, I know how you love that), the articles that get the most response are invariably the personal ones — articles that go in-depth with my or someone else’s experience, that pursue the intimate side of art.

Articles, in short, like this one …

And, to make a possibly over-neat bridge (I think I’ve revealed my weakness for the smooth transition) to the topic of technology, perhaps the saving grace of all this technology might be its capacity for intimacy. Here are all these new spaces, and, yes, they tend to drive us into shallow and commodified communications; but they also allow us (if we’re persistent and clever) a lot of freedom. Hmmm: How does that relate to what you’re saying about using the technology to critique it?

A deeper idea’s coming out for me as I reread your emails: Criticism can be helpful. You’re clearly constantly looking for ways to improve your work, and it sounds as if you’d like to use public and critical perception and feedback for that purpose. It sounds obvious, but I hardly hear anybody say anything like that. Choreographers and artists don’t seem to want to admit that they could use help, and reviewers (this one included) would rather not assume such a presumptuous role. And it seems to me that we usually treat a performance as a thing in itself — accomplished, complete — rather than as part of an artist’s ongoing development.

I’m wondering how this feels from your side: Is there a prohibition on commenting on your own work this way, in public, on revealing your side of it?

Yours in dance,

Lightsey

*****

From: Paula Mann
To: Lightsey Darst
Subject: Power to the people

Hi Lightsey,

Our final exchange and I still have so much to say (and not much time)!

Here goes: I think it’s interesting that most people don’t have the opportunity to understand the process of making art, an insider’s view, so to speak. What actually happens when creating something from nothing? I’ve been fascinated by this process, in myself and others, for some time. (I’m researching where ideas come from: intersections of brain science and creativity.)

In my mind, generally speaking, a piece has unending potential to evolve. One could work on a piece throughout a lifetime and never finish, the work being a constant reflection of your consciousness at that time. (I think there was a movie with Phillip Seymour Hoffman that took on this topic.) This wouldn’t work, for practical reasons, but sometimes I like to fantasize about what kind of art would be created if the limitations of money and time were out of the picture. But limitations can sometimes produce a heightened awareness and great results: You know you’re working against time, and you absolutely have to make something happen. I’ve spent many years awake in the middle of the night, thinking through my rehearsal for the next day.

I’m glad you feel that making this (process-oriented) information available to the public would be helpful. I don’t think this kind of response can completely covered by a talk-back with the audience or in program notes, but maybe in another format…Likewise, I think it is important for artists to get a glimpse of their work through another’s eyes. And, yes, I would like my work to get better, but one has to ask: Better for whom? For what audience? I know the marketplace, and thinking about that doesn’t make me feel more creative. I think we all want people to like our work; if you truthfully don’t care, I would like to award you with some kind of Detached Creator award. So, I care, but as I get older, I do care less. I fully understand that all opinions (no matter how educated) are subjective; each person registers experiences differently, through their own unique perspective.

Finally, as to effect of technology in our personal lives… this is way too complicated for me to take up in the space I have left here. But I agree with you about the potential change in intimacy level allowed through social media. I’m truly excited that people (assuming they have access) around the world can voice their support and cumulative political power to change our world (to start a revolution, for instance).

Growing up near Detroit in the 1960s, I heard this phrase constantly: Power to the people. Sounds a bit outdated, but I think it’s happening now.  People are taking their power back. The awareness of the creative spark that exists in each of us is fundamental to understanding this innate power.

Thanks for a great exchange — I hope we can do something like this again in the future!

Paula

*****

Below are some scenes from the 2005 performance noted above, The Train Wreck is Proceeding Nicely:

MAKING IT: A Studio Visit with CSA Artist Alyssa Baguss

In this installment of MAKING IT, I join artist Alyssa Baguss in her home studio in Anoka, MN to talk about old computer parts, botanical drawings and the importance of slowing down. Alyssa is many things; she is an expert draftsman, she is a collector, a lover of objects, and an archeologist. Her current body […]

In this installment of MAKING IT, I join artist Alyssa Baguss in her home studio in Anoka, MN to talk about old computer parts, botanical drawings and the importance of slowing down.

