Tuesday, April 26, 2011

St Paul Art Crawl Spring 2011

St Paul Art Crawl
Poster Contest Winner...Kevan Willington / Northern Warehouse

I've been going to the St Paul Art Crawl (Details, maps, parking info, press release) in Lowertown since the later 1980's. My friend, Greg Page, lived there after college. In his huge living space he created individual "forts" to view his art in. There was always lots of beer. It was around this time that I first saw paintings by Theresa Handy. I should have bought her work back then because her prices have only gone up. It was such a great place to see great work, and because the exhibition space was also living space, a great place to see how artists lived.

Today, there is still amazing art to see, but it seems like there is less beer (I may just have been more interested in beer, then. I don't know). Five buildings make up the Lowertown event-- the Tilsner, Jax, Lowertown Lofts, Northwestern Building, and the Northern Warehouse (Where the Black Dog is (used to be Copernicus).

The St. Paul Art Crawl takes place this weekend 4/29-5/1. I always see this event as the start of the art season. The NE Mpls equivalent art crawl, Art-a-Whirl is the 3rd weekend in May. Then we have the summer art fairs to look forward to. Edina Art Fair, Powderhorn Uptown, Loring Park. Lots of art to see this summer, and the St. Paul Art Crawl kicks it off.

Local Artist Interviews has featured a few artists who are exhibiting at the the St Paul Art Crawl this weekend. Kara Hendershot, Kevan Willington, and Stephanie Guidera. This week we also add Rhea Pappas, an amazing artist in the Northern Warehouse and ceramic and glass artist, Lisa Mathieson, in the Tilsner building. See you there -- LAI

Rhea Pappas - Northern Warehouse

Stephanie Guidera / Tilsner Bldg

Kara Hendershot / Northern Warehouse

Lisa Mathieson / Tilsner Building
Ceramic and Glass

Rhea Pappas - Photographer

We Are Women #3
Rhea Pappas

Name: Rhea Pappas
City/State: Saint Paul, MN
Email: Rhea@rheapappas.com
Website: www.rheapappas.com
MNartist.org profile: http://www.mnartists.org/rhea_pappas
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/rheapappasphotography

Rhea Pappas is a 24 year old, female photographer working out of Saint Paul, Minnesota. Her work mainly focuses in emotion, relief, and womanhood within water. Growing up in Golden Valley, Minnesota and spending most her life sailing, traveling, and exploring the world with her family has brought this love and focus in water as a form of expression.

Her earlier twenties brought some chaos to her life with post traumatic stress, depression, memory loss, and a cervical cancer scare that brought her urge to photograph a sense of relief, calmness, and inner strength unavoidable. Photographing this way gave her the feelings she desired and missed in her own life and was a silent cry for the calmness and inner peace within her photographs. She photographed the the world she desired to live in.

We Are Women #1

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
The current body of work is not underwater. That may be the biggest difference. I also think that my intent and reason for photographing is more defined, specific, and clear now than it has been in the past. This came from some big revelations that have recently occurred in my personal life.

I am in the middle of many projects, all really interesting to me and well defined. The project I am working on immediately has to do with the relationship between memories and the mind. These two are very important to be connected because you can remember your memories sometimes, but knowing they're yours is a relationship that is crucial to the psychological process. This body of work is going to be about my discovery of how important that relationship is using writing and photographs to describe the last 4 years of my life.

The other projects I am continuing to work on are EMDR patients photographs and stories, A Family Project about Hoosiers and Greeks, A project on the North Shore, High School Girl Softball Players and Identity Crisis, and Ice Scuba Divers. These I have been continuing to work on as the years go by and some of these I am starting this year. It's going to be a busy year.

Family Project - MaryJane Finding Home

"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 guess the statement is not nearly as important to me as the experience of it all. When I have people look at my art, I want them to experience something. Not quite cinematic, but I want there to be an experience, a narrative, an enlightenment, even possibly something that inspires them to look at something or feel something different.

What art is, is simple. It is what the viewer thinks it is.

Embryo Series - Angelic

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
Always be myself and do what I want to do against popular belief. Also, don't try and satisfy anyone. Both HUGE lessons for me.

Tell me about your work space and your creative process?
My art space is a 1600 square foot studio in the Northern Warehouse Studio 411. I love working there because I can transform the space so many times, I am surrounded by amazing artists and get to live in the coolest and most successful Urban Village in the world, Lowertown. I feel so lucky to be in such an amazing community and location.

I guess the creative process is really simple. I come up with an idea, I plan for it, and then I shoot it for as long as I need to. I am a fast shooter, so I usually get done pretty quickly. I love directing my subjects and I love making it a pleasant atmosphere. It's always fun when you like the people you work with and you make magic with them.

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?

