Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sherry Lee Short - Ex-Pat - Drawing

Hat of Knives
Sherry Lee Short

Name:  Sherry Lee Short
Location:  Fargo, North Dakota

Why did you leave Minnesota? 
 Other than to leave for graduate school, I lived in Minnesota from age 7 until my late 30s.  During most of that time, I lived in Moorhead.  Moorhead and Fargo, North Dakota, are twin cities.  I first moved to Fargo because the house I was renting in Moorhead flooded badly in a summer flash flood.  Five years later, I bought a house in Fargo.  It was exactly the kind older home I was looking for and nothing in Moorhead that was available at that time fit the ticket. 


Tell me about your new city of residence?  

Truly, in many ways, it is not a “new” city for me.  “Fargo-Moorhead” is an interconnected urban area of over 165,000 that also includes a couple of smaller communities on both the Minnesota and North Dakota sides. Although I still feel like a resident of Fargo-Moorhead, the longer I have lived in Fargo the more I have moved to identifying with North Dakota, the state, as my home.  This is because I am interested in a number of political and environmental issues.  Because I can affect such things both through activism and by voting as a resident, I have begun to pay more and more attention to what is happening in North Dakota.  

There are issues specific to the state that are distinctly different than issues in the state of Minnesota.  For example, through a project of the Archibald Bush Foundation, I was part of a group that worked to identify what issues impact artistic participation in the Dakotas.  I am also concerned about the political leadership that has allowed widespread environmental destruction in a large area of North Dakota by allowing almost unfettered oil extraction. These are just two examples of how my new residency has influenced my participation and awareness.


How has your art changed since moving from Minnesota?

In 2004, I started to explore landscape.  Until then, I had exclusively worked as a figurative artist.  However, I have always had a passion for many things outdoors and decided to explore integrating that passion with my art.  Interestingly, at first I didn’t think I had any interest in the North Dakota prairies.  Instead, I headed up to the North Shore along Lake Superior in Minnesota and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  However, those places are hours from where I live.  So I also started taking shorter day trips to areas closer to my home, such as the Sheyenne National Grasslands in North Dakota.  Slowly, I started to develop a sense for the aesthetic of the prairie.  The bright summer sun and the brilliance of the white glaring off of the prairie draped in snow now imbues much of my work, even crossing over to affect the aesthetic of my figurative work.


If you come back to Minnesota for one weekend and you need to see your old favorite places, where would you go to see art?

My favorite places to see art are in community spaces, such things as coffee shops or an apparently random light pole “hit” by yarn bombing.  I like to just discover art when I am out for a run or walking through a community space.


Who are some of your favorite artists still living in Minnesota?

If you could transplant one aspect of the Minnesota arts community home with you, what would it be?

There is greater support for the arts in general in Minnesota than North Dakota.  For example, grants available to North Dakota artists are nominal.  Minnesota artists are eligible for big grants such as the Jerome and the McKnight.  In North Dakota, the largest grant available is through the North Dakota Council on the Art—it’s $2,500, and it’s only available to one visual artist every three years.  I would love to see foundations recognize that the Dakotas are populated by a diversity of artists who deserve the grant opportunities available elsewhere.


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

Unveiling:  Three Women Explore Identity (portraits), May 19-June 24, 2012, Bloomington Art Center, Bloomington, Minnesota.  Artist Talk: Thursday June 14, 7:00PM.

Reflections from Solitude (solo landscape exhibition), September 30-November 4, 2012, Rourke Art Gallery, Moorhead, Minnesota.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Natasha Van Zandt - Photographer

Wild Thing, Big Sur, CA 2010
Natasha Van Zandt

Name: Natasha Van Zandt
City/State: Minneapolis/Minnesota
Email: profile: 

I am a multi-media Minneapolis based artist and photographer. I graduated from Perpich Center for the Performing Arts as a Media Arts major and after went on to a bried study at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design with a focus in photography and documentary film. I now attend the University of Minnesota as a studio arts major and have recently had my art shown at the Electric Fetus in Minneapolis, The Selby Pizza Luce and am being featured in an upcoming RAW Artists showcase.

