Sunday, March 23, 2014

Rmay Rivard - Sculpture

Rmay Rivard

Rmay (aka) Mary Rivard
Tree, Bird & Crescent Moon Studio
Minneapolis, Minnesota
treebirdrivard at
Website :  / Rmay Rivard
fb- Rmay Rivard

Tell me about your work?
Well, describing my work is like having six blind women describe an elephant.
Depending on the festival or show a spectator encounters me at, they could get
the impression that I am a mosaic artist or a doll maker or a ritual artist, of paper
shrines or kitchen shrines. Then there are others who have seen the Circle of Life
Grandma chairs and say, oh yes, Rmay, she’s the artist who created the installation 
of those wonderful altar chairs. 

What are you currently working on?

That’s a good question. I have a few irons in the fire. Lets see, I am working on the next phase for the installation which involves telling the stories of the women from  my matriarchal lineage, that spans seven generations. So from present time with me, all the way back to around 1746. I chose seven generations because I remember reading that it is a belief of the Hopi that we can influence our predecessors as far back as seven generations by our actions and deeds and change the family story. When I was creating the chairs, I realized that I also had created a folkloric mythology surrounding each women by the imagery chosen for their altar. Story fodder! 

How is this different from past projects?

This truly, is the most encompassing project I have involved myself with. I began my
1st chair in 2005 for my grandmother Stella. I had been invited to submit a project for 
A Seat At The Table Show. Hosted by The Women’s Caucus for Art Minnesota Chapter.  Now, I have eight chairs. No, that’s not a typo, my great aunt Helen pestered me from the grave until the right chair was created into an altar for her.
Yes, there are stories to tell about this project, and each of the women. And more from each workshop I facilitate with the grouping of chairs.

Working on an installation is different from working a series of work. Each piece of a series can be sold separately or collectively as a body of work. This installation is a collective of work that should remain as a body of work not to be separated. 

How did you become an artist?

Throughout my grade school career I was utilized by teachers to enlarge or draw or
copy something that they wanted for the class room wall. I could oblige them. So I
was challenged in a way that allowed me to problem solve beyond the box. The perk
was that I got out of the regular class room grind and got to do something fun. It was years later in my early 20’s that I was inspired to submit a portfolio to MCAD  by someone who had seen some of the publicity work I had done for a local band and flyers for a bar. The rest is history. So to answer the question I never decided to be an artist I just was one. The mediums may change but  creativity is the constant.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
I guess it was to show my portfolio to MCAD, and quit farting around .

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

For me a lot of my sales come from word of mouth. Someone buys, lets say a doll.
they seem to get gifted out a lot. Then a friend of theirs sees it and decides to maybe get one for themselves and for a friend.  I have consigned to many a gift store, shown in galleries, home studio, festivals, conferences and even the farmers market. Hung art in coffee shops, book stores and restaurants. Law of averages I guess.

How I market myself? Well I offer workshops at my studio. I facilitate workshops at specific conferences that attract the demographic group who buys my art. Some times it is prosperous and sometimes a bust, but it is what I do. If you are curious  about what
I have been talking about remember you can check out my art on  search Rmay. I tried Etsy, got more hearts than bucks.

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?

I’m gonna limit myself here to my top three and each of them has a presence on

Linda Crouch of Thirteenth Moon Studio. 
Maya Rose
Felicitas Maria Sokec of  FMS Enterprises.

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

You have to keep in mind that summer art tours differ from winter. Being that this
is spring equinox with snow still on the ground I would start off the tour at my home
Studio / gallery.  Since its nice out we would walk over to Lake Street to see my favorite
Mural of the Eagle and the Condor on the side of the building of the Americas. Then we’d hop the bus over to the Heart of the Beast Theater to check out the progress of
the art being made for the mayday parade.   maybe catch some lunch
at midtown market before heading to MIA.  I enjoy the art in bloom show, but it’s a little early for that so we’d just have to visit the Buddha statues and see what’s
new. I like going without an agenda. Then if you had any energy left  maybe catch a show at the Cedar Cultural Center. .    That would be a fun day.

In addition to where do you go on line for good art resources whether to find a new artists or to see what’s going on in the art world locally and otherwise?

I have to admit I usually check out the City Pages for art shows instead of on line.