Angela Strassheim- Photographer http://www.angelastrassheim.com/
Doug Beasley- Photographer http://www.douglasbeasley.com
Darrell Hagan- Painter http://www.mnartists.org/darrell_hagan
Kara Hendershot- Painter http://www.karahendershot.com
Sarah Thornton
- Painter http://www.lintuart.com/
Erin Sayer- Painter http://www.erinsayer.com/
Steve Olson- Graphic Designer http://cargocollective.com/steveo
Jenny Zigrino- Comedian http://www.jennyzisnice.jimrage.com/
Nate Levine- Photography/Web http://sugarbombstudios.com/
Ben Finley- Glass/Printmaking http://benfinley.com/
Eric Lund- T-shirt/Graphic Design http://www.weareric.com
Beth Stoneberg- Wood http://www.bethstoneberg.com/
Tracy Olson
- Painting http://www.tyoung.info/
Barbara Evan- Painting
Wendie Zekowski- Textile/Fiber Arts

If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
We would go the The Art Crawls in Saint Paul, Lowertown First Fridays, my photog book collection in my studio, shows at the MIA, the Walker, and IFP. I mostly go to shows of people I admire, or photo shows of sorts. They are mainly of interest to me.

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?

I just check in with my friends or I go to OMG LOL (http://lol-omg-blog.blogspot.com/)
Loss of Innocence - Let Go

Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?
St. Paul Art Crawl- April 29th, 30th, and May 1st. (2011)
308 Prince St - Across from the Farmer's Market.

For more look to: www.rheapappas.com

Monday, April 25, 2011

Stephanie Guidera - Painter

Party Girl, Oil on Canvas 28” x 24”
Stephanie Guidera

Stephanie Guidera

Stephanie Guidera is a artist, dreamer, and full time worker (on the side of course). Spending most her childhood in a Roseville MN rambler, she moved 6 miles South East to get her BA in Studio Art from Concordia University, St Paul, and has remained part of the Twin Cities art community ever since. Although there has been little movement in residence, she travels as much as possible to try to catch that oh so elusive worldly perspective.

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
I would say I’m an expressionistic oil painter. People have always fascinated me, especially strangers. In the past, most of my work has been based on these strangers. I would snap a picture or do a quick sketch of a woman on the bus or a boy playing in the street, and then make up a complete life for them. I’d give them a name, personality and story, and paint it. This concept still intrigues me, and I’m sure I’ll come back to it in some way, but currently I’m working on a more posed and premeditated portrait. I’m working on a set of current stereotypes with either poses or compositions based on the portraits of history. I’m trying to portray the individual sameness that we have time after time, culture to culture. Dress it up a little differently, but it boils down to the same thing.

The other way in which I’m departing from earlier work is that I’m using the same model for all my pieces in this series. Regardless of the stereotype’s physicality, I want to illustrate the idea of limitless opportunities in America, by showing anyone can be anyone. It probably makes more sense with visual aides (for those and explanations of each piece, please see my blog: www.stephguidera.blogspot.com).

Portrait of the Model, Oil on Canvas 11”x14”

"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?
Art is communication. It is exploration. When we’re stagnant, we’re designing, not creating. I think that learning, growing, and speaking visually is the goal. Finding a way to communicate and really reach people across whatever divides is incredibly difficult, but it is crucial.

I would hope that my art makes people feel something, anything really. I definitely judge an art show on if I left the same as I entered. Whatever the emotion or knowledge I gained, it makes the work successful. I hope for my work to have this impact on people.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
A wonderful professor told me to live with my art. Don’t just come check in for an hour and paint or draw, etc. But live it. For me the leap was when I was doing art for hours on end in my limited free time, not just as homework. Then the obsession began….

The Gamer, Oil on Canvas 30” x 30”

Tell me about your work space and your creative process?
I’m currently residing in The Tilsner building in Lowertown (St. Paul) which enables me to create where I live. This has been incredibly convenient and wonderful. I don’t need too much space to work, but what I do need is music (Radiohead is my favorite painting companion), good lighting, and whatever references I’m using for the piece.

I paint in layers, starting with loose wash-like paint and slowly adding details and undertones. After each layer dries, it’s like starting a whole new painting. This technique is the only one I know, working slowly and meticulously until I feel right about it.

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?
Alonso Sierralta www.alonsosierralta.com
Lisa Loudon http://mnartists.org/artistHome.do?rid=95178
Luke Hillestad http://lukehillestad.com/
Genevieve Mariani http://www.genevievemariani.com/
Kara Hendershot http://karahendershot.com/
Hilary Lund and Emilie Hitch http://www.119and120.com

The Profile Pic, Oil on Canvas 20” x 24”

If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
I think the best art in St Paul is in the artist lofts. It’s really a wonderful experience to live and work down here, The Tilsner and The Northern next door never disappoint, and The Carlton Lofts have some very diverse and talented residents as well. I’d also definitely suggest The Soap Factory in Minneapolis. My favorite spot for gallery/studio exploration, however, is NE Minneapolis. The countless studios there, as well as Rogue Buddha and Altered Esthetics are great places to start!

