Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Emma Trithart - Illustrator

The 4 of Wands
Emma Trithart

Name: Emma Trithart
City/State: St Paul, Minnesota
Twitter: @etrithart

Hello! I am a freelance illustrator and designer working out of darling St. Paul, Minnesota. I grew up in equally darling Ann Arbor, Michigan, a place lined with trees and friendly faces and old houses - which probably informed my love of drawing charming things. I moved to Minnesota to pursue a BFA in Illustration from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and graduated in 2008. Since then I've been working various art and non-art job, showing work occasionally at the Light Grey Art Lab (, and working with my art partner Bill Ferenc ( on posters and other fun stuff under the name The Perfect Pair (


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

My work ranges in subject matter, but above all I try to keep a charming and hand drawn quality to everything I draw. Currently I've got a few projects, both personal and client-based. In my personal work I've been exploring my interest in/fear of ghosts and spooky things - a subject matter that is pretty far from my regular cutesy stuff. These new interests have lead to a collaboration with an amazing poet named Lisa Cicarello (  on a zine called It Will Be Known to Us (

How did you decide to become an artist?

I've loved drawing since I was young! An elementary school friend and I would construct these really elaborate "Egg Wars" drawings where lizards were throwing eggs at each other with catapults and dropping them out of airplane and all sorts of crazy kid stuff. Later on in high school I got interested in comics and anime, which made me realize that I could make a living as an artist. I've since dropped the anime style, but I'll always be thankful for the path it paved. 


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

I've loved the support that graduating from MCAD has allowed me. My alumni friends have been fantastic and I get the best advice from them, since we're going through the same thing! A lot of it has to do with not being intimidated by the success of other artists our age. Everyone goes at their own pace, and perseverance is key! 

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

My full-time freelance career is a month old TODAY (eek!) so I can't say too much about marketing myself yet - I do plan to get some postcards printed up and getting a mailing list going to send out my portfolio/website ( Luckily I have a big job that requires most of my attention, so after that I'll have time to work on marketing. My easy shop is nonexistent at the moment, however I do sell stock art and some handset fonts over at youworkforthem ( and their sister site nanamee ( These sites are great not only for the sales BUT I've received online attention and clients from them as well.

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy? 

ILLUSTRATORS REPRESENT!!! I love these guys:
Allysa Nassner
Katie Wilson - currently living in LA but an MCAD grad

Other artists:
Scott Grover (another MCAD to LA transplant)
Allison Vallant

a doodle

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

Since we'd start off in St. Paul at my apartment our first stop would be the Elva Pottery (, right around the corner! I love their ever-changing selection of pieces and paintings - I'm known to stop by the window and sigh a big "why can't I buy it all" sigh when walking past. Big Table Studios ( would be next, an amazing print shop/studio space located in downtown St. Paul. We would look at some super cool posters, maybe watch one of the studio folks do some printing, and inquire about their upcoming shows. 

Then we'd go to Minneapolis and make a stop at Hang It ( to see what they've got on deck and maybe drop off a poster for framing… two birds, one stone! Then we'd check out the main gallery at MCAD ( for student, faculty or alumni artwork. Finally we'd walk on down the street to see what was going on with Lindsay Nohl ( and the folks at Light Grey Art Lab ( were up to before ending our trip with a latte and some more great art at the Nicollet Ave Spyhouse ( Phew!

The First List

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? 

Of course I like to browse dribbble (, 
behance ( and 
ffffound (, but I've also been getting into using pinterest ( in order to save artists I want to check out later. 
Remember to make sure all your pins have proper credit, folks! 
I also loooove Ten Paces and Draw ( and 

Mr. Hyde - a handset font

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

Check out the Light Grey Art Lab shows I'm featured in, coming soon!!!
Tarot, Mystics & The Occult:
GIRLS: Fact or Fiction:

Emma Trithart

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tuck Under - Gallery Profile

TuckUnder Gallery
5120 York Avenue South, 
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

For Galleries
Tell me about your gallery.

We are quirky, kooky and a tad bit off centered from the typical white cube gallery. If one was to stop by the gallery, you might smell our morning pancakes and bacon still lingering in the air.   From the street level, the gallery appears as an anonymous Archie Bunker styled home. We have three hokey butterflies, a fake woodpecker, a broken water pump, a scenic overlook, an Astroturf sculpture pad, and a raspberry patch that adorn the site. The humble midcentury environs present a peculiar and idiosyncratic interior and exterior site specific and art viewing platform.