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

Since you asked, as a matter of fact I will be part of the Tchotchke 
Wonderland show sponsored by Altered Esthetics Gallery.  The opening night is Friday April 4, 2014, from 7-10PM. 

The location is 
Peace Coffee at 3262 Minnehaha Avenue south , Minneapolis.  I will be showing one of my cake pan shrines
titled Puberty Happens. 

Rmay Rivard

Image list:
1) Puberty Happens
2) Daddy had a dark side.
3) New moon in May Prayer Doll
4) Honey Dew
5) Gran group - 3 generations
6) Gran group 5th and 6th generations

Monday, March 17, 2014

Addie Larson - Photographer / Painter

Addie Larson

Name: Addie Larson
City/State: Northfield, MN
Email: larsonam at
Facebook page: Addie Larson
Twitter: @AddieLarson
Etsy Page: Artistic Addie
Pinterest: Addie Larson

Bio~ I’m from Ely, MN and in touch with nature. Soon to be St. Olaf grad, looking forward to diving into the Minneapolis art scene after college. I’ve studied art in New York City and Italy, which has opened my mind to the vast number of possibilities in the arts. Filled with fresh and optimistic ideas, which is portrayed through my watercolor and photography.

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

My painting uses vibrant colors and a palimpsest of layers. My photography captures the raw emotion of people. I’m interesting in portraying feelings that aren’t typically captured. I’m currently working on my senior exhibition at St. Olaf. I’ve pulled the concept from the ancient chakra theory. Each week I meditate on a different chakra, or center of energy within the body. For the piece, I’m using watercolor as a three dimensional installation. I’m hoping to reveal my personal progression through my art as I become a more balanced person. 

Also, I’m currently planning my next creative adventure: A Photographic Journey of Hope in America. I plan to travel to each state’s small town named “Hope.” While there, I’ll document the hopeful stories of the people through photographs. After four months of traveling, I’ll publish an art book that shares stories of hope with everyone. Lately the news has been so negative, I want to bring back optimism into the lives of Americans! I’m fundraising for my journey on Kickstarter. This body of work is different than any I’ve done before in the way that it relies on other people to be successful. I’m leaving many parts of my journey up to chance so that I have the flexibility to capture reality. Furthermore, this piece deals with a subject matter that we can all relate to. It’s extremely personal to me, but also a universal concept. (

How did you decide to become an artist?
I tried my hardest to become a business woman or architect or accountant, something rational. My heart kept pulling me towards art, and I’m so happy to be doing what I love. Not a day goes by that I wish I had chosen a different path.  

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
Let your creativity flow with the rhythm of life. Always be open to unexpected possibilities. If you try to plan your art career perfectly, you might miss out on a life-changing opportunity for your art.

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

I’m also a natural marketer, so I don’t mind promoting my art whenever I have the opportunity. I sell at local craft fairs, and in the past have posted art on my Etsy site: Artistic Addie. I use my website ( as a portfolio, rather than marketplace. I’ve approached many local businesses and sell my art through them. (Grand Frames and Gifts on Excelsior, The Pebble Spa, Piragis Northwoods Company, and The Front Porch Coffee and Tea)

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?

Pat Dunn Walker  (
Jill Ewald  (
Marissa j Murdy photography (on Facebook)
Jenna Mahr (
Mary Ellen Lien watercolor

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

Northfield Arts Guild-constantly changing gallery space filled with mixed media, ceramics, watercolor, and more

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?

Etsy and Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook, also look to blogs

Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?
My senior art exhibit opens at Flaten Art Museum on April 27th.

My Kickstarter page for my Photographic Journey of Hope in America will be active until April 7th. Please contribute, spread the word on Facebook and Twitter, and email those who would be interested in taking part. As you may know, Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing crowdfunding platform; if we don’t reach our fundraising goal by April 7th, we will receive none of the funds and you will not be under any obligation. Watch the video here:

What can we expect to see from you in the future?You’ll see lots of hope! I’ll be traveling with a friend of mine that is a writer. Through our works we hope to prove that there is still a lot of hope left in America. I’ve already been getting a ton of emails from people willing to help out, which goes to show that when we all use our individual talents and work together we are capable of tackling the unimaginable: in this case putting an end to violence in America. I hope to raise enough funds from my book to make a substantial donation to the Boys and Girls Clubs across America.