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?
Juxtapose (http://www.juxtapoz.com/) is my favorite place to view new artists/projects.
For events and resources in the Twin Cities, I’m a huge fan of Springboard for the Arts (http://springboardforthearts.org/) it’s a wonderful and very valuable resource for our area!

The Intellectual, Oil on Canvas 24” x 30”

Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?
St Paul Art Crawl – April 29-May 1, 2011
The Tillsner Building #506
Lowertown St. Paul

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Liz Miller - Installation

Opulent Eco-Storm, mixed media installation, UW Oshkosh, 2010

Liz Miller

A Field Guide to Snow and Ice: Paula McCartney and Ornamental Invasion: Liz Miller

Friday, April 22, 2011—Sunday, July 3, 2011

Minnesota Artists Exhibition Gallery

Free Exhibition

Opening reception, Thursday April 21, 2011, 7-9 p.m.

Liz Miller



MNArtists Profile

Bio~ Liz Miller earned her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and her MFA from the University of Minnesota. Her large-scale installations and mixed media works on paper have been featured in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States and abroad. Miller has received several awards for her work, including two Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grants and a Jerome Foundation Fellowship. She lives and works in Good Thunder Minnesota. She is Associate Professor of Drawing at nearby Minnesota State University-Mankato.

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?

My work continues to be comprised primarily of large-scale, site-specific installations. For the past five years, my studio inquiries have been fueled by an interest in systems as a point-of-departure. My installations borrowed from various facets of contemporary life, including storm radar mapping and biological charts, graphs, and diagrams. One day last spring, while sitting in my studio, it dawned on me that my work is no longer really about systems! It was kind of a shock. I realized that I am much more interested in perception, and specifically ways that unexpected imagery can be embedded in pattern, ornament, and decoration. This revelation was the impetus for a research trip to Paris, where I took thousands of photographs that led to the creation of new stencils, and new imagery.

I am currently working on several installations that are very duplicitous in their content. They borrow from the language of Baroque and Gothic architecture, but are infiltrated with imagery from weapons, war, and battle. This type of oppositional content has always excited me. The work is more decorative than ever…and more sinister than ever.

In addition, I continue to push towards dimensionality. I am a sculptor with no technical ability whatsoever! And yet I love making work that infiltrates architecture and envelopes the viewer.

Decorative Eco-Disaster, mixed media installation, GOCA, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, 2010

"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? While I know it might sound like a cliché….I hope my art makes people see the world differently. I try to make work that is visually exciting, but that also provides a richer conceptual experience for the viewer that looks more deeply. I don’t expect to provide answers with my work, but I do like it when it causes people to ask questions.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?

Judy Pfaff was a visiting artist when I was in grad school. Up until she visited, much of the advice I was receiving centered around the idea of making my work “messier” or “more painterly” or “grittier.” Pfaff walked into my studio, looked around at the messy gritty work I was trying to make, looked at me, and said “You’re stylish and elegant. So why does your work look like this?!” It was a pivotal moment for me. I knew she was right.

I think that was the moment when I realized that I had to follow my own ideas as opposed to following the ideas of others.

Ornamental Transgression (revisited), mixed media installation, Walker Shop, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis 2010

Tell me about your work space and your creative process?

My husband and I share a large studio in Good Thunder—our space is basically the basement of our town’s post office (we live in a town of 600 people). It’s just around the corner from our house. I love waking up, brewing coffee, and walking 10 steps to the studio. The perfect live/work separation! I am very attached to my studio as a site of inquiry. I know for many artists the studio experience is secondary now, but for me the studio is where things happen. I am not a rocket scientist, but I am really good at playing. I just sit in my studio and play. And sometimes it’s days of total failure…but eventually something happens. My process is very slow. I make large work based in repetition, but I don’t have anything fabricated. Each shape is cut by hand, albeit with an electric scissors! I love the individuality that is achieved through a simple process—no two shapes are the alike.

The installations usually start with a shape or series of shapes that are combined through the use of a digital projector. I make simple cardboard stencils and trace them onto felt. One shape leads to another. As works have become more dimensional, I’ve developed what I refer to as a kind of “wonky origami” technique where I create dimensionality through simple bending and folding of the materials I am working with.

Super System for Marie Antoinette (Defense Strategy 2), Rochester Art Center, Rochester, MN 2010

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?

There are so many amazing artists who live here. I am not going to try to make a comprehensive list, because it would be way too long. I will just name two:

David Bowen (http://www.dwbowen.com/)

Christopher Baker (http://www.christopherbaker.net/)

Both David and Chris utilize technology in their work, so perhaps part of my fascination is just that I am low-tech in my process and they are high-tech! But they each integrate technology and interactivity in a way that is beautiful and thought-provoking. And they have forged brave and ambitious careers nationally and internationally. I stand in awe.