Alyssa Baguss in her studio

Alyssa is many things; she is an expert draftsman, she is a collector, a lover of objects, and an archeologist. Her current body of work exacts a razor sharp eye to create technical drawings of, well, technology.  Operating like an archeologist, Alyssa gathers old computing devices and odds and ends of obsolescent technology and works with field experts to identify their origins and function. An inexhaustible research project, as these components are retiring at a rate that compounds by the second. Alyssa tracks these specimens like a botanical illustrator, ensuring that their existence will not be completely erased past their elimination from natural selection.

According to Moore’s Law, an observation of the history of computing hardware, the number of transistors and integrated circuits doubles approximately every two years, essentially leading to chips doubling in their performance every 2 years. This exponential charting has also been applied to similar laws including hard disk storage cost per unit of information, network capacity, pixels per dollar and library expansion. In other words, the capabilities of processor speed and memory capacities, etc., double every two years, resulting in a constant production of new hardware.

Speaker, 2011. Graphite on paper, 22′ x 30″

This exponential growth doesn’t hurry Alyssa to catch up to the latest advancement, in fact, quite the opposite. Alyssa meets these objects that are rapidly falling into obsolescence and engages with them through something that they don’t have: time. Though her process of slow looking and highly detailed drawing, Alyssa spends time with each object as a portrait artist would with their sitter, eye-ing their every nuance and replicating their likeness in the traditional drawing medium of graphite.  Her renderings of technologies past are impeccably detailed value studies – a brand of pre-photographic realism that could rival da Vincian drapery studies.

Able to discern and articulate the subtle shifting lights and darks with precision, Alyssa elevates humble audio chords, resistors and plastic keys into lovely, isolated studies. Sometimes these floating portraits feature arrangements of multiple components, allowing their formal and functional properties to mingle. Within her series Chronicles, in which she produced 50 original graphite drawings for the CSA: Community Supported Art program, we see a small transistor befriend a slightly larger one, their metal leads becoming anthropomorphic arms while they seemingly enjoy each other’s company or twist into a little hug.  Alyssa’s sense of humor expands to create jokes through text, which borrow both from botanical drawing identification labels as well as interactivity contexts.  If viewers of Alyssa’s work are users in the ‘end-user’ sense, they might be invited to follow a prompt for a mouseover – a coded functionality ‘event’ that occurs when a mouse hovers over text or an object – or they can enjoy the pun that the life of this computer mouse is in fact over, because it is totally useless.

An assortment of old, outmoded chords in the artist’s studio

Alyssa’s engagement with hyper-text-mark-up-language and code-related humor continues in a series of hand-typed HTML source code letters-come-prints, which eradicate the html’s functionality by repurposing it as an object with an existence IRL. Even the typewriter could be considered obsolete, now just a printing press with one type-face. Alyssa’s interest in printing presses and sense of humor can also be found in her latest endeavor in which she employs old ‘knuckle-buster’, a manual credit card machine, as a mini- carbon printing presses, which she was kind enough to share with us during a recent Drawing Club with mnartists.org.

Keep up with Alyssa’s progress and useless devices from the not-so-distant past on her new website at http://cargocollective.com/alyssabaguss

MAKING IT: Drawing Club with Melissa Loop, Hannah Frick, and Vanesa Windschitl

There are only two Drawing Club sessions left of the season! Can you believe it? Time sure flies when you are having fun on Open Field.  This week our special local artist guest hosts are Melissa Loop, Hannah Frick and Vanesa Windschitl. If you haven’t made it to Drawing Club yet this summer, you should […]

There are only two Drawing Club sessions left of the season! Can you believe it? Time sure flies when you are having fun on Open Field.  This week our special local artist guest hosts are Melissa Loop, Hannah Frick and Vanesa Windschitl. If you haven’t made it to Drawing Club yet this summer, you should come this Thursday before it’s too late.

What’s Drawing Club? If you don’t know by now, well, then you really should come on down on Thursday from 4 -8pm and find out! We make collaborative drawings and all ages and levels of artistic ability are welcome. The only rule: what’s made at Drawing Club stays at Drawing Club. Come add on to one of our many works in progress or start something new and leave it for others to add on to. You can view finished works on our tumblr: http://openfielddrawingclub.tumblr.com/

Take a minute to get to know this week’s guest hosts and we’ll see you at the picnic tables on Open Field Grove on Thursday!

