Saturday, January 26, 2013

Damon Rowley - Minnesota Ex-Pat

Damon Rowley

Name: Damon Rowley
Location: Aurora ( Chicagoland area) Illinois
Facebook Damon Rowley (personal page)
Why did you leave Minnesota?
I moved to the Chicagoland area just over eight years ago. I've been working in the construction industry for just over twenty years. I was quite the underachieving student from a low income family, so I went right to work out of high school, starting as a laborer and steadily moving upward. I worked for the same company for twelve years in Minnesota but was offered a position with one of the biggest family owned outfits here just outside of Chicago that paid much better and offered much more opportunity to advance.

Tell me about your new city of residence?
My family and I bought our home in Aurora Illinois. Aurora is the second largest city in IL, about 40 miles west of Chicago. It is an older , industrial river town around the downtown area , with newer sub divisions , department stores, chain restaurants ...etc further out . (Imagine Champlain /Anoka as one large city.) I've been involved with several shows , and met several talented artists working here locally, but in terms of an art destination for people other than local artists themselves, most attention is still directed toward Chicago and neighboring suburbs.

How has your art changed since moving from Minnesota?
To answer simply, it has gotten better.
Expanding on that, my biggest downfall art wise was always inconsistency. Throughout much of the time I was living in Minneapolis, I would have periods where I was really inspired and productive, but equally, there were times where I would find myself frustrated artistically. I would go long periods of time without drawing or painting, then when I did eventually get inspired again, I would try to create "masterpieces " that defined me as an artist (or something grand like that) and realize quite quickly that I was out of practice and quite rusty,,,or that I simply lacked the tools and technique to create what I was trying to.
From my house in Northeast Minneapolis, I could literally walk or jog to St Anthony Main, the falls, downtown Minneapolis, the industrial parks and train yards along the river. I was never more than a phone call from being able to spend time close friends and people I grew up with. I moved down here to a subdivision, bordered by a cornfield and another subdivision where the minivans are a slightly different color. I traded close friends for hoping to have coworkers and parents of my kids' friends I may have a little in common with.
Feeling somewhat "out of place  " made it much easier to take realize that I really enjoy painting , and to dedicate at least a few hours a night for the last several years . I changed my perspective a little,I started working and practicing with the goal being  "get better" instead of  "Create My Ultimate Defining Masterpiece" I started doing "studies" of still life pieces, wildlife, things that didn't really interest me. I started really working to learn subtle textures , reflections , highlights and shadows just to stay busy and learn to recreate them. I've been able to continue to learn and improve and add tools and techniques, from each piece I do. Most importantly, I can look back not only with a sense of accomplishment, but I can look back over what Ive done and see improvement
I guess that is a long winded way of saying that moving away from Minnesota and all the pass times and people and things I loved about it made me focus much more and dedicate myself much more artistically

If you had to come back to Minnesota for one weekend and you need to see your old favorite places, where would you go to see art?
That is tough. Sadly the chances of all the local art fairs happening on the same weekend are fairly slim. In a perfect world, the Art a whirl in Northeast, with all the local bars and displays, the Bearded Lady in Northeast, the Uptown art fair, the Lowertown art crawl in St Paul. (I am sure I would make time for the Walker , Sculpture Garden , and "traditional" museums the second day.)
Who are some of your favorite artists still living in Minnesota?
Artistbuilt Leather (Jeremy Blankenship/Erin Brennan)
Brandon Martin (Glassblower)

If you could transplant one aspect of the Minnesota arts community home with you, what would it be?
Just one?  The diversity. There seem to be successful artists in all styles with all subjects. I appreciate quality and technique, but here in suburbia, we seem dominated by "safe" fireplace art. 
Do you have any exhibits to promote now or in the near future?
Altered Esthetics Past the Apocalypse show in Minneapolis, MN.  Reception Friday 2/1 and the show runs through 2/21.

Damon Rowley

Featured Artist

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Goal Setting for Artists - 30 Ideas

Goal Setting
Kate Renee

January is always a great month to focus on goal setting, revisiting dreams and starting new projects! It’s important to identify what you want to do before you begin working towards that goal, so sitting down and considering your goals is the first step to begin achieving them.

