Category Archives: Arts

Art-A-Whirl: Northeast Mpls artists open studios, create community

Art – along with a certain amount of dust – is in the air as the creative makers of the Northeast Minneapolis arts community ready themselves and their workspaces for Art-A-Whirl 2017!   A-A-W is the crowning jewel in the star-studded diadem of the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Agency.  (https://nemaa.org/about/ne-minneapolis-arts-district)

Much of the dust is coming from the studios of the artists – a sure sign that this is no ordinary “art fair.”  A-A-W is, first and foremost, the nation’s largest open studio tour of the working spaces of artists and crafters who work, and often live, in Northeast.  Paintings, pottery, mobiles, furniture, photos, tapestries, sketches, rugs, art books, and a host of unique renderings of the artists’ imaginations and talents are poised for last minute touch-ups and final presentation to the public.

Music also fills the air, much flowing from the studios of A-A-W host artists and crafters. Neighborhood boutiques, coffee shops and the renowned eateries and pubs of Northeast are primed for visitors!

A totally family-friendly weekend  A-A-W offers the rare opportunity to tour not only galleries but artists’ working spaces.  Visitors of all ages will have a chance to observe the makers of art at work – sculpting, glass blowing, painting, weaving, printmaking, creating photo images, collages, and mixed media works that marry sound and visual images.   Future makers will be able to touch, feel, smell, even try their hand at creating art.

A-A-W’s virtual welcome mat will be out beginning Friday, May 19, 5:00-10:00 p.m., Saturday, May 20- Noon-8:00 p.m. and Sunday, May 21, Noon- 5:00 p.m.

Visitors are welcome to wander randomly through the studio buildings, home studios, galleries and storefronts in the neighborhood.  Personal experience suggests that a bit of advance planning about walking the hood, identifying studio locations and exploring public transit options is worth the effort.

Fortunately, print and digital guides to A-A-W abound.  If you live, work or frequent the hot spots of Northeast, you can pick up a copy of the Artist Directory and Guide at any one of the arts buildings in the community.   Or click here (https://nemaa.org/art-a-whirl.)  for links to the essentials – the artist directory, map, dining guide, parking information and updates on A-A-W and NEMAA. Take special note of the “How to Whirl” section!

To appreciate the roots of the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Area, take a few minutes to read about the unique history here: (https://nemaa.org/about/history)  It’s an evolving story of community development focused on an understanding of the role of the arts in the local economy and in the life of a neighborhood that thrives on creative expression!

Library Salon Series explores role of art, crafts

The lessons I first learned from knitting keep showing me this truth: that a kind of radical acceptance of errors and an appreciation for our human capacity for resiliency – that’s what’s truly precious. – Bernadette Murphy

These thoughts of a needle worker, quoted in the most recent BookWomen, reflect the theme of the first in the forthcoming series of Library Salons sponsored the American Craft Council Library.

The Library Salon series begins on Wednesday, March 8, when the speaker will be Dr. Amy Elkins, assistant professor of English at Macalester College. (https://www.macalester.edu/academics/english/facultystaff/emyelkins/) Elkins presentation, “The Craft of Survival,” will “trace the history of needlepoint from King Tut’s tomb and Florentine tapestries to Victorian drawing rooms and contemporary creativism.”

Future Library Salons will feature these guests.

  • April 12 – “Situated Somewhere In-Between: Paper Works by Mary Hark.” (http://www.maryhark.com) Papermaker and educator Mary Hark makes high quality paper from urban bio-waste.   Her materials include local plants found on a restored prairie in rural Madison, WI. She also works with Ghanaian colleagues to establish a small paper mill for art, design and small industry. In both settings her goal is to build a creative life grounded in making and community-building.
  • May 10 – Objects and Installations: The Work and Residencies of Artist Emily Nachison. (http://www.bullseyeglass.com/art/emily-nachison.html) Through sculptural objects and installations the artist investigates the use of story, symbols and materiality to mythologize natural phenomena, escapism, and the desire for secret knowledge.

Library Salons meet at 7:00 PM at the American Craft Council Library, located in the historic Grain Belt Building, 1224 Marshall Street, in Northeast Minneapolis. The Salons are free and open to the public; all are wheelchair accessible. Sponsors of the Library Salon Series include Northeast Bank, the Minnesota State Arts Board, and T-Rex Cookie Company.