Melissa Loop

Melissa Loop lives and works in Minneapolis MN where she received her Fine Arts BFA in fall 2005 from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Upon graduation, she received the Vanderlip Travel Grant given the most promising student.  Melissa has been nationally shown and published internationally.  Most notable are features in New American Paintings and Dmag in Buenos Aires.  Last summer she had a solo show at Soo Visual Art Center in Minneapolis as well as asolo show at Breeze Block Gallery in Portland Oregon.

By using past and present notions of Utopia and Dystopia as a platform, she makes landscape paintings of exotic locations that deal with human ideals and misconceptions of desire, authenticity, and subjugation.

Hannah Frick

Hannah Frick is an emerging artist in the Twin Cities.  She earned her BFA in Painting from the College of Visual Arts in 2011.  Frick enjoys creating abstract paintings and collages from the refuse of everyday life.  Her slight tendency to hoard and her obsessive attention to detail allow her to create interest and beauty with materials that are often overlooked.  Besides making and exhibiting work, Frick stays involved in the arts community through her guest curator role at Fox Tax Gallery, and as an active volunteer at The Soap Factory.  You’ll find her biking around the Twin Cities all year long, and will quickly win her over with a good pun or a cute cat picture.

Vanesa Windschitl

Vanesa Windschitl currently lives in Minneapolis and has her BFA in Illustration from the College of Visual Arts. She loves mashed potatoes, Nine Inch Nails, and her two dachshunds, Evie Goose and Abraham Lux.

 

 

MAKING IT: Drawing Club with Pete Driessen, Adam Erickson, Lisa Bergh, Andrew Nordin, and Noah Harmon

Drawing Club gets even more awesome this week because Thursday night is 80’s Night on Walker Open Field. In connection with the Walker’s current exhibition, This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s, Open Field invites you to grab your best 80s garb and come on down for a night of reminiscing […]

Drawing Club gets even more awesome this week because Thursday night is 80’s Night on Walker Open Field. In connection with the Walker’s current exhibition, This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s, Open Field invites you to grab your best 80s garb and come on down for a night of reminiscing about that decadent decade.

New to the club? Drawing Club meets from 4-8pm every Thursday in the summer at Walker Open Field to make collaborative drawings and hang out.  Everyone is welcome (kids, adults, teens, artists, non-artists, etc.) to contribute to drawings that have already been started or start something new to leave for others to finish. The only rule: What’s made at Drawing club, stays at Drawing Club. You can check out our online archive of “finished” works here: http://openfielddrawingclub.tumblr.com/

Each week we’ve invited local artists to host Drawing Club and this week’s special guests are Adam Erickson, Pete Driessen, Lisa Bergh, Andrew Nordin, and Noah Harmon.  For 80’s night Drawing Club, Pete will be focusing on collaging 80′s images on faux wood paneling sheets.

Take a moment to get to know this week’s host and get ready to hang out and reminisce about the 80s with them on Thursday!

Pete Driessen

American artist Pete Driessen (Born 1961, Hopkins, MN) is a Minneapolis based multipractice visual artist, painter and educator who creates large scale sociopolitical paintings, mixed media ship fleets, found object installations, conceptual art statements, and participatory projects. Pete received his MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts and has taught at the college and secondary levels. He has been awarded local and regional grants, and his exhibition record includes national and regional exhibitions, including Curatorial Cult Club/Kwestion Quration? at the Walker Art Center Open Field. He is currently curating a hybridic garage-based gallery out of his home known as TuckUnder Projects, where fellow guest artist hosts Lisa Bergh and Andrew Nordin are currently showing work.

Adam Erickson

Adam Erickson is currently working on his Master of Fine Arts degree at The Art Institute of Boston.  He has a BA in Art History and Studio Art from Bethel University  and he completed a Post-Baccalaureate Fellowship in drawing and digital media at the New York Center for Art and Media Studies.

 

 

Lisa Bergh

Lisa Bergh holds a BFA in printmaking from the University of Arizona and an MFA in Spatial Arts from San Jose State University. Lisa’s work moves from 2-d works on paper, to small sculptures and installations, which are all informed by the ideas of memory, place, and the body; beauty and the grotesque, and an ongoing curiosity in collections and display.  In addition to her own studio practice Lisa is an adjunct instructor at St. Cloud State University, where she teaches drawing.