As an artist myself, I am obsessed with discovering hidden dreams, setting goals and blogging about it the process. This past July, I did an intensive seven day session of goal setting which I called my Seven Days of Strategic Planning ( During this week, I created a master list of personal dreams, wishes, hopes and career goals that I wanted to accomplish in my life time. It is an ever changing document that I allow myself to add and remove goals as my desires change.  After organizing my huge list, I came up with categories of goals artists should consider when goal setting to better plan out every aspect of their career.

This is a list of 30 goal categories that I created to begin thinking about different aspects of my life and my career that I need to set goals in. I included fun categories, like travel and arts awards; important arts categories, like grants and finances; and the boring must-haves too, like inventory and time management.

Consider goal setting throughout your entire life; your arts career and life are symbiotic so why not consider both your personal and career goals when you plan? Have you always wanted to walk on hot coals or try skydiving? Add it to your goals! Go through each category and take a personal inventory. Push yourself to think of you biggest hopes and dreams. Putting it in writing is also important. For each category there are a couple of questions to help get you on the track to setting some of your own goals. Each category then has two goal idea examples to demonstrate short and long term goals for each category.

Goal Categories:

1. Portfolio: Do you have a portfolio? What needs to be updated in your portfolio?

Goal Idea: Update artist statement, create a comprehensive career portfolio

2. Studio Space and Living: What type of work space and living space do you need? Is your studio space conducive to your work?

Goal Idea: Move studio into the dining room for more room, move into the Northern Warehouse artist studios

3.  Galleries and Exhibitions: What is your dream gallery or space to exhibit in? Do you want to curate your own show?

Goal Idea: Participate in two group exhibitions this year, plan and implement a solo exhibition

4. Social Networking and Computer: Do you have the proper software to best utilize your technology? What social networks can you add or remove to better your participation online?

Goal Idea: Have 300 fans on Facebook arts page, organize your computer and back up all of your arts documents and images

5. Events and Participation:
What places and spaces have you always wanted to visit but have never been to? How do you wish to increase your participation in the arts community? Have you volunteered lately?

Goal Idea: Head to a local arts museum and draw three times in the next year, participate in Art –a-Whirl or the St. Paul Art Crawl

6. Marketing: How do your viewers remember you and your artwork? How do you reach new audiences?
Goal Idea: Redesign business cards, create a custom set of pens with your name and website on them

7. Design and Merchandise: What can you do to make you work more marketable? What are some design changes you can make to your brand?

Goal Idea: Make prints of work, a website redesign

8. Jobs and Career Development:
What can you do to push your career into the next step? How are you creative at your job?

Goal Idea: Take a workshop on artist resumes, get a full time arts job

9. Non-Profits and Boards: Do you want to participate in a non-profit? What non-profits and missions do you want to align yourself with?

Goal Idea: Volunteer with a local non-profit, become a board member

10. Documentation and Journaling: How do you document your process and ideas? Do you have good documentation images of your artwork in large and small file sizes?

Goal Idea: Journal daily, copyright artwork

11. New Projects:
What is a new medium you want to try or rediscover? What is a project that has been on the side that you want to begin?

Goal Idea: Pick up pottery again, learn how to screen print

12. Press and Publications:
How can you begin publishing your own content? What type of press would you like to be published in?

Goal Idea: Begin a newsletter, Write a press release and send it to your local paper

13. Community:
How do you want to make an impression in the arts and the wider community? How can you make an impact or send a message with your art?

Right: American Ipod Pot Left: Minoan Octopus Pot, Kate Renee, 2008
Goal Idea: Leave your business cards around local coffee shops, apply to the Community Supported Art (CSA)

14. Education, Skills, and Teaching: What skills do you need to improve to tackle an important goal? What are some local classes and workshops that I can attend to learn more?

Goal Idea: Attend the Giant Steps 2013 conference, teach a class or a workshop to other artists

15. Life Choices: What can you do to make yourself happier? What can you try to challenge yourself?

Goal Idea: Expand my food and music tastes, work on saying no and setting boundaries

16. Appearance: What about yourself would you change and not change?

Goal Idea: Try dying my hair a new color, dress professional for arts events

17. Exercise: What do you do to stay moving and healthy?

Goal Idea: Stretch in the morning, take a weekly aerobics class

18. Reading and Writing: How often do you read arts literature? Are your writing skills strong?

Goal Idea: Read The Artist Way by Julia Cameron, start a local artists book club

19. Social and Speaking:
How do you react to large crowds and social situations? What skills and tips can you learn and apply to your public speaking?