Addie Larson

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Meg Ojala - Photographer

Meg Ojala

Name:  Meg Ojala
City/State: Dundas, Minnesota
I was born in International Falls, Minnesota. Rainy Lake was my first home. I lived in Northfield, Minnesota until I graduated from high school. I received my B.A. from the University of Minnesota and M.F.A from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. After working for a short while in Chicago in the field of bookbinding and conservation I came back to Minnesota and I have been teaching photography at St. Olaf College and making photographs for more than 30 years.

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

I’ve been making landscape photographs for many years. I often make pictures along the Cannon River near my home and studio. I like to photograph the transitional times, as the seasons are changing. Recently I made pictures with very different subject matter, at my brother’s factory. The body of work is called, “The Plant”. I have always loved the textures and layers of marks and planes at the plant. It is a rich source of found drawings and found sculpture. I also wanted to make pictures of a very particular place that has significance for the people who work there, my family, and me. These photographs reflect interests in common with my landscape work, such as the ambiguous illusion of space and a sense of time that is compressed and transitory. It is very different in subject matter but I think there is continuity with earlier work.

I’m showing a few pictures from a newer project at Groveland Gallery, opening on March 8. The pictures were taken at a site near my home where asphalt and concrete and other rubble has been dumped and grown into a small man-made mountain. I have been there several times to take pictures and will continue working there and continue trying to figure out the best way to show a bigger body of work from the site. The pictures are metaphors for our catastrophic impact on this world and refer to the theory of catastrophism.

How did you decide to become an artist?

I didn’t decide all at once. It’s been a gradual process. I’ve always loved making things and when I was a sophomore in college I decided to major in art because it was what I loved doing the most. Then I decided to go on to get an MFA in art, not because I thought it would make me employable, but because thinking about and making art was the way I wanted to spend my time. I had some good teachers and fellow students and colleagues who were models for me and helped me develop as an artist and then as a teacher. I discovered Agnes Martin’s writings when I was in graduate school and she has been one of my teachers, her work and thought a touchstone for me.

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

I like Mary Oliver’s advice to poets. You must be “perfectly serious” and reliable to the cautious and mysterious part of the psyche that our conscious minds need to do creative work. The “responsible and purposeful” part of us must be sure to show up regularly and be attentive to the other part. What it means to me is that practice, discipline, attentiveness and openness are really important. You have to show up!

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

I am very lucky to be represented by Groveland Gallery in Minneapolis. Sally Johnson and Nicole Watson sell my art. I am not a good promoter of my own work. I tell my students to do as I say, not as I do, when it comes to marketing and getting work out in the world.

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?  

There are many. Just a few are:
Jil Evans painting:
Keith Taylor’s Dark Matter:
The work of my colleagues in the Department of Art and Art History at St. Olaf.

I love the art made by teens and young adults in the Art and Autism program in Northfield, MN. The A+ Art Club meets every week at the Northfield Arts Guild.

If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
I look at work in all media, historical and contemporary.
I would take you to the Walker, the MIA, Franklin Art Works, Form and Content, , Groveland, , The Flaten Art Museum at St. Olaf College, and the Perlman Teaching Museum at Carleton, .
Minnesota Center for Book Arts,
Highpoint Center for Printmaking,

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 follow links to galleries from reviews and listings in the New York Times and The New Yorker.
I look at the New York Times Lens Blog.
I try to keep up on recent photography books at Photo Eye.

Do you have any exhibits to promote in the near future?
I am in a group show at Groveland Gallery with Clara Ueland and Denise Presnell-Weidner that opens on Saturday, March 8 from 2 – 5 PM. Duncan Hannah and Ellen Heck are showing in the Annex. The show will be up through April 19.
Groveland Gallery - LAI Profile

Image List:
1.  The Plant #2, (painting), pigment print, 26 x 40 inches,2012
2.  The Plant #5, (unplug one at a time), pigment print, 24 x 36 inches, 2012
3.   The Plant #6, (worlds), pigment print, 20 x 30 inches, 2012
4. Catastrophe 2, pigment print, 8 x 8 inches, 2014
5. Catastrophe 97, pigment print, 20 x 30 inches, 2014
6. Catastrophe 84, pigment print, 12 x 18 inches, 2014