Saturday, March 17, 2012

Andy DuCett - Artist

AOT has been here forever, except when it wasn’t, 2009
Andy Ducett

Name: Andy DuCett
City/State: Minneapolis, MN
Website: profile:

Twitter: @cettdu

 Andy DuCett is from Winona, MN and received his MFA from the University of Illinois.  He currently teaches at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and the University of Wisconsin-Stout.  His work has been shown in galleries in Chicago, San Francisco, New York City, Milwaukee and Honolulu, as well as many Twin Cities locations.  He has been published in New American Paintings,, Paper Darts, The Portland Mercury, Illiterate Magazine,, as well as publications in Toronto, Berlin, Tokyo, and London.  He recently was commissioned to make a drawing for the First Free Saturday series at the Walker Art Center and was recently admitted to the Viewing Program at The Drawing Center in New York City.  

Working towards something (trust me), 2010

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
My work ranges from drawing to installation to collage, with the subject matter orbiting around ideas of memory, finding importance in the mundane and how we all organize and navigate the world around us.  My current project is something I’ve been working on for a little over 2 years now, and will culminate in a solo exhibition called “Why we do this” at The Soap Factory in Minneapolis in September.  It’s different in the size and scope, and most definitely in the planning aspect. I have two sketchbooks completely filled with sketches and ideas, a scale model that I’ve been planning out the space, and an Adobe Illustrator document with exact measurements layouts and floor plans.  

I usually build something in my studio and transport it to the space, but in this case, I don’t have the space to do that, so this will be just plans until a few months before the show opens.  The Soap has cleared out a lot of space for me and my interns on the second floor to start construction, but everything we build has to be able to be carried down the narrow staircase and fit through a doorway.  Lots of challenges!  

The other big difference between this and my past work is that all 12,000 sq. feet will be one installation, using video, sound, performances and inviting viewer interaction at times…all things that I’ve never done before.

Thumbs up, we must be living right, 2008-2012

"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 my audience uses my work as an opportunity to re-examine the world around them.  I want people to find importance, notions of beauty and interest in the mundane and simple things around us at all times… from things like end tables, desk lamps and scraps of things that we think as just utilitarian or peripheral.  All of these things are the support structures that prop up our everyday actions and encounters.  Our surroundings are of the utmost interest to me, and I’m strangely thankful that people keep throwing away all of this interesting stuff for me to find in alleys and second hand stores…. I like reclaiming things and suggesting that people have a second look.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist? 
To pay attention to what you’re paying attention to.

Tell me about your work space and your creative process.
My studio is in a 2 stall garage and is packed with about 10 years of things that I’ve collected from places like thrift stores, dumpsters, estate sales and thing that people have given me because they think I’d give it a good home.  It’s pretty intense, visually speaking, but I’ve always worked best when I have a lot of visual stimuli around me.  

My creative process usually starts with me moving things around.  Not just art objects, but re-organizing or re-arranging my space.  It might be moving the stapler to the other side of the table, or cleaning off my table and moving everything to another surface, but something about it helps familiarize me with my environment.  The busywork and putzing around is really helpful, while it may seem counterproductive at times.  Having a record player in my studio is important too, flipping sides every 15 minutes helps keep me moving around.  

Image of workspace

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?
There really are way too many to mention, we as Minnesotans are really fortunate to have such a diverse artistic environment… that said, here’s a short and very incomplete list:

Allen Brewer:
Scott Stulen:
Ruben Nusz:
Pam Valfer:
John Fleischer:
David Rathman:
Jennifer Danos:
Ryuta Nakajima:
Jennifer Davis:
Natasha Pestich:
Joshua Norton:
Andy Sturdevant:
Charles Matson-Lume:
Bruce Tapola:

Lastly: I was a member of Rosalux for about two and a half years and they continue to have a great space and great group of artists on their roster:

Thumbs up, we must be living right, 2008-2012 (detail)

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

Walker Art Center:
Soap Factory:
Rochester Art Center:
Dressing Room:
Midway Contemporary Art:
Minnesota Institute of Arts; MAEP Galleries:
MCAD Gallery:
Weisman Museum:
Franklin Art Works:

Exploring while able, or, looking a little closer, 2011

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?
Daily serving:
Fecal Face:
But does it Float:

Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?
I’ll be posting updates about my process for “Why we do this” on The Soap Factory blog, as well as the Walker Art Center’s blog section (  

The show opens on September 8th and runs through November 11, 2012.

Image of artist

Also read, Paper Darts interview with Andy.

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