 

Andrew Nordin studied both Painting and Graphic Design at St. Cloud State University after attending Ridgewater Community College. He received his MFA in pictorial arts from San José State University in California. Growing up in the farmland areas of southern Kandiyohi county and exploring the lakes area in both summer and winter has helped in forming his aesthetic: ruggedly crafted works that mix landscape elements with the language of painterly abstraction. Andrew is the Gallery Manager and Art Instructor at Ridgewater College. In addition, he is an adjunct instructor at St. Cloud State University, where he teaches digital art, drawing, and painting.

Together, Lisa and Andrew operate ARThouse – a phantom residential venue specializing in contemporary art and ideas.  www.arthousenewlondon.com

Noah Harmon

Noah Harmon is a visual artist living in Minneapolis. He received a BFA from St. Cloud State University. Themes explored in his work include but are not limited to: relaxing, enjoyment, creeps, hotties, champions, Rock & Roll. The work is informed by pop culture, travel, television, and the supernatural.

 

 

MAKING IT: Drawing club with Alyssa Baguss, Natasha Pestich, and Robyn Stoller Awend

Is it already August?! Well, if you haven’t made it down to Drawing Club with mnartsits.org on Walker Open Field yet this summer don’t fret – there’s still time! We meet every Thursday from 4-8pm at the picnic tables on Open Field Grove to make collaborative drawings! All are welcome and each week we’ve invited […]

Is it already August?! Well, if you haven’t made it down to Drawing Club with mnartsits.org on Walker Open Field yet this summer don’t fret – there’s still time! We meet every Thursday from 4-8pm at the picnic tables on Open Field Grove to make collaborative drawings! All are welcome and each week we’ve invited special local artist hosts to come hang out too.  The only rule: What’s made at Drawing Club, stays at Drawing Club. So come add on to a work-in-progress or start something new for others to finish.  You can check out all the “finished” works on our tumblr and keep up to date with drawing club happenings on our facebook page.

This week’s local artist hosts are Alyssa Baguss, Narasha Pestich, and Robyn Awend. Alyssa will be bringing along some blank flip-books and needs your help filling them in. So take a moment to get to know your hosts and we will see you on Thursday!

Alyssa Baguss

Alyssa Baguss attended the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul, MN where she received her BFA with a concentration in painting and drawing.  Baguss’s work has been exhibited in the Twin Cities and regionally, most recently as a part of the CSA: Community Supported Art project, Intersections exhibition at the MCAD gallery and a participant in Midway Contemporary Art Center’s 2011 Monster Drawing Rally.  In addition to her artwork, Alyssa coordinates nature inspired arts programming at Silverwood Park in St Anthony, Mn.  Her drawings are a playful exploration of obsolescent remnants of our technological race towards the future: resistors, capacitors, computer hardware and the occasional mouse ball. She considers herself somewhat of a technological archivist of these antiquities from the turn of the millennia.  When she isn’t coordinating arts programming for Silverwood Park you might find her in her studio chasing the futurist dreams of her childhood, digging through techno-trinkets and dreaming of thinking machines.  Look for Baguss’s work in upcoming shows at Air Sweet Air Gallery in September 2012 and Form+Content in January, 2013.

Natasha Pestich

Natasha Pestich is a printmaker who cultivates both a studio and community arts practice that uses printmaking, design and collective storytelling to influence how visitors engage with a given site. Pestich received a BFA from Concordia University in Montreal in 1998 and an MFA from the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia in 2000. She has exhibited widely, with recent exhibitions at the MAEP galleries at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts to Trinity College in Chicago. Since 2011, she has been partnering with Pillsbury House + Theatre, leading a design process to engage community members with current and former MCAD students and faculty to redesign the Pillsbury House lobby to reflect its new focus as a “Cultural Community Hub.” She has participated in several artist residency programs in Minneapolis, Seattle, and Chicago, has received a Minnesota State Arts Board grant, A Metropolitan Regional Arts Council grant, an Institute for Community Cultural Leadership fellowship, and most recently a McKnight Arts Fellowship for visual arts. She is an associate professor at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

Robyn Stoller Awend

Robyn Stoller Awend’s work includes letterpress prints, artist books, photography and installation art. She is a Minnesota-based artist with a BFA from the University of Arizona and an MFA from the University of Dallas. Her work is exhibited nationally and internationally, and is a part of various collections around the country. Robyn is a founding member of Form+Content Gallery in Minneapolis.

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