Monday, March 28, 2011

Todd Peterson - Plays with Crayons

Creation Theory
Todd Peterson

Todd Peterson
Newport Mn 55055

I have no formal training. As a young man I dabbled with art, but gave it up
completely in my late 20’s. In 2006 my granddaughters “discovered” some of my
old work while exploring my basement, and convinced me to start creating art
again. I am now on the board of directors for Altered Esthetics in N. E. Mpls and I
am the Vice President of AZ Gallery, a collective in lowertown St. Paul. I was one
of the founding members of Mill District Arts in Mpls. I owned and operated Look
Art Below Gallery in N. E. Mpls, where I enjoyed showing the work of some very
talented local artists. Unfortunately I had to close the gallery because of health

An Island of Peace

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
I’m currently working on a combination of acrylic and and water soluble crayon
on wooden panels. My past work was exclusively crayon on watercolor paper. I
switched to working on wood after finding a Russian Artist on the internet that
was varnishing his work using the same CARAN d’ ACHE crayons I was using
and with some experimentation came up with a technique that allowed me to dis-
play my work without putting it behind glass (I really don’t like cleaning glass) I
also do some Found art, mostly furniture pieces.

"What is Art?" is certainly too big of a question to ask here, but what do you hope
your audience takes away from your art? What statement do you hope to make?

I hope to make a kind of Deja Vu connection with the viewer, sort of “I knew this, and now I see it”

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
Keep working, keep creating. I think Dali said something about no successful artist being a lazy artist.

Tell me about your working space and your creative process?
I have a studio in my home, but with crayons I can and do work throughout the
house sometimes, and my wife Susan graciously puts up with me. My first art
memory is of my mother on rainy days sitting my brothers and I down around the
dining room table, putting some classical music on the Hi Fi and telling us to
draw what the music made us think of, I work in a similar fashion today.

Out of the Garden

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?

Tina Blondell: who I was fortunate enough to have once been in the same show
with at the Soap factory

David Ekdahl: who creates wonderful and fanciful wooden totems. I met david

Kara Hendershot: a fellow board member at Altered Esthetics and a great help at
Look Art Below who does wonderful paintings with a dream like quality to them. I
have apiece of Kara’s in my small collection.

Todd Hollingsworth: great artist and roller derby maniac

D.C. Ice: “Sinister but Sweet” a fellow AZer and I had the Joy of showing some
of her work at Look Art Below.

Gina Louise: fellow founder at Mill District and Look Art Below, crazy talented and
she builds trees! I have a Gina in my collection also

Rabi Sanfo: Metal Sculptor, friend and collaborator, hardest working artist I know.
I’m lucky enough to own a few of Rabi’s pieces, and I’m saving my pennies for
one of his bronzes

Erin Sayer: owner of Cult Status Gallery in Mpls. I have one of Erin’s pieces in
my collection, and have been lucky enough to have hung work at her gallery.

Scott Seekins: Really? just google him if you don’t already know of him. Crazy talent.

Mel Tudisco: Metal Smith who’s studio “Melt Studios “ is one floor above us at
AZ, I also have one of Mel’s pieces proudly displayed in my home

These are just a few. We are blessed with many talented artists in the twin cities.


If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?

Well of course we would go to Altered Esthetics and the AZ Gallery, various
artist’s studios, the Soap Factory, Cult Status, Gallery 13, I hit the museums
from time to time, but mostly we would be seeing local artists.

Where do you go online for good art resources, whether to find a new artist,
or to see what is going on in the art world locally and otherwise?

Invitations to openings via Facebook. The Daily Planet at


What can we expect to see from you in the future?
My current plan is to get to work on some furniture projects. I’ve been collecting
pieces from garage sales, junk shops and a few discarded items that I want to redesign into
functioning art furniture.

Mother's Little Helper

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