City/State: Minneapolis, MN
Website: www.gageart.net and www.formandcontent.org
Facebook: Form+Content Gallery
My work explores the duality and temporal nature of life and contemporary social issues. I began my creative journey in my teens, writing music and touring with a variety of bands including the all-female alt-rock band Tetes Noires. I later segued into public art and mixed media performance, often with a topical edge, and received a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from MCAD. I’m a co-founder of the artists collective, Form + Content.
Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
My work has always followed two separate but symbiotic tracks: public work, and more personal studio work. I am currently immersed in the former, as the national coordinator for 10 Years + Counting, an artist-led initiative created to bring attention to the 10 year anniversary of our nation at war. It’s basically a colossal, highly topical, public art project. The difference between this and past projects is the sheer scale of it. I’m working with artists, poets, activists and others across the country, all putting our shoulder to the wheel, trying to re-open the public consciousness to the possibility of a peaceful world. Too many have given up believing that an end to war is even possible. (www.10yearsandcounting.org)
Art is the expression of heart and spirit in the world. It is fearless, pushes boundaries, and can take many forms. The Uruguayan writer, Eduardo Galeano, once wrote that art is the age old response to the mysteries of life and the inevitability of death. That resonated deeply with me.
What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
That reflection is a legitimate aspect of the creative process. You don’t always have to be making. Sometimes you can just think, wonder, imagine and let your mind flow.
My work space is my heart and mind. I ruminate and reflect. I notice. There are clues and inspiration everywhere. I have a studio, but I usually only go there if I am engaged in the construction of an object for a specific exhibition. Instead, I putter around, think, read, and try to be patient. There is a great passage in the Tao Te Ching that asks if you are able to sit still until your mud settles and the water is clear. That pretty much sums up my process. Cultivating the patience to sit still until the path is clear. When I was little my mom used to say to me, “You have an overactive imagination!” cause I was always daydreaming and making up little plays or stories. She was right. It’s both a blessing and a curse.
Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?
Oh my god, the list is so long.
Harriet Bart. She is brilliant.
Sandra Menefee Taylor. She has always been one of my favorite locals; her work is so moving.
Ill Chemistry - Desdamona and Carnage performed at Form + Content for the Wee Cabaret performance series and totally blew my mind.
Monica Haller and her Veterans Book Project.
Dessa - incredible. Both her music and her essays.
All of my colleagues at Form + Content. Each so different, so committed and talented. We have kept that collective going strong for 5 years - it’s a testament to the strength, integrity and vision of the group.
Well, of course we would go to Form + Content Gallery! (www.formandcontent.org) It’s an intimate space, and what happens there is pretty amazing. Because it is an artist’s collective there is a freedom that’s palpable. Anyone who has followed the gallery has experienced this - each time a new exhibition is installed the gallery is completed transformed. And we are lucky to have the Weisman Art Museum, the Walker and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. I am thrilled for the re-opening of the Weisman this Fall!
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 would like to promote three things: (2011)
First, 10 Years + Counting - I really hope that anyone who reads this will visit the site and be encouraged to do something to mark the 10 year anniversary of the war. We have toolkits, links, book and movie lists. Have a gathering, write a poem, stand on your street corner with a peace sign. Anything, large or small! Be creative, bring joy to the work, and believe that peace is possible. (www.10yearsandcounting.org)
Second, No Glory, the next exhibition at Form + Content Gallery which I co-curated with Suzanne Slavick. The exhibition runs Sept 8 to October 1, 2011 with an opening reception on Saturday, September 10 from 7 to 9 PM. The artists in No Glory resist the glorification of war, envisioning its impact across generations They examine what rains down in destruction and what rises from the ashes. I highly encourage people to stop by the gallery and see this exhibition, which includes the work of 13 artists from across the country. Oh, and It should be mentioned that Susanne Slavick is a intellectual powerhouse and a tireless collaborator. I am in awe of her.
Finally, I have an exhibition opening at Form + Content in November. I’ve invited the local artist Ellen Skoro to show with me. We are both inter-disciplinary artists and I’m very excited about this joint exhibition, which is titled Dreams and Effigies. Our individual work will be separate, but related. We both employed imagery and fragments from our dreams as the leaping off point for the new work included in the exhibition. It’s going to be very magical. It opens November 17 and runs through December 23, 2011. We are hosting an artist’s reception on Saturday, December 17. Ellen has been a wonder to work with: focused, patient, steady. She is all that I am not, and I think we are a good creative team because of it.