Goal Idea: Introduce yourself to one person art each opening, participate on an arts discussion panel

20. Grants and Finances:
What grant foundations align with your creative work? How do you manage your career and life finances?

Goal Idea: Save all of my arts and supplies receipts, set up an accounting system

21. Studio Furniture and Materials:
What tools do you use daily? What item would save time and frustration in the studio?

Goal Idea: Purchase a new cutting mat, invest in a new easel

22. Residencies:
What is a residency program that interests you? Where are you interested in traveling to?

Goal Idea: Attend an artist retreat, apply to the Vermont Studio Center Residency Program

23. Travel:
Are you interested in discovering your family history? What is your dream vacation? Where would you take an arts focused vacation?

Goal Idea: Take a weekend vacation up north, travel to France to see the Louvre

24. Collections: Which gallery or museum would you like to see your work in? What pieces would you like to add to your own collection?

Goal Idea: Own a fellow artist’s piece of art, have art in the Weisman Museum’s permanent collection

25. Collaborations: Who would be your dream artist to collaborate with? How can you collaborate with your viewers and patrons through your artwork?

Goal Idea: Create a work of art with my artist friends, Create a piece to be published alongside the written work of a known writer

26. Awards and Contests:
What award would be great on your resume? What contest do you want to participate in?

Goal Idea: Receive honorable mention in a group exhibition, receive a cash reward for a juried art show

27. Current Body of Work: What ideas, plans, and goals do you have for your current work? What is the next step you could take to push it forward?

Goal Idea: Work on a small side project, complete my larger series of paintings

28. Time Management:
Where are you loosing time? How much studio time can you commit to during the week? Are you doing too much or not enough?

Goal idea: Work on arts business activities during lunch break at work, get better rest at night so I can be ready for studio time in the morning

29. Inventory and Organization:
How do you store and categorize your artwork? Where do you keep and sort your arts paperwork?

Goal Idea: Organize my file cabinet, create a master inventory of my entire body of work

30. Commissions:
How many people approach your for custom creations? What would your ideal commissioner look like?

Goal Idea: Create a small jewelry piece, be commissioned to create another pair of custom painted wedding shoes

Accomplishing  Your Goals
There are many different strategies for assisting with achieving your goals. Here are a few ideas to try out!

Celebrating the Successes and the Steps: Don’t cross out your goals when you are done, celebrate them and respect your accomplishments! Write the date next to it if you keep your goals in a list. Or have a separate journal where you record your accomplishments and successes. You can burnout easily by trying to tick off goal after goal without realizing how much you have come along the way. If you are attempting to tackle a huge long term goal, separate it into smaller steps and celebrate accomplishing each step along the way. It will make the journey more enjoyable and seem more doable!

Sharing: Sharing is crucial! Sharing your goals with other people helps to keep you accountable. When I began my mentorship program with WARM this past December, I bought my list of goals with to share with the group. I love to set goals and analyze my dreams so I shocked everyone when I brought a 14 page packet of goals.

Making Goals into Art: Find ways to solidify your goals into fruition. In my personal quest towards reaching my goals, I have been creating works of art that encompass my goals. My recent project was making vision boards. Creating works of art or a way to keep your goals in front of you is a great visual reminder.

Wording: You can also make your goals more achievable by how you structure the wording of your goals. By changing your goal from: I am going to hand make a vision board out of collected and cut imagery and photographs.

…to a more specific goal: I am going to hand make three vision boards out of collected and cut imagery and photographs by the end of July 2013 so I can begin to apply my vision board to my career, makes you more likely to achieve your goal.

Learn how to make your goals more specific and strategic on my blog post on The Suction Cup: (

Passion, Career Vision Board, Kate Renee, 2013
Retiring Goals: If you find yourself looking at your list of goals and realizing your dreams and priorities have changed, retire your old goals. Recognize and respect that at one point they were important and full of potential. Don’t just cross off or throw out old goals. You can simply make a list of goals that you are retiring, or have a small ritual to release these old dreams like burning them, or making a piece of artwork to commemorate it.