Officially, TuckUnder is a temporary, independent artist exhibition space and sculpture site located within the Fulton neighborhood of Southwest Minneapolis.  As an alternative, hybridic home-based contemporary gallery, TuckUnder specializes in unrecognized emerging artists and curatorial collaborators, tactical institutional critique, participatory initiatives and conceptual curatorial projects. Artistic quality is based upon artist’s tactical aesthetics, participatory exchange, and conceptual fortitude rather than traditionally conservative art fair and gallery criteria. 

We are attempting to give control to artists and curators in what they choose to produce and exhibit. As an activist creative startup and non-commercial site, it has been funded by an MRAC Community Arts grant, and within the economy of the artist household. Its success is not grounded in sales, press or conventional measures set forth by the international art apparatus, but by the individual criteria set forth by the artists, curators and their exhibits. We like to engage ideas of artistic process and studio practice rather than institutional art distribution. We consider our visual artists, curators and collaborators to be partners and co-creators working in a larger ecosystem of visual cultural production. 

Who are three or four local artists who represent the quality and style of work you exhibit at your gallery?

Anne George:  

Frank & Pamela Gaard:        

Lisa Bergh & Andrew Nordin:

For Artists:
How do you prefer artists contact you regarding exhibiting in your gallery?

We prefer direct one-on-one in-person contact and love having unfocused free association meetings with coffee and/or frosty malt beverages. We are a participation and exchange model, and we begin by starting a conversation about art, ideas and project development. These dialogues happen over a period of time and a relationship is fostered. It is important that artists visit and experience the TuckUnder site as it is rather small and has unique environs. We have a call for artists/projects in January-February for the forthcoming season that is listed on our website at

What general advice would you give to artists trying to show in local galleries?

The art world and gallery scene on a local scale is meek, fickle and foible.  Showing locally takes time. Be prepared for immediate and ongoing rejection. Have patience.  Be persistent. It may take a year or more for a gallery to make a selection. Remember that gallerists and curators are human and often have lives outside of the arts. It is vital to remember that failure is a significant part of artistic success. Consider creating and developing your ideas/artwork outside of the main art stables, academic and careerist tracks. 

Despite the ongoing standard portfolio models of presenting 10-12 pieces with a canned, two to three paragraph art marketing statement, and static two page art resume, I prefer seeing lots of images, multiple portfolios and long, well written articulated statements. Unlike the push button uploads of 8 Photoshopped jpgs and a 500 character count MS Word documents for nonprofit grants and gallery cattle call deadlines, I would prefer to see idea development, large scale bodies of work, conceptual process and detail shots. Being vulnerable and showing a willingness to think outside of the application box is key to setting yourself apart from the perfectionist documentation tendencies so rampant in the fear driven art world. Show only your best work—but please move beyond showing the linear two dimensional—as we are conceptually process and project driven. Breath mints help!

For Collectors:
What is the typical price range for works for sale in your gallery?

We are not a retail “selling” gallery or commercial gallery per se. Collectors are directed to the individual artists for any possible negotiable sale.  TuckUnder does not follow traditional art boutique or art fair selling practices, and does not pursue large institutional nor nonprofit commodification techniques. As a provider of a visible alternative site for the future commercial exchange of artwork and artists projects, we are not a typical contemporary art dealer. We do not list prices nor put prices on the artworks. We prefer that the potential collector talk directly to our artists. Artists retain a sense of fiscal agency, financial power and economic prowess by being on the front lines of their sales.  The work that has shown in the past has a liminal mid level price point.

Do you have any advice for collectors looking locally to buy art?

Please look well beyond the institutional, status driven fundraisers, and arts organizational social circles for your art. Often, some of the best visible emerging art does not take place within the traditional museum settings and conservative art galas. Rather, artistic gems are often found off the beaten formal art paths.  Unique and high valued work often occurs in the fringes, non-traditional sites and smaller venues. You do not need to go to NYC, Miami, LA nor Berlin to find collectible artworks—we have a vivacious plethora of excellent, under recognized midcareer and emerging artists in Minnesota. The majority of artists in Minnesota are under collected, under represented, and under monetized. Thus, they are a very good value, and a local collector could easily begin and develop an incredible thematic and/or stylistic collection(s) of high prominence and integrity without spending much time, energy, and capital by simply participating locally.