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

There is no typical day for me in terms of seeing art. I am not someone that spends an entire day going from gallery to gallery. I like to hit one or two exhibitions and really spend time as opposed to going to twenty in a day. One place I wish that I went more often is Rochester Art Center. They consistently have amazing exhibitions, the space is incredible, and I feel like it easily rivals any art-going experience in the Twin Cities.

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?

Again, I don’t have a set site that I go to. It really depends on what I am looking for. I actually feel like it’s kind of easy to just go to a few prescribed sites and be sort of in the know without knowing anything! So now I just aim for variety. I really like some of the design sites for discovering new work.

Examples include http://www.designboom.com/ and http://www.mocoloco.com/. I have a strong interest in interior design, fashion, etc, so I often find myself looking at the other things going on these sites. It feels like the innovations in design are always more radical than those in art. I am really inspired by what designers are doing now!

Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?

2011 is busy. I leave to install an exhibition at Bloomsburg University (PA) next week (February 2011). I have an exhibition opening at the MAEP at the MIA in late April. In July I install work at 1708 Gallery in Richmond (VA) then on to projects in Louisiana, South Carolina, Iowa, and North Dakota. Then in 2012 I will sleep!

Super System for Marie Antoinette (Defense Strategy 1), Rochester Art Center, Rochester, MN 2010

Friday, April 15, 2011

Lorna Rockey - Photographer

lone adelie penguin - antarctic continent
Lorna Rockey

Name: lorna rockey
City/State: minneapolis, minnesota
Website: http://www.mnartists.org/artistHome.do?rid=3901 AND
MNartist.org profile: http://www.mnartists.org/artistHome.do?rid=3901

i am a global imagist (photographer), one of "the last of the mohicans", who
stubbornly still only shoots in 35 mm NON-digital format. i'm also an
advanced diver/underwater photographer with a shark diving specialist
certification. i have photographed all 7 continents (yes, i know antarctica is
a continent, and yes, i've photographed it), around 90 countries and obscure
islands, and a lot of marine life underwater.

giggly girls - panajachel, guatemala

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this
different from past projects

i just launched a new web business with a travel blog, twitter, and flickr site
called "well travelled guru"(wtg), which aids people travelling who have a
fiji h2o taste but tap water budget. i hope to dispense some of the wisdom and
insights i have garnered through my extensive travels abroad on the wtg site.
soon i plan to add my photography to the site as well (it's only a newborn, so
give it some time to grow).

for years people have been urging me to write a book or a blog, as fate has put
me in some very interesting places at precarious times (e.g. bali before
the bombing there, thailand DURING the tsunami there, mumbai before the bombing
there, isla mujeres 1 day after a category 5 hurricane blew through, cairo 5
times recently before the overthrow of mubarak, etc. etc.). i guess i've just lived on the edge so as not to take up too much room. ;-)

"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

my photographs enable me to ponder and share with others the basic similarities
between all living creatures. my desire is for those that view my photographs
to be transported to a place so foreign, and yet so familiar simultaneously.
i shoot photos to abate the distance between what we fear/don't understand,
whilst attempting to elaborate on the vast commonality that exists between us

there isn't really an "us and them" i've discovered, just an US.
i am thoroughly convinced that ONE single photograph can bridge the vast fissure
that separates people from understanding and inviting the unknown.
my hope is that my photographs encourage others by giving them the impetus to go
out and explore, shed their paradigms and stereotypes, and LIVE life, not merely

and eventually, world peace...one person at a time. ;-)

mother with child - kanyakumari, india

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?

an old friend (who is an established artist in colorado) once told me,
"keep taking photos lorna, even if you never see a dime for your art. what you
do comes from your soul and moves people. a true artist keeps creating until
the day they die--no matter what".

he was right. it's not possible for me to stop shooting photos, it's just part
of who i am.

Tell me about your working space and your creative process?
my work place is the planet at large (and the oceans too). i feel a strong
spiritual affinity to water, so i find myself gravitating to places near oceans
to photograph.

it's strange, but i always know, as soon as i click the shutter, if a photo is
going to be good or not. and oddly, i never take more than one photo of the
same thing. i guess that makes me a strange type of purist; ansel adams would
be proud, right?

when i'm visiting a place i know most people will never see (like last year in
the jungles of borneo), i really desire to bring viewers into my experience as
much as is possible through a two dimensional medium.

orangutan friends - sepilok, borneo, malaysia

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?

ann ginsburgh hofkin who's always finding creative ways to express her art:

stuart klipper who is well known internationally for his work on antarctica and

prince(is that even his name now?) who's artistry stands the test of time:

atmosphere who continues to wow! crowds at home and away:

the suburbs(now defunct). forever a minnesota icon:

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

we'd go to noerenberg gardens on the shores of lake minnetonka, hidden falls on
the river road, the "secret" art at the sculpture gardens, hackensack, and
definitely the north shore (anything north of duluth) including the gunflint
trail to the bwca. oh, and of course the walker, mia, warehouse district, and galleries "nordeast" (don chya knoo). lastly, i'd take you to a bingo hall for any bingo session - definitely "art" on display there!

bedouin boy atop mount sinai - egypt

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?

new york times:




the filter:


Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?

i have an exhibit, "terrestrial solidarity: an introspective", that has toured
extensively (mostly in educational institutions) in the midwest for years.
in 2008 it was invited to Cairo for its first international show in a
predominantly muslim country. it was a BIG hit there (3 ambassadors were in
attendance), and now i am brainstorming how to get a tour going again locally,
but this time in spiritual sanctuaries across the religious spectrum and

Tim White - Photographer

Tim White

SpotArt Gallery Featured Interview
Opening Reception April 15, 2011 7-11pm
4/15/11 - 5/13/11

Name: Tim White
City/State: Minneapolis, MN
Email: whitedog35@gmail.com
Website: http://timwhite.is/
MNartist.org profile: http://www.mnartists.org/Tim__White


Tim White is a Minneapolis photographer.

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects? I came to photography very recently. My past work was as a painter- doing the stereotypical tormented artist thing; working in isolation, rarely deigning to dirty myself with commerce or well-being. If I hadn’t become acutely ill from solvents, I’d likely still be poisoning myself in a garret somewhere. Photography not only gave me back a voice that I’d lost, the medium felt less self-indulgent, less diaristic. It seemed more urgently communicative because you’re engaging the world more often than your own imagination, and it takes you into the world with this evident instrument. That led me to people who were similarly enthusiastic about making images.

I’ve been working less on my own work lately than on building communities, like the “You are not a dinosaur” collective. We took a short story from Oregon author Bruce Holland Rogers titled “Dinosaur” as a means of exploring visually how people concede (or don’t) to becoming “responsible” adults. We’ve just finished our first group show and are looking for ways to carry that momentum further. Our flickr group (http://www.flickr.com/groups/notadinosaur/) has over 600 submissions from people across the globe who’ve come at this short story from varied and incredibly nuanced angles.

I’d ideally like to gather 100 or so of these impossibly moving images, and show them in an uncommon space in an effort- as we did at Vine Arts- to move the center for Twin Cities’ art away from the beaten paths. I worry that the public can be too intimidated by traditional institutions and venues, that they believe they have to approach “art” with a PhD, or an affected hipness when it should be as necessary and accessible as groceries.

"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 came to photography from a very dark place, during Bush’s second term where a sense of “how in the fuck could this have happened again” prevailed, and art reflected that malaise. It seemed that everyone was wallowing in entropy, decline, exhaustion. This aesthetic of the squalid took hold in America depicting a vapid wasteland of derelict signs, rusted trailers, and misanthropes. I think we’re rebounding from a place of profound pessimism, tempered by well-earned cynicism.

Photography is too often used as a cudgel to incessantly beat up the public with images of shiny things they allegedly lack, crap that once obtained will fill them. I love that people are making a universe filled with all the trivial wonders of their everyday lives that advertisers will fail to keep up with and pander to. I lean to photography that recognizes the here and now, that realizes temporality, impermanence, but that at the same time fixes moments- works that assert how your own discarded grapefruit can be as important as some airbrushed pneumatic bimbette, or an iphone.

I want to make work that lets other people see the value in what’s right in front of them, to abandon this futile striving to become something/someone else when they’re already here, or could be.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?

My dad told me recently “If you’re not selling any pictures, you might want to make pictures people like.” That’s probably the best advice I won’t follow, and I’ll likely keep making pictures that people apparently dislike.

Tell me about your working space and your creative process?

My system has been so thoroughly compromised that I can’t do darkroom, so my workspace is a digital darkroom on a small desk cluttered with threatening letters from creditors, toys, cf cards, magazines (Shots, The New Yorker, Andrea’s copy of Whole Living), and a crippled pc with CS3. I try to reference film without parroting it. Digital images have an antiseptic quality that I try to mediate somehow by working with extremely low end gear, using inappropriate lenses, or shooting through filters.

That may be my painterly background, or an effort to reference tendencies I admire but can’t participate in. I’d like my work to have a certain ambiguity, to make things that compel a viewer to look into them thoughtfully, and to allow ample space for people to bring their own narratives to my work.

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?

