Friday, July 31, 2015

Shana Kaplow - Painter and Video Artist

Particulates, 2015, ink on paper in 300 parts, 16’ x 20’
Shana Kaplow

Name: Shana Kaplow
City/State: St. Paul, MN
Facebook page:

Shana Kaplow is a painter and video artist living and working in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her work deals with issues of connection and separation linking personal narratives to larger social forces. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally at museums and galleries including The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, The TEDA Museum of Contemporary Art (Tianjin, China), The Asheville Museum of Art (NC), The Plains Art Museum (ND), 55 Mercer Gallery (NY), Franklin Art Works (MN), Detroit Artists Market (MI), The Art Space (Tel Aviv), The Soap Factory (MN), The Third Place Gallery (MN), The Weinstein Gallery (MN), Macalester College Gallery (MN), and Thom Barry Fine Arts (MN). Her video work has been screened at The Walker Art Center, and the Austro-Sino Arts Program in Beijing, China. She has received several grants and fellowships for her work including the MN State Arts Board Artists Initiative Grant, the Joan Mitchell Foundation Artists Grant for Painters and Sculptors, the Bush Foundation Artist Fellowship, the McKnight Foundation Artist Fellowship, and the Arts Midwest/NEA fellowship. She was an artist in residence at the Red Gate International Art Residency in Beijing, China, and the Vermont Studio Center Artist Residency in Vermont. She has an upcoming exhibition at Rosalux Gallery (Minneapolis) in August, 2015, and will be included in the Midwest Biennial at The Soap Factory in September, 2015. Shana is Professor in the Art Department at St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?
I am continuing to work with ink painting on paper, video, and sometimes three-dimensional structures. I am currently working with the idea of connection and separation through the depiction of everyday objects like chairs and tables. These are utilitarian objects but they are also intimate ones. We use them with our bodies – they reflect the architecture of the body and the home. I am thinking about various ways of working with the materials as a way to straddle what seem like opposite attitudes. Sometimes I work in super tight realism and other times I work really loose and improvisationally. Mostly I am interested in infusing the ‘body’ of each approach with something of the other’s qualities. I am spending time with this idea of residues and the unseen qualities that come to mind. For me, the work stems from questions about how these ineffable qualities also create challenging implications that link personal lives to larger global and industrial conditions. I want to take that on as a both a poetic and a real world concern.

How did you decide to become an artist?
I grew up around art and artists (and scientists). My mother is a painter - making and looking at art was always part of the culture of our home. The idea of asking questions as a creative or scientific endeavor was encouraged. But it was during college that I realized that my heart and mind were the most engaged in the art department and decided to listen to that. I was attracted to the freedom of thought that art made room for.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist? 
That this endeavor has a long arc – you don’t have to have it all figured out. Just keep working and asking questions of yourself and your work.

Many artists struggle to find ways to sell their art.  How do you sell your work?  How do you market yourself?
I do not have commercial gallery representation, but over the years have sold work through a variety of different gallery contacts. (, and I have occasionally sold independently. More recently, I became a member of Rosalux Gallery, an artists’ collective gallery in Minneapolis. I don’t always think of it as “marketing myself”, but I do think that building real relationships is one of the most meaningful channels that helps to connect my work to someone that might want to own it. I also have a web presence as a way to inform people about my work.,

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?
There are so many!
Alexa Horochowski
Andrea Carlson
Anne Sugnet
Christine Baeumler
JoAnne Verburg
Margaret Pezalla-Granlund
Anne George….
Val Jenkins
I could go on …

If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
The Bindery Projects
The Soap Factory
The Third Place Gallery
The Waiting Room
David Peterson Gallery
Walker Art Center
Burnet Gallery

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? 
Two Coats of Paint
Painters Table
Bomb Magazine
Walker Art Center Blog
Contemporary Art Daily
Gorky’s Granddaughter
Minneapolis City Pages

What can we expect to see from you in the future?
I have an exhibition with Rebecca Krinke coming up in August 2015 at Rosalux Gallery called Low Lying Area. The show runs August 2 – 30th. The opening reception is Saturday, August 8th from 7-10 (it’s free and open to the public). In September, my work will be included in the Midwest biennial entitled, Superusted, curated by Cheryl Wilgren Clyne at The Soap Factory (September 12 – November 1, Opening September 12, 7-11pm). In October, I will have work in the Drawing Project’s inaugural show at Homewood Studios.

Shana Kaplow

Image List:
1. Particulates, 2015, ink on paper in 300 parts, 16’ x 20’
2. Particulates (detail), 2015, ink on paper in 300 parts, 16’ x 20’
3. The Table’s Body and Persistent Fugitive 1 + 2, 2015, ink on paper, 48” x 70” and 40” x 50”
4. Studio view, new work in progress, 2015, ink on paper, 44” x 30”
5. New work in progress, 2015, ink on paper, 44” x 30”
6. Image of artist

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