Where do you go from here? Have fun! Set your critic aside and ask yourself what you really want to do in your career and in life. Throw in some fun goals and some easy goals to make the journey enjoyable along the way. Feel free to comment and share your own goals for 2013 below!

Kate Renee lives and works in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Kate graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in fine arts, art history, and a minor in design, and has worked with various galleries and museums in the Twin Cities including the Katherine E. Nash Gallery, Larson Art Gallery, American Swedish Institute and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. She designed the Solo Exhibition Program at Altered Esthetics.

Kate is building a national and international reputation with exhibitions throughout the United States. In 2013, Kate began a two year mentorship through the Women’s Art Resources of Minnesota alongside artist and mentor Jill Waterhouse. She was awarded a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant. Kate is a frequent blogger on her artist development site and also guest blogs on sites including Local Artist Interviews. You can see Kate’s work on her website

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Marion Angelica - Ceramic Artist

MaryJane Basket Form
Marion Angelica

Name:        Marion Peters Angelica
City/State   Minneapolis, MN

I was raised in Torrington, Connecticut. I double majored in Fine Art (Sculpture) and Biology at Mt. Holyoke College and earned an MFA Degree in Ceramics from State University of New York-New Paltz.  After more than 25 years of working in arts administration I returned to the studio and now have studio space and teach at The Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis.

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

Thanks to the Jerome Foundation and the MN State Arts Board, I was able to spend time in the high desert of New Mexico studying the land formations that have always intrigued me.  I am currently making ceramic pieces that reflect those land formations and their textures.  I also make a line of functional work out of hand-built porcelain.  This is the work I sell through galleries nationally.  I love to design functional pieces and am looking for ways to integrate the high desert project into my functional line.

Blue and White Calla Wine Stems

How did you become an artist?

As a pre-med major in college I signed up for Art Foundations 101 as a relief from all my science classes and found I loved it.  As a science-oriented kid, I won several science fairs throughout grammar and high school by carving skeletons out of Ivory soap bars or building things from toothpicks or balsa wood.  I never considered it art. In college I did stone carving, welding and bronze casting, but never touched clay until I took a pottery class at a nearby college as a “gut” in my senior year.  The moment I touched clay I knew it was the media for me.

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

I did not get this advice directly, but this quotation has been a very strong influence on my studio practice.  Chuck Close said, “ Inspiration is for amateurs.  Artists just go to the studio and work every day.”

Teapot with Stacked Lid

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

I have a website  I also have relationships with about a dozen craft galleries throughout the US who sell my work.  I sell directly from my studio and am in the process of setting up a small gallery in my home so I can sell from there.   I spend time researching galleries and contact those who carry work that seems compatible with mine.  Every month I send out information and photos to three galleries.  Largely it falls into a black hole, but occasionally a gallery interested in my work responds.  I enter competitive juried shows nationally and locally to get my work in front of the jurors, new audiences and build my resume.

Who are the Minnesota artists you enjoy?

Julie Timm—ceramic artist                 
Colleen Riley –ceramic artist              
Sandra Baines—painter
Kipp O’Krongly—ceramic artist           

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

The Walker Art Center
The Russian Museum
Minneapolis Art Institute
The Grand Hand Gallery
The Northern Clay Center
The Duluth Art Institute
Homewood Gallery
The American Craft Council Show
The Jungle Theatre
The Moving Company
A Center for the Arts, Fergus Falls

Framed/Footed Serving Platter

In addition to, where do you go online for good art resources, whether to find a new artists, or to see what is going on in the art world locally or otherwise?

American Craft Council
Potters Council
MN Women Ceramic Artists

Many galleries nationally who have on-line shows.
Ceramics Monthly

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

Three Jerome Artists @ The Northern Clay Center                   Jan 18—March 3, 2013
The House We Built @ Nash Gallery, University of MN            Jan 22—February 23, 2013
Northfield Art Guild, Northfield, MN                                         Feb. 13—March 13, 2013
American Craft Council Show, St. Paul, MN                            April 19—21, 2013
Homewood Gallery, Minneapolis                                             May 10—May 25, 2013

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Monica Reede - Mixed Media

Vertical Trees, 2012, 30” X 60”
Monica Reede

Name: Monica Reede
City/State: Minneapolis, MN
Website: profile:
Facebook page: Monica Reede Art

Monica Reede is a mixed-media artist living and working in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Historically her works have juxtaposed a variety of images - human artifacts, the human figure (or fragments of the figure) with various natural elements and beings. In her most recent pieces, Reede overlays wood panels with stained or etched Plexiglas creating a mysterious, even ghostly, interplay of images that illuminate intersecting realities. These works have pointed to the essential sensuality of the human body consciousness, the ever shifting relationship of form and void, and the transitory nature of the material world.  She is interested in the spiritual practices of Eastern mysticism and the theories and discoveries of contemporary science.  