 

 

 

 

 

Wintertide offers warm welcome to art lovers in NE Minneapolis

The world – well, Minnesotans and neighbors for sure – know Northeast Minneapolis as home of Art-a-Whirl, the springtime extravaganza showcasing the work of hundreds of artists who create works of art – and often live – in Northeast Minneapolis. Less well known is Wintertide, the biennial juried art exhibition that celebrates the work of the ever-growing community of the arts represented through the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association. (NEMAA)(https://nemaa.org)

The 2017 Exhibition is currently happening in Northeast Minneapolis– ongoing through February 11. Exhibition site is the Public Functionary ((http://publicfunctionary..org/wintertide-biennial-jured-art-exhibit/), Public functionary is located at 1400 12th Avenue NE – this is on Buchanan Street NE, just North of Broadway)   Visitors to the exhibit will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite “Audience Choice” award to be announced at the closing reception.

Exhibit hours are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, Noon–6:00 p.m. with special open hours Friday, February 10, 7:00–11:00 p.m.  The exhibition is sponsored by Cedarwoods Foundation.

Weathering the winter of our discontent – with words

Now is the winter of our discontent – William Shakespeare

Click first, read later:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICF30dst4JY   The poet, Robert Bly, one-time Poet Laureate of Minnesota, offers a sense of winter’s meaning too often lost in grumping about the irritations of ice and isolation on a January day.

Listeners who find comfort, escape, unadulterated beauty in the words and images will want to explore more, hear and view more of these Poetry Breaks, a series of video readings that are being posted weekly by the Academy of American Poets website (https://www.poets.org)

The videos were filmed in the late 80’s and early 90’ by Leita Luchetti who coproduced the series with WGBH New Television Workshops. Each video features a well-known poet reading his or her own work and/or the work of other poets. The reading is followed by a discussion of poets and poetry.

Precious treasures often wait for just the right moment in time to disclose their richness. These frigid days and perilous times create conditions that cry out for the vision and solace expressed in the words, even the presence, of these brilliant poets. Captured by the video artist, now shared by the Academy, these recorded encounters with poets and their art give us comfort and hope; they also remind us of the potential of technology to share and shape a better, more peaceful, world.

Learn more about Poetry Breaks and the unique resources of the Academy of American Poets here (https://www.poets.org) Time spent exploring the Academy’s website will warm your heart and lift your spirits.

 

Making Time for the Joy of Poetry

The crown of literature is poetry. Somerset Maugham

Writer’s Almanac, the perfect post to the start the day, reminded readers this morning that it was on this day in 1985 that President Ronald Reagan signed a bill establishing an official Poet Laureate for the United States – the story of which may have the longest e-address ever! The LC description is brief and well worth a read. (https://www.loc.gov/poetry/about_laureate.html?utm_campaign=TWA+Newsletter+for+December+20%2c+2016&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Eloqua&utm_content=The+Writer%27s+Almanac+for+December+20%2c+2016&elqTrackId=7b2a150483574910ad46f5d560051013&elq=49e5474782b94259a19032223d173dd2&elqaid=25815&elqat=1&elqCampaignId=22661)

Thinking about Poets Laureate soon led me to dig a little deeper to learn just who those exalted men and women of words were.   In short order I discovered a great complementary website, again gathered and shared by the staff of the Library of Congress. Did you know that a few states have state poems? And several, including Minnesota, have Poets Laureate. https://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/poethttp://www.loc.gov/rr/main/poets/minnesota.htmlslaureate/

Learn much more about the history of Minnesota’s Poets Laureate, past and present here: https://www.loc.gov/rr/main/poets/minnesota.html. The state’s    current Poet Laureate, is Joyce Sutphen, who has held the position since 2011. Learn more about Joyce Sutphen on her website: http://www.joycesutphen.com

On a cold winter day, when one hasn’t quite finished holiday cards or gifts, it’s just too enticing to keep on probing the literary treasures that capture the spirit of the day. So I was at the ready when the email from Poets.org popped up. As is their special way, the folks there have gathered a selection of winter poems – a sort of happy holiday literary escape to lift the spirits of weary readers. Their picks:

“To Winter” by William Blake
“Winter is good – his Hoar Delights (1316)” by Emily Dickinson
“Those Winter Sundays” by Robert Hayden
“Winter Field” by Joanna Klink
“The Feast of Lights” by Emma Lazarus
“Noel” by Anne Porter
“Recollections of My Christmas Tree” by Mary Ruefle
“Elegy in Joy [excerpt]” by Muriel Rukeyser
“Why Is the Color of Snow?” by Brenda Shaughnessy
“The Snow Man” by Wallace Stevens
“The Coming of Light” by Mark Strand

As a special holiday gift the editors at Poets.org then dipped into their archives to share the charm of E.E. Cumming (yes, i was lower case back in the day)  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E.E.Cumming)  Take time to enjoy Cummings’ 1960 holiday greeting and some reminders of his delightful way with words and ideas!  https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/text/archive-e-e-cummingss-christmas-card?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Academy%20of%20American%20Poets%20Newsletter%20December%2020&utm_content=Academy%20of%20American%20Poets%20Newsletter%20December%2020+Version+A+CID_51548827ec6a7804f752ca6728e4f693&utm_source=Email%20from%20Campaign%20Monitor&utm_term=read-more

Theater Thrives in Northeast: Dark & Stormy Productions

I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being. Thornton Wilder

For some “outsiders” the image of the Northeast Minneapolis arts community has been one of visual art, the art that draws massive throngs to Art-A-Whirl and to the myriad exhibits of paintings, sculpture, mobiles and other visual art.

Less known beyond the Northeast neighborhood is a thriving world of theater that thrives in the creative environment of Northeast.  Theaters and acting groups abound, energized by and major contributors to the robust arts scene. Theatre Latte Da, Nimbus Theatre, the Morris Park Players and others are covered in previous posts. The time is now to share the word about Dark & Stormy Productions and their holiday production of The Norwegians.

Dark & Stormy Productions (http://www.darkstormy.org) is a professional theater company committed to artistic excellence and thought-provoking productions that inspire and engage the audience and the players. The specific goals of Dark & Stormy are 1) to foster new audiences with initiatives that include reduced rates for young (i.e. under age 30) attendees; 2) to sustain current audiences by offering “intimate, unconventional, immediate, exciting productions” that feature top talent from the Twin Cities’ rich theater community; and 3) to support the robust community of professional artists, including actors, stage managers, directors and the range of creative folk who contribute to the artistic excellence of the theater experience.

This holiday season Dark & Stormy Productions has tackled a lesser known “dark comedy” – with a Minnesota spin: The Norwegians by C. Denby Swanson (http://www.darkstormy.org/p/special-events.html) The TC’s premiere production, produced in partnership with Artspace, will run through December 30.

The theater is located at 77 13th Avenue NE, just off University Avenue. Phone 612 929 4764. Learn much more about Dark & Stormy Productions on their excellent website (http://www.darkstormy.org)

 

 

 

Water, environment, art, conversation and more merge at the Water Bar

Water water everywhere ~~ And now a place to think……

The Water Bar in Northeast Minneapolis is establishing itself as a gathering place for civil – even enlightened – conversation on a range of environmental, art and social justice issues.   Perhaps because they leased the comfortable setting during early elections the re-opened site is busier than ever in weeks to come. The overflowing agenda features a broad range of topics, formats, presenters and learning options. Something for everyone.

For example, the robust programs include collaborative workshops with the MuseWeb Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution’s Museums on Mainstreet Programs and We Are Water MN. There are coffee talks on Northeast Minneapolis Art Sustainability, a brown bag lunch on Climate + Water, storytelling sessions, and a program on the TC’s climate connections.

The Water Bar also features ongoing art exhibits.  During this winter season the exhibit features the work of Regan Golden whose work, appropriately entitled “Thaw”, is on display through January 8. (http://regangolden.com/home.html)

All of these initiatives and opportunities are spelled out in detail on the Water Bar website. (http://www.water-bar.org) The unique watering hole is located on Central Avenue Northeast, just North of Lowry, in warm, welcoming – and happening — Northeast Minneapolis.

For an earlier Poking post re the Water Bar, click here: https://marytreacy.wordpress.com/2016/05/03/drinking-and-thinking-water-in-northeast-minneapolis/