Warren Mackenzie for the democratic spirit and stubborn utility of his work. It has been over 3 years since his studio closed and I’m still grieving at the way commerce trashed his Shangri La; or more accurately that it ruined the public’s ability to be a part of it. Garrison Keillor to me is a national treasure. Paul Wellstone was an artist in a wholly different medium. I’m in awe of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Joel and Ethan Coen, Low, whoever makes the burger at Duplex, and Edwin Dawes. Dawes painted this iconic image of Minneapolis titled “Channel to the Mills” at the Minneapolis Institute of Art that is frequently interpreted as an expression of vast civic pride. I can’t help but see it as an acrid exit letter, and a warning.

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

The MIA to see its growing pains as it strains to be less a mausoleum. The Walker reminds me of Radio K; you’ll be subjected to 100 things that anger you in a day, but 2 or three that utterly knock the wind out of you, like the recent Eiko and Koma performance. I go to the Weisman just to admire Frank Gehry’s gall, to Weinstein’s (Weinstein Gallery) on 46th (Mpls), anything mounted by Vance Gellert at IFP (but after opening nights), Franconia Sculpture Park … a pretty typical treadmill of places here.

I also enjoy just walking neighborhoods. Minneapolis has been gaining a novel culture of street art over several years; like work by whoever tags these emoticons with hearts, or the vintage comic panels. Currently, my favorite place to see art right now is the kiosk outside the Wedge. It’s a monument to much of the striving happening here.

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?

The New York Times “Lens” blog (http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/),

David Alan Harvey’s Burn website (http://www.burnmagazine.org/),

Inside Analog Photo podcasts- though the interviewer is nauseating (http://www.insideanalogphoto.com/),

American Suburb X (http://www.americansuburbx.com/),

I’m also lucky to have a group of friends on facebook that’s plugged in, passionate and that relays events and work they’re jazzed about.

Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?

I’ll be in a group show at SpotArt this April 15th. 2011 (http://www.spotart.org/). Just a great venue with scenesters, geriatrics, children, and that living carpet of a dog.

After that, from April 30- May 1, Andrea Cole (http://www.andreacolephotography.com/) and I will spend two days at potter John Onkka’s compound in Baldwin, Wisconsin as part of the Creative Drive . You can also keep abreast of ‘dinosaur’ as it takes its next steps at our website: http://www.youarenotadinosaur.org/.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Promote Your Event Here!

On the LAI Facebook page, I get invited to about 20 events/art openings a week, much more than I can promote on the website with the limited time I have to maintain it.

So, if you want, feel free to post a link to your events in the COMMENTS SECTION. I'll delete comments once the events are done so it stays accurate and up-to-date.

Good luck with all your shows!


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Richard Johannisson - Mixed Media

“Untitled #18”
Richard Johannisson

Richard Johannisson
Minneapolis, MN
MNartist.org profile:
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000231662701

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?

My work is an exploration of the fold between the structures of capitalism and artistic creation, along with an emphasis on identity within these structures. In my work I hope to capture the ambiguous nature of our capitalist/consumer culture and the contradictions it creates from the blurring of necessity and desire, and high and low culture, in combination with the paradoxical moral conflicts of our pluralistic society and how these elements affect the structures of identity.

In my current body of work I am continuing with a series where I alter appropriated fashion ads with black ink, leafing pens, lint, and a custom embossing seal. Although this is a continuation of my previous work, there is the new addition of covering the ads in the black ink. This creates a visual effect similar to film negatives or solarized images. Additionally I am also working on a music project and expanding into more time based works and digital medias. These are extensions of previous concepts in my 2D work. I will not get into more detail of the works in progress. Descriptions of things being developed somehow tends to inhibit my creative process. All I can say is just wait until they’re finished!

“VOID #3”

"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 the viewers are confronted with a sense of ambiguous un-knowing, which hopefully seeds a desire to dig deeper and come to a new understanding that might have been there all along. Everyone is going to have a different experience that is highly subjective. I want people to be able to engage in a dialogue and discussion with the work and with other people. Any “answer” I give is only limiting the work and

“Untitled #10”

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?

That I should expect to be poor.

Tell me about your working space and your creative process?

My working space is like a Rubix Cube of books, notes, materials, and projects that constantly get rearranged and reorganized. My space is very limited, so I am very amused with how I have utilized the space in order to create my work.

My creative process involves a lot of research and ideation and trial and error with an emphasis on error. I love all the beauty that comes from when things don’t turn out as planned. Of course its also very frustrating but without it how else are we supposed to grow ad learn?

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?

I’m not sure how to answer this question. The friendly ones of course! I enjoy so many of the artists in our community. We live in a very close-knit community of artists and I find it very interesting that any kind of list of favorite artists could simultaneously be an implication of people I know while the reverse might not necessarily be the same:

“VOID #5” (after Robert Longo)

If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
The Walker Art Center, The Soap Factory, Midway Contemporary Art, The Minneapolis Institute Of Arts, They Won’t Find Us Here, Franklin Art Works, Altered Aesthetics, SooVAC, and Rochester Art Center. This would be a very special and unique day!