Monica Reede has worked as a professional artist for 20 years. Her work as an artist has been recognized through grants and awards including three fellowships from the Minnesota State Arts Board.  She exhibits regionally and nationally and is represented in numerous corporate and private collections.        
Reflection #2, 2012, 30” X 30” 

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?  
I have always been interested in perception, or rather, how we perceive and categorize things and experiences; how we create a hicherarchy of those things and experiences in a way that inevitably ends up placing ourselves at the center of the universe, at least metaphorically speaking. However, my newest work represents something of a shift from that way of thinking.  These pieces delve into the act of perception itself, or to put it another way, what happens when light hits the anatomy of our eye.  There is a moment, an instant really, before we begin to interpret and categorize, where all that exists is the phenomena of light itself bouncing off of an object.  The photographer Uta Barth has described this as “a moment when everything else drops away and the experience of seeing, of sensing, becomes so overwhelming, so all-encompassing, that the very idea of interpretation does not, can not, exist.”  In this moment all possibilities exist, yet none are necessary.

These works are created using layers of oil stained Plexiglas on wood panels.  Soft focus creates a blurring of the distinction between figure and ground, while the layered construction of translucent material over a reflective surface plays with the notions of flatness and depth.  Light bounces around and inside each piece and back to the viewer creating different effects based on the angle from which it is viewed.  In this way the quality of the light from the surrounding environment participates in the composition of each work by altering the colors that are reflected and the shadows that are formed.  Finally, it is the viewer who completes the work through his or her own unique perception.

Reflection #2 detail

How did you decide to become an artist? 
Making art has always been a part of my life.  It was not so much a choice as it was a joyful engagement in the activity of making things.  As a child I spent much of my time drawing and when asked, I always told people that I wanted to be an artist.

As I grew up, I was discouraged from following art as a career path due to the lack of financial security.  So, when I entered college, I was working toward a degree in science.  At some point during my junior year I decided that I did not want to go through life never having even tried to live my dream. I switched my major to fine art and graduated with a BFA.  Those who warned me were right, there is little financial security in the life of an artist, but I have not regretted my decision.
Reflection #1, 2012, 30” X 30”

What was the best advice given to you as an artist? 
The best advice I ever heard was to make work for all the people out there who are like you.  It doesn’t matter how many of them there are.  If you feel strongly about the work you are doing, there are others who will too.  

Many artists struggle to find ways to sell their art.  How do you sell your work?  How do you market yourself?
I have been fortunate to have been represented by galleries for most of my career.  This has been my primary source of income from my art.  My main gallery in Minneapolis has been Circa Gallery (  

To market my work, I use my website,, my facebook page, Monica Reede Art, and a well crafted email list.

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy? 
There are many Minnesota artists that I admire, too many to list, but here are a few of my favorites:  
Carolyn Swiszcz,
Mary Bergs,
Michon Weeks,
Elaine Rutherford,
Barbara Kreft,
Ken Steinbach,
Harriet Bart,

Tiny Mountain, 2012, 6” X 6”

If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
Walker Art Center,
Franklin Art Works,
Minneapolis Institute of Arts,
Burnet Art Gallery,
Weinstein Gallery,
Bockley Gallery,
Circa Gallery,

Tiny Mountain Detail

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? 

For local events I usually rely on facebook and word of mouth. 
MNoriginal is also a good place to find Minnesota artists,

There are a number of galleries around the country that I follow online through their websites.

I also read The New York Times arts page
Art Daily News,
Art Forum,
Art Slant,
Visual Art Source,

Something Tender detail, 2010

Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?
Yes, I have an exhibition at the Bloomington Art Center entitled CONVERGENCES that opens on January 10th and runs through March 3rd, 2013.