Musee' Mecanique. San Francisco, CA. 2011

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
I have been privileged with opportunities to travel since a very young age. Immediately following my birth my parents packed up their van and traveled across the United States with me. SInce then I have lived abroad several times and have traveled through Europe, the United States, and South America. 

Through these travels I have walked away with the belief that travel is the greatest teacher and the eyes are the greatest interpreter. I use my camera as a way to take what I see and the beautiful people I have met along with me to look back and learn from. My work is greatly focused on the places that I travel to and the people I meet along the way that have taught me that the true wonders of this earth are the people. 

Toothless. Grandma's House, MN. 2011

How did you decide to become an artist?
I was given a Polaroid camera by my father at a young age and since then have almost constantly had a camera by my side. My strongest passion has always been creating art and therefore I have kept it as my main focus.

What was the best advice you can give as an artist?

To always look through the lense with curiosity and explore every aspect of what you are looking at as mindfully as you can. Shake everything off and be present in the image you are capturing. 

Perception. Sutra Heights, San Francisco, CA 2011

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy? 
My inspirations are constantly revolving and changing. One artist to comes to mind when I think of Minnesota artists I admire is Alec Soth. Who's work you can see here: 

If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see? 
A bike ride around the city! There is art and culture almost everywhere you look when you decide to look for it. I also am a huge fan of the Minneapolis Art Institute and the student art at Minneapolis College of Art and Design. I also am a big fan of The Soap Factory and Cult Status gallery.

Mannaquin. Peru, 2011

In addition to, 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'm not a very internet savy person so many of the artists I study or stumble across I find in books and articles at the library. 

War Baby.  Minneapolis, MN 2009

Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?
I am currently being featured in the June RAW showcase at the Fineline in Minneapolis Thursday 6/7 8-12am. I would be honored if you purchased a ticket under my name here:

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Michelle Lee - Printmaker

"A Ghostly Reminder" - Screenprint
Michelle Lee

Name: Michelle Lee
City/State: Minneapolis, MN profile:

I discovered screenprinting while earning my Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in graphic design at MCAD. I just fell in love with it. Now, I screenprint and do some relief and letterpress printing. For my day job, I work as a book designer at Free Spirit Publishing, and I feel so lucky to have a creative job. I also teach in the Continuing Studies department at MCAD (I'm the teaching assistant for the Open Edition Printmaking Seminar and I teach the "Digital Goes Analog" class). I've also taught several DIY screenprinting workshops. My work has been shown locally, but mostly I like just making it and giving it away!

"Cornfed" - Screenprint

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
I'm a printmaker who focuses primarily on screenprinting, though I've been doing more relief (linoleum cut and letterpress) lately as well. I try to have several projects going at once, and I work on things that make me happy, or inspired, or angry. If there's no emotion behind it, there's no drive to get the work done! I recently finished a signage series, where I photographed lots of signage and screenprinted each one small, in kind of a postcard style, with a similar palette and a lot of detail. 

Right now I'm working on a "Perfect Moments" series, which are somewhat-degraded photographs of the moments in your life when you're supposed to be happiest, but when that pressure is often enough to make it quite the opposite experience. This work is fairly different from the signage pieces because the "Perfect Moments" are brightly-colored and also more abstract. 

I'm also starting to work much larger, and my three new bike pieces, "The First Commute of Winter," "You Spin Me Right Round," and "A Ghostly Reminder," are my first forays into large prints. ("You Spin Me Right Round" uses 7" records in the print, which is something I'd like to do more often.) I'm planning a few more large prints to be completed soon. Working large is such a different experience—since I pull all my prints by hand, it uses different muscle memory and different techniques. It forces me to work in new ways, which is good.

Finally, I'm trying to do more drawing-based screenprints and loose screenprints using tools like waxed paper for quick and abstract stencils. This is pretty much the opposite of my highly detailed, controlled signage work and it's a lot of fun.

"Perfect Moments Series: Birthday," screenprint

How did you decide to become an artist?
I think I was about 5 or 6 and drawing with my grandfather... some of my favorite childhood memories were of making art with him. As far back as I can remember, I've always known I'd pursue visual art in some way.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist? 
"This isn't working. Start again from scratch." 

