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Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association

FALL 2018

THE ARTS, ARTISTS, & ARTISANS OF NORTHEAST MINNEAPOLIS


Gallery Openings Near and Far Through Nov. 30, 2018 Camera Club Through Dec. 8, 2018

Silverwood Café Sculpture and Poetry

Great place to work and meet for coffee or lunch. Free WiFi.

FREE

Explore the outdoor Art on Foot trail.

12 oz. coffee

FREECOFFEE4U Classes PRESCHOOL AND ADULT/CHILD Doodlebugs Green Beans Adult Child Clay

Must present one coupon per order. Coupon good through December 31, 2018. No cash value. Cannot be combined with other offers.

ADULT CERAMICS Open Studio Clay Exploration Oct. 2–Nov. 6 6–9 PM Intro to Handbuilding Oct. 22–Nov. 26 6–9 PM

Winter Make and Mingle Market Winter shopping market featuring local artists. Find the perfect holiday gift. Create a recycled gift tag and join us on the patio for s’mores. Free event. Thurs., Dec. 6 6–9 PM

Silverwood Park 2500 West County Road E, St. Anthony • 763.559.9000

Program and event listings at ThreeRiversParks.org


FALL 2018 8

In Studio with Katayoun Amjadi

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The Art Of: Japanese Street Food

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Kate Drakulic

Alia Jeraj

Savannah Simms

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Water Works

Russ White

Deep Dive

Alex Mitchell

Building Profile: The Q.arma Building

Community Friends

Photos by Sarah White

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Take Me To The River: Annie Hejny

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In Studio with Pete Driessen

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Andrew Ellis for

Kate Drakulic

Russ White

Two Artists Walk Into A Bar...

On the cover: Alanna Stapleton, Sharp Shock, hand embroidery on linen, 2018

4 Fall 2018


The Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (NEMAA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization that powers an equitable & prosperous creative community that celebrates Northeast Minneapolis. We imagine a bright Northeast Minneapolis: a national arts destination that elevates its rich intercultural history, setting standards for supporting all artists and creatives to make their dreams into their jobs. Founded by a small collective of artists in 1995, today NEMAA has nearly 1,000 members and is proud to coordinate the AutumNE Member Art Show, Wintertide biennial juried exhibition, and Art-A-WhirlŽ – the largest annual open studio art tour in the U.S.

Staff Interim Executive Director Anna Becker N Studio Editor In Chief Russ White Photography Sarah White Letters to the editor: Nstudiomag@nemaa.org

Board of Directors Greg Foley, President Mercedes Austin, Vice President Archana Desai, Treasurer Julie Burkhardt-Haid, Secretary Mike Bishop Brian Burke Alissa Light Krista Marino Paul Ostrow Dean Trisko

NEMAA Office: 612.788.1679 2518 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis MN 55418 By appointment M/W/F 9:30am - 3:30pm

N Studio is published biannually by the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association. Issue 2, November 2018, published digitally. Views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of NEMAA, its Board, its members, or its sponsors. N Studio is made possible by funding from The McKnight Foundation and The Minnesota State Arts Board as well as generous sponsorship from Northeast Bank and Bremer Bank.

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NEMAA Member

Mandel Cameron Painting, drawing, and illustration artbymandel.com

Kristine Fretheim Watercolor Northrup King Building, Studio 393 kristinefretheim.com

Charles Lyon Watercolor California Building, Studio 402 charleslyonart.com

Eleanor McGough Installation & painting Northrup King Building, Studio 369 eleanormcgough.com

Alex Mitchell Comics and illustration Northrup King Building, Studio 205 alex-mitchell-studio.com

Christopher Palbicki Acrylic painting ommadestudios.com

Liz Pechacek Ceramics Northrup King Building, Studio 254 lizpechacek.com

Alanna Stapleton Embroidery & illustration alannastapleton.com

Sarah White Photography, music, performance art, and installation fotosforbarcelona.com

For a full list of NEMAA’s talented members, visit our Directory at NEMAA.ORG/DIRECTORY. Searchable by name, building, and medium. 6 Fall 2018


Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association

@nemaamn NEMAA.ORG 7


Kristine Fretheim, Delirious, watercolor on Arches Hot Press, 22 x 22�

8 Fall 2018


THE FALL ISSUE Greg Foley

President, NEMAA Board of Directors

The best part of the four seasons in Minnesota is how each new season reveals itself to be something distinct from the previous one. Fall happens to be my favorite, the fleeting magnificence of color readying us for the bracing white of winter. The talented artists of Northeast Minneapolis don’t sit still either – they and the fall slate of shows – Art Attack, Open Casket, Art This Way, and California Dreamin’ are just a small sampling of the events that keep the Arts District vibrant this time of year. And so it is with this latest publication of N Studio, which is our first issue to appear not in May, along with Art-A-Whirl. It’s a new look that captures the endless spirit of our member artists and this wonderful neighborhood through enhanced stories and images. And because each artist is also running a small business, this issue is also a useful reminder they rely on art lovers and patrons buying their work to continue to thrive. So put on an oversized sweater, get a giant pumpkin spice latte, and come see some art in Northeast. We welcome you.