If by chance all of the local art galleries were having opening receptions on the same night, where else would you recommend people go to maximize their art experience? (Include website links please)

Midway Contemporary Art
David Peterson Gallery
SooVac Gallery                       
Franklin Art Works                                
Rochester Contemporary Art Center
Walker Art Center        
Soap Factory               
Highpoint Center for Printmaking

Tuck Under Gallery Artists Featured on LAI:
Holly Streekstra June 2013
Jeremy Szopinski May 2013
Pamela Gaard 2012

Friday, October 12, 2012

Roxie Lubanovic (Speth) - Potter

Mustache Mugs
Roxie Lubanovic (Speth)

Roxie Lubanovic (Speth)
Minneapolis, MN

Originally from Iowa, I moved to Minneapolis post-college and started taking classes at the Northern Clay Center. Kickstarter allowed me to set up my own space, Frostbeard Studio, where I now work as a full-time potter. I handcraft each individual piece- throwing it on the wheel and then altering them by hand. Each Frostbeard mug is truly unique and meant to bring a smile to the user’s face.

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
Drawn to whimsical non-traditional designs, I focus on altering simple forms by adding 3D shapes, drawings and carvings (sgraffito). I started making Mustache & Monster mugs about five years ago and I still make them. The great thing about my subject matter is that there are endless possibilities and I can steadily alter my designs to create new pieces. A variant of the Monster Mug, I recently started making Day of the Dead sugar skull mugs. I'm always trying to think of new images to carve or draw. Another new technique I've been experimenting with is using stickers as decals with glazing. There's so many steps in pottery, there's lots of room for artistic growth.

Book Mugs

How did you decide to become an artist?
I've always made art, since I was a kid. When I was only taking English classes in college for my Major, I really missed making art, so I decided to double major. After I graduated I continued making art as a hobby and would show at coffee shops or sell at craft fairs. People bought my stuff and were really supportive. My Mom is a professional quilter (, so I had a great example of someone who makes a living by following her passion. So when I found out about Kickstarter I decided to try to raise the funds for a kiln and wheel hoping to turn my hobby into a business, and it worked! (

Day of the Dead Mug (Calavera)

What was the best advice given to you as an artist? 
Make lots of art. All the time. My friend Saman Bemel-Benrud said he tries to draw every day and I think that's what you need to do if you want to improve. My husband, Tom Lubanovic (who is also an artist) encourages me to try lots of new things even if I think they'll end up looking bad or silly. And regarding pottery, I had a teacher once tell me that you should never fall in love with a piece of pottery until it's home safe in your cupboard, because there are so many stages where things can go wrong. And it's very breakable. 

Many artists struggle to find ways to sell their art.  How do you sell your work?  How do you market yourself?
I have an etsy site: but I find that my work sells best in-person since ceramics is such a tactile art. Luckily mugs are an awesome fit with coffee shops and I've had good luck selling at Mapps on Cedar & Riverside, but I'm always on the lookout for new venues. I also sell at craft fairs, and actually helped start The Uptown Market which was both a farmer's market and craft fair, but unfortunately it ended this year. Minneapolis does have a great craft community though, and I'm exited to be joining it. Basically, it's just a matter of doing the leg work and social networking. Facebook is great for that too: 

Minnesota Mugs

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy? 
Some of my favorite artists are the ones that show up regularly at craft fairs or that I dealt with while organize the Uptown Market. HOTTEA did a performance yarn installation for us. Meg Corcoran from Scribblenest is awesome, she does felt work of cute animals. I think I have about ten Adam Turman prints hung around my house and studio. Larrisa Loden always has new, fun and creative vintage inspired jewelry. Our local craft scene is full of some seriously talented people. And as far as potters go, I really like Kip O'Krongly's stencil work; she's fantastic. And another artist from the Northern Clay Center I really admire is Jim Mulfinger, who does amazingly intricate sgraffito pieces. And It'd be silly not to mention my husband Tom, who is a wonderful illustrator and is really fun to collaborate with. 

Plates - Bikes, Fox & Owl

If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
MCAD Art Sale and galleries
The Walker (Gift Shop also features MN artists!)

Work by up-and-coming artists, local crafters. Museums are great, but I love seeing what my peers are up to, and at arts & crafts fairs you usually get to meet the artists. 

Monster Mugs

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? and honestly, facebook pages for all of those art galleries and art fairs that I mentioned above. 

Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?
Yes! My art is currently being featured at Altered Esthetics through October 25th for their "What's Your Function?" show on functional art. Also, on Thursday Oct. 25th, The Walker Art Center is having an event about Kickstarter and my work will be featured there as well, both at the event and in the the Walker Shop the following week. And then on December 7 & 8th I will be participating in No Coast's Craft-o-Rama at the Midtown Global Market.
Roxie Lubanovic (Speth)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Nathen Cantwell - Painter

Bury Your Phantom Limbs I – Cantwell – oil on canvas 10”x10”
Nathen Cantwell

Name: Nathen Cantwell
City/State: St. Paul, Minnesota
Twitter: @cantwellart

Nathen Cantwell is an award-winning art director/designer and accomplished professional painter and illustrator. His fine art work is known for its visual richness and thought-provoking depth. Layers upon layers of thin oil paint create an intense viewing experience.

In addition to painting, Cantwell is an art director and designer at a Minneapolis-based business-to-business advertising agency and runs a freelance design business with a focus on strategic, purposeful aesthetics.

He lives in St. Paul where he fuels his unyielding enthusiasm for Juicy Lucy burgers, craft beer and discovering new music.

Hold On So Tightly It Never Leaves You – Cantwell- oil on canvas 30”x12”

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
While my work is very personal, I don’t intend it to be a self-portrait. Rather, the intent of my recent work is to create a narrative on the human condition, speaking to experiences and emotions we all share on the most primitive level.
My paintings invite the viewer to engage the imagery from a universal standpoint, exploring how themes and sentiments surrounding religion, relationships, disability, social norms, social status and core values manifest themselves in daily life.

How did you decide to become an artist?
I’ve always been drawing, creating, and making. What inspired me most as a child was the South Dakota landscape. I’ve moved more to the inner, personal landscape in my works, but the natural landscape is still a strong influence.

That Which Holds You Here – Cantwell – oil and pencil on canvas 20”x20”

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
Create for yourself, then share with others.

Many artists struggle to find ways to sell their art.  How do you sell your work?  How do you market yourself?
Have one main web presence that everything links back to. Network. You’ll meet great people and collectors. Seek out opportunities that fit with your work and your beliefs.

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?
Because I’m relatively new to the Twin Cities (a little over two years here) I’m breaking the rules with this question and expanding to artists in a state over, too, because you should know about them.

Jan Elftmann-  Founder of the Art Car movement and creator of incredibly intricate, whimsical collage pieces that you’ll drool over:

The Ghost Making and WIVE
The Ghost Making

Sarah Beth Photography- A great friend and pet photographer extraordinaire.

Nick and Nicole Fischer- An incredibly talented duo that explore amazingly unique avenues- I highly suggest Nick’s stylized series and Nicole’s texture series:

Mark W McGinnis – (formerly of SD, so it counts)- Master teacher/story-teller through his narrative work

You Always Make the Right Decisions – Cantwell -  oil on canvas 36” x 18” oil on canvas

If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
We’d start at the Grand Hand Gallery in St. Paul. I’m always inspired by the ways their craft artists use various media to re-imagine seemingly simple yet functional objects. Then across the river to the Aesthetic Apparatus studio shop. I have more of their posters than will fit on my walls. Seriously. God bless them and their annual poster sale. (Big Table Studio in St. Paul is also worth the trip for screen printed posters.)

After, we’d head to the Walker. I think it’s the best place in the cities to question and explore not only art but also the human condition on many levels.  And a late happy hour at Republic at Seven Corners, of course.

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? – A staple for any designer or artist influenced by commercial design – No words to describe these words

You As Enigma – Cantwell – 8”x8” oil on board

Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?
The Debut Minneapolis Art Exhibition of Nathen Cantwell
Republic at Seven Corners
Featuring a rare performance by The Ghost Making
October 14, 2012
Reception at 6:30pm
Performance at 8:30pm

Show runs October 14th — November 30th, 2012               

Republic’s Art and Music Series is pleased to present a solo exhibition of paintings by Nathen Cantwell. Please join us Sunday, October 14th for the artist’s reception at 6:30pm followed by a music performance by The Ghost Making (members of WIVE – Isaac Everhart, Matt Irwin, and Dustin Marks) at 8:30pm.

at Seven Corners
221 Cedar Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55454

Nathen Cantwell
Photo Credit Sarah Beth Photography