When I was in design school, this was advice given to me by an instructor 2 days before a major deadline. Frustrating to hear at the time, but it turned out to be fantastic advice! Today, if I'm futzing and futzing with a piece and can't get it to work, I'll still often scrap it and start over. I sometimes take a deep breath and advise students to do that as well.

"Tomatoes: Before and Tomatoes: After" (diptych), screenprint

Many artists struggle to find ways to sell their art.  How do you sell your work?  How do you market yourself?
Can "badly" be an answer here? :) Honestly, this is something I need to be better about. Most of my marketing comes from word of mouth and having some of my work in local galleries like Altered Esthetics. When I was in the State Fair art show last year, that was terrific for many reasons, one of them being marketing. I also have small work (like cards) at the Grand Hand Gallery and Design Collective, which is really fantastic - I like those stores a lot. Sometime soon, I also want to put some small work on Etsy.

How do you come up with ideas for your work?
For some reason, being in motion is a great idea generator. I tend to come up with my best ideas while riding my bike. The lightrail or city buses can also be great places to come up with ideas and sketches for projects. If I'm ever stuck, I'll typically take my bike out and ride until I come up with a solution!

"First Commute of Winter" -Screenprint

What's inspiring you right now?
Bikes and gardening. I know, I know, everyone's thinking about those things now that it's spring, but I've been planning out my garden in InDesign since January!

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?
You know, I'm always getting inspired by local artists, but I'm terrible with names! Some of the artists who have a large body of work that I love are Aesthetic Apparatus (, Amy Rice (, and Faye Passow (, whose very witty works always make me laugh. I'm often inspired by work that the Continuing Studies printmaking students at MCAD produce, too.

If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
We'd start in the Warehouse and North Loop Districts of Downtown Minneapolis, looking at all the old signage, especially the old hand-painted, partly-faded signs on the brick facades. I know it's not "technically" art, but being a graphic designer, I absolutely love old signage. The old hand-painted fonts are incredible, and the textures they have when they're old and peeling are so compelling!

From there, we'd stop at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts (, where there's always certain to be something amazing in the display case and the gallery. We'd have to make a stop at the Minneapolis Institute of Art ( to look at the screenprints and Japanese art. As long as we were in South Minneapolis, we should definitely look at all the murals, especially in the Corcoran neighborhood. We'd swing through Northeast to check out some of the small galleries (like Altered, and if there was time, we'd drive out to some old small towns in rural Minnesota to check out the old buildings and old signage there. And then we'd be tired.

"Don't Mourn, Organize!," screenprint

In addition to, 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? 
My consumption of the Internet can be kind of random, but here are some sites I use:
. .. and I hate to admit it, but

Michelle Lee

Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?
I'll have one of my new pieces, "A Ghostly Reminder," at the Altered Esthetics Bike Art VII show in June. The opening is June 1, 2012.

I also had some work in the Casket Arts Building during Art-A-Whirl in the Vesper College space.

I'll have work in an upcoming exhibit at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts titled "Under Pressure," too. The dates aren't set in stone, but it should be in the late summer/early fall.

Michelle Lee is the Altered Esthetics 
Featured Artist for "Bike Art Vll"
Opening Reception:
Friday, June 1, 7pm-10pm
Artists’ Discussion:
Saturday, June 16th, 1pm-3pm 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Philip Taylor - Abstract Painter

Protest boogie “or stand in line”
Philip Taylor

Name: Philip Taylor
City/State: Rochester MN
Website:  Facebook

 I grew up in the fertile Mississippi river valley along the legendary highway 61 corridor in southern Minnesota as well as summering along the east cost mid Atlantic region.  Went to WSU and have a B.A. in Studio Art.  Informally have intensely researched many abstract artists and their methods through volumes of portfolio studies and several hajj’s the nation’s most celebrated art museums and institutions.  
Do You Want To Fool Around?

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
My work is for the creative intellect. Chance, spontaneity, lyrical and rebellious are qualities in the work. Non-idiomatic improvisation and rhythmic motion of the unconscious are how I attack the canvas. The process of making art for me is emotionally charging and spiritual.
Right now I have paintings in LaCrosse WI store front This is the 1st time in this kind of alt space. I think it works well and looks good.