with Katayoun Amjadi by Kate Drakulic • Photos by Sarah White

Ceramicist and curator Katayoun Amjadi finds personal connections in physical processes, searching for the old and the new, the home and the heart. She currently has a solo exhibition on view at the University of St. Thomas through December 20th. 10 Fall 2018


On a late Friday afternoon in early September, ceramicist, sculptor, and curator Katayoun Amjadi welcomed me into her Q.arma Building studio with a warm embrace and a piping hot cup of tea. As I entered, I spotted a number of pieces from Amjadi’s past projects and exhibitions. Crates of clay pomegranates, embellished in a blood-red glaze, glistened under the studio lights; cast iron goats hung like trophies from the walls; and porcelain chickens lined the shelves in neat rows. We sipped our tea, and Kat settled into a tiny couch, eloquently placed at the center of her studio. I sat adjacent from her, and we began. “The story goes I moved to Minneapolis from Iran in 2010. I studied architecture there,” she reflected, clenching her handmade mug. “I always loved art. I was a hobbyist painter, but it never became a career because it’s not a safe career choice. When I moved here I had to pass an exam to work as a drafter, so I just decided to go to art school instead.” Amjadi took her first ceramic classes at a community college in Bloomington, MN, which she remembers to be quite a transformative moment. “As soon as I took ceramics, I was like ‘Oh!’” she exclaimed. “Clay just grabbed me.” Currently a NEMAA NXT Student — a new NEMAA membership tier for post-secondary students and emerging artists — Amjadi is currently finishing up her final year at the University of Minnesota as an MFA candidate and teaching assistant. Over the years, her archive of work has quickly diversified and grown to include videos, installations, and performances in conjunction with her ceramic and sculptural pieces. “I work in series and I exhaust the idea out of one element as much as I can, but then I get distracted by something else,” she said. “When I look at them, like that graveyard of goats from my undergrad years, I still have sketches that I wanted to make, but never got the chance to. Maybe one day… but not for now.” Fascinated with the perpetual presence of everyday

Cast ceramic houses made with Egyptian Paste for In Your Backyard, 2018. Opposite: the artist in her studio.

objects, Amjadi continually finds herself investigating the embedded meanings and connections contained in the objects of our lives. In her work, she explores how social constructs — such as religion, gender, politics, and national ideology — shape perceptions of ourselves and of each other. She is particularly interested in polar relationships such as past and present, tradition and modernity, and individual versus collective identities. That being said, her projects never begin with research — they instead begin with the object itself. “I start collecting things like these,” Amjadi said as she turned and reached behind her to run a string of small, vibrantly blue beads through her fingers — a decoration that not only brings a charm to her workspace but also partially conceals the realities of a ceramicist’s studio (boxes upon boxes of clays, glazes, and other dusty supplies).

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“After a while, I realize the patterns between the different things. These little beads are from Iran, and that little jar that I have there, those stones are from Tunisia,” Amjadi said as she gestured across the room to a small jar of bright blue rocks hanging above a scattered work desk. “I start reading and finding more about why these things are significant — why this color, why this material — and then I take it from there and start making my own narrative.” In a similar way, her curatorial process is as curious and creative as her artistic process. Within the past few years, she co-curated what became a traveling exhibition called Transplant Eyes, each time featuring a new group of artists who have relocated to the Midwest from various places around the world. The exhibit is a display of the artists’ unique perspectives, experiences, and identities in respect to Midwest and American culture. She also explored different aspects of “home” — the good, the bad, the personal, and the political — in Home Inside Out, a recent four-person show she curated for Waiting Room at Gallery 71 in Edina. Most recently, and in collaboration with the University of St. Thomas’ Art History Department, Amjadi was given full reign to curate her own solo-show titled In Your Backyard. “The last series that I did was about the idea of home in general, what it means to be included, excluded, feel safe and secure,” Kat said. “Homelessness, ownership, all of these ideas I was working with, this was a perfect space where I could play out an idea that I had for a long time and see if it worked.” Hesitant whether or not to display old or new pieces for the exhibition, Kat instantly knew upon seeing the space that the creation of new work was essential. Transfixed by the blue beads that adorned her studio decor, she got to work.

Top: Cast porcelain pomegranates from Blue Truck installation, 2014. Center & bottom: Cast porcelain chickens and drumsticks from The Nightingale and The Rose, 2017.

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“This is such clay-nerd talk,” Amjadi said. I braced myself for clay chemistry and dense terminology, but I was pleasantly surprised. “By accident I realized these beads were used in handy-crafts a lot, espe-


Cast porcelain houses from Domestic Affairs, 2018.

cially in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cultures. They’re supposed to have magical powers and ward off the evil eye.” From a clay perspective, Amjadi decided that the beads were next to impossible to recreate — too small, too uniform, too time consuming, and too difficult to properly glaze. She initially gave up on the idea, but by accident, came across her answer while flipping through a magazine this past summer — an old technology that dates back 7,000 years known as Egyptian Paste. “I became a total nerd. Not many artists are using it, so I started asking my professors, looking at books, and trying to figure it out. I went crazy and made lots of different batches to test it out and see what colors I liked,” Amjadi said.

Incorporating the distinct turquoise color of Egyptian Paste into the making of a series of hand-built houses — the final two of which were firing in the kiln as we spoke — Amjadi considers the innocence, not only in regard to refugee crises, but of any person in a state of displacement or homelessness. The promotional