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?
Mplsart.com and mnartists.org are really great online art resources. I am sad though that ARP magazine came to an end because that was also a great place to read about local art. I mostly hear about things through word of mouth though and email lists and occasionally through facebook.

If I want to find out about things happening outside of the state I usually take a look at Art Forum magazine or Art Papers.

“Unknown Known #2”

What can we expect to see from you in the future?
I have wonderful plans for multimedia interactive performance installations.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Robyn Hendrix - Watercolor

Seedlings 2, Watercolor on Paper, 10” x 13” 2010
Robyn Hendrix

Name: Robyn Hendrix
City/State: Minneapolis, MN
Email: robyn@robynhendrixart.com
Website: www.robynhendrixart.com
MNartist.org profile: http://www.mnartists.org/Robyn_Hendrix
Twitter: @robynhendrix

Robyn Hendrix is an emerging artist living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Robyn grew up in eastern Washington State and received her Bachelor’s degree in Studio Art from Carleton College in 2005. She has lived in the Twin Cities since 2006.

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
I work primarily in watercolor and drawing to create playful, delicate imagery of quirky organic forms inspired by nature and plant growth. I use synthetic Yupo paper for my watercolor painting, which doesn’t absorb paint in the same way as regular art paper and allows me to manipulate the watercolor after it has dried to create surface texture. The chalice shaped tree or seedling forms that appear over and over again in my work came from free association line drawing that I started doing in 2006. Ladders are another recurring element and those came out of some daydreaming in which climbing a ladder or jungle gym was a metaphor for the big “journey of life,” destiny, fate, or whatever you want to call it.

Recently I’ve had some big shifts occur in my own life in addition to the monumental events we’ve seen globally over the past few months, and I see those heavily reflected in my newest paintings. The little organic creatures that show up on the paper are interacting with each other in more dynamic ways, expressing fear, aggression, vulnerability, strength, hunger, empowerment, hope.

Incubators, Watercolor on Paper, 16” x 20” 2011

"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?
The ambiguity of my designs is meant to allow room for a variety of interpretations from the viewer. Pieces that look like rocks might really be eggs, seeds, drops of water, or eyeballs. Plants might stretch their branches into the fingers of a hand crawling out of the earth or take the shape of a mouth gulping down the rain falling from the sky. I hope my paintings convey my quirky curiosity about this crazy beautiful planet of ours. I’m fascinated with nature and spend a lot of time gazing at the potted plants on my windowsill and walking around the city looking for weirdly shaped trees. I love it when you can see the tiny little bud forming on a plant that will eventually become a new leaf or stem.

Nature is so incredibly weird and mind-boggling. Just the simple fact that we all divide these tiny cells over and over to grow and heal, and digest food, or breathe the air, or photosynthesize, or whatever floats our boat in order to survive and procreate, kind of blows my mind.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
I’ve been repeating this mantra to myself lately: “Jump into the life you want to live.” Nobody really told me that, it’s just something I’ve been feeling really strongly lately. For a while I saw my life as something that would happen in the future, but I’ve kind of woken up and realized my life is NOW. So I decided to go live it.
Along those same lines, the How to Steal Like an Artist essay written by Austin Kleon is one thing I read recently that is absolutely spot on.

And just the other day at the Works Progress Give & Take event I had a conversation with Noah Keesecker from Springboard for the Arts who told me about the punch the shark motto that originated from a video by Nathan Ecklund. It’s a really powerful, useful metaphor for tackling the problems or tasks you dread the most by facing them instead of running away or avoiding them. Oh, and did I mention the incredibly inspiring Ted talk by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love?

I’m not sure any of those things count as direct “advice” but they’ve had a positive impact on me over the past month or two. Apparently I’m not as good at remembering snippets of things people say to me as I am at recalling videos I’ve watched on the internet. Sign of the times I guess.

Podlings 2, Watercolor on Paper, 8” x 10” 2011

Tell me about your working space and your creative process?
I paint at a table in my bedroom. Small space, but it’s my lovely little sanctuary. There are basically two stages to my paintings: putting down the initial shapes and design, and then after the paint dries using a sort of drybrush technique to texturize the watercolor. I’ve discovered that having several pieces in progress at the same time helps me out a lot. If I always have at least one piece already going, starting the next new painting is less intimidating. It’s a nice way to avoid the “white canvas” artist’s block and helps me keep up my momentum. Even if I get really busy and get out of sync for a week or two, I know I have something already started and can easily pick it up where I left off.

I keep a sketchbook and I do a lot of free association drawing in which I let go of any preconceived idea and just let the tip of my pen guide me to whatever that drawing wants to be that day. Then I take some of my favorite designs that come out of that and put them into the watercolors. Both the drawing and painting processes are about playing with a lack of control, since painting on Yupo is basically like creating puddles of color. You can control the shape by defining the outer edge, but you can’t predict exactly how the colors are going to blend together. Even when adding the texture, I purposefully keep my brush strokes a bit jittery and scattered, because the most interesting edges and color interactions come out of allowing for that spontaneity.

You know how they say you should talk to your plants to help them grow? I totally talk to my paintings in the same way. I ask them what they want to be, I apologize to them if I get clumsy and mess them up before they are dry, and I say “I love you!” to them over and over. Because I do. They are like my little babies, and when they get all dressed up in frames and get to go hang on a wall in a gallery, I feel like a proud parent putting her kindergartener on the school bus for the first time. All I can hope is that they stay safe, eat their carrot sticks, and make some friends.

Crushed, Watercolor on Paper, 8” x 10” 2011

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?

Jennifer Davis http://www.jenniferdavisart.com/
Barbara Harman http://www.barbaraharman.com/
Alis Olsen http://www.alisolsen.com/
Brenna Busse http://www.brennabusse.com/
Margaret Wall-Romana http://mwallromana.com/
Claudia Poser http://claudiaposer.blogspot.com/
Dan Bruggeman http://danbruggeman.com/

This one feels like a bit of a shameless plug because Dan was one of my advisors at Carleton. He has a great show up right now though at the Groveland Gallery Annex.

If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
I am all over the place, trying to soak up as much as I can. I’m often at galleries like the Soap Factory, Susan Hensel, SOO Visual Arts Center, and Intermedia Arts. Co Exhibitions and Cult Status Gallery are both on my list of places I haven’t been to yet but know I need to check out ASAP. Stevens Square Center for the Arts has had some exhibits I’ve loved, and I wander around the Minneapolis Institute of Arts quite a bit too, always making a point to check out the MAEP gallery.

I’m also intrigued recently with the surge of less traditional art spaces such as Madame http://madameofthearts.wordpress.com/ and the Dressing Room http://dressingroom-aot.blogspot.com/. I can be found having conversations with great people at events like Give & Take, Salon Saloon or FEAST Mpls. Recently I’ve spent a lot of time doing paper-mache at Heart of the Beast Puppet Theater in preparation for the May Day Parade. I also get a lot of inspiration from theater and dance; I house manage for the MN Fringe Festival every year and see as many shows as I possibly can during the 9 day festival with my staff rush pass.

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?

MN Original http://www.mnoriginal.org
MNArtists.org http://www.mnartists.org/
MPLSart.com http://www.mplsart.com/
Springboard for the Arts http://www.springboardforthearts.org/ (I was super lucky and got to be one of the artists who took their Work of Art workshop series for free last year via the Artist Development Project. Thanks MN Legacy funding! It was fantastic.)

FEAST Minneapolis http://www.feastmpls.org/

Works Progress http://www.worksprogress.org/

And of course, via all the great people & orgs I follow on twitter and facebook.

Smother, Watercolor on Paper, 8” x 10” 2011

Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?
Fellow artist Eyenga Bokamba inspired me to create three artworks to donate for the Art 4 Shelter benefit which is happening this coming Thursday, May 5th 2011 at Circa Gallery. The artworks are only $30, anonymous until after you buy, and proceeds go to Simpson Housing Services. http://art4shelter.org

Four of my watercolors will be a part of the art exhibition at the Living Green Expo May 7-8, 2011 in the Fine Arts Building at the State Fairgrounds. Hours are 9am-6pm Saturday and 9am-4pm Sunday. http://www.livinggreenexpo.mn/expo-highlights/art-exhibition/

Looking ahead, I'll be showing a larger body of work September - October 2011 in a two-person exhibit with Deborah Splain at the Minnesota Women's Building in Saint Paul. This is part of the Women's Art Registry of MN Exhibition series and will be the largest body of work I've shown so far. http://www.thewarm.org/

What other local projects or organizations are you involved with?
I am on the exhibitions committee and am also one of the Facebook and Twitter contributors for the Women’s Art Registry of Minnesota (WARM). I’ve been involved with WARM for 3+ years now and it’s given me the opportunity to network with fellow women artists at all different stages of their art careers in an empowering, non-intimidating way. The organization has a lot of room to grow, and a lot of energy. We just had a strategic planning retreat a few weeks ago that left my brain all abuzz with ideas about where we can take things. I’m tentatively working on planning a WARM-sponsored feminist art book/reading discussion group this summer, possibly on the Walker’s Open Field, so watch for news on that coming soon!

My day job is as a cook at Wayside Family Treatment center (http://www.waysidehouse.org/), and I recently connected with the Bridging Minneapolis project that was awarded the last FEAST grant. They are doing a mural project in our neighborhood with the 24th Street walking bridge and I am looking forward to being a liaison for our clients to participate in that.

Robyn Hendrix