The Sixth Sense

How did you decide to become an artist?
I first became interested in art after being confronted with a Jackson Pollock work during a pivotal visit to the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. In high school art classes were my only reason for going most days! In college I had many different classes’ photography, clay, drawing but painting really hit me. It all came back why I fell for art in the 1st place. After college I just keep pushing my self to try new techniques in painting. After trying and failing a lot it just started working. Then art shows and some sales came. That’s when I felt like a working artist. Not always easy but I would not change a thing!
What was the best advice given to you as an artist? 

Be ready for anything. Don’t shy away from alt spaces to show your work. Plus show your work online looking professional! 

Art on Record

Many artists struggle to find ways to sell their art.  How do you sell your work?  How do you market yourself?

Online has work well for me. I was working on a postcard mailer for my “Off 90” PBS TV show last week (Episode 313) and was shocked about how much of my work I’ve sold out of state and to New York. Facebook, craigslist, mailers and shows have work well for marketing.

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy? 

Charles Biederman was a MN abstract artist who work in Red Wing. I just found out about his work. Sounded like one cool cat. Would have like to have talked with him!
George Morrison  was also a MN abstract artist I liked the painting I have seen.

Down With It

If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see? 
Right now my favorite place to see art is at the Mayo Clinic Rochester Sounds strange I know but they have a Calder mobile, many Warhol screen prints, Rauschenberg, big Miro prints and many others. I find something new each time!

In addition to, 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 best places I have found is and Springboard for the Arts

Philip Taylor

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

“I got a head full of ideas that are drivin’ me insane” Bob Dylan 
This is how I feel about the future!

In April (2012) I was featured on "Off 90" a KSMQ PBS TV show.  It's a bit like MNOriginal

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Eleanor McGough - Painter

Deluge, acrylic on panel 48h x 72w
Eleanor McGough

Name: Eleanor McGough
City/State: Minneapolis MN
Website: profile:

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
 My paintings commingle forms from biology, textiles, maps, and geometry to convey a kaleidoscope world of interconnectedness.

Currently my focus is on large 4ft x 6ft acrylic paintings that are created on two merged panels. These works have subtle echoes of land or seascapes, and the merged panels have a reference to Asian screen paintings.

Working on this larger scale is really physically engaging and the works more easily become “a place” in my perception- as if one could disappear in to them.

The Marsh, acrylic on panel 48h x 72w

"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 believe art can transport people, even if only for a brief blip, into a separate realm or way of thinking. 

In my own work, I hope to reveal simultaneity between the grand scale and the miniscule -- a sense of infinite interconnectedness (through reoccurring pattern) of all things.

Jettison, acrylic on panel 36h x 72w

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

 My Father, who was an architect, once told me that the path to success (however you want to define that term) as an artist is an extra long road.  He said I should have perseverance above all else.

Tell me about your work space and your creative process.

Currently Craig Bell and I share a studio in the Northup King Building (#369)  in NE Minneapolis.

My works start out with loose very randomly applied paint, and I build layers this way while intermittently slowing things down with interjections of tiny details and delicately painted line forms.

I tend to work either on the floor or a large work table, preferring for the work to be flat as I work on it, although I do end up moving the panels all around when I want to make the paint move or drip on it’s own accord.  It becomes a balancing act of getting paint to do what paint does when thrown, splattered or dripped, with more deliberate and calculated decisions painted by my hand.

Aerial View III, acrylic on panel 24x24

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?

 Linda Deg Lee
Jantje Visscher

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

Groveland Gallery (Justin Terlecki paintings, Jeremy Lund prints)
Como Park Conservatory- the Pavilion, the Japanese Garden, the Sunken Garden
Minneapolis Institute of Art—I love seeing the rotating shows in the MAEP gallery

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?

MNArtists -

Fleeting, acrylic on panel 48h x 72w

What can we expect to see from you in the future?

I will be part of Art-a-Whirl May 18-20, 2012 in the Northrup King Building in NE Mpls. Studio #369.
In 2013, I have a solo show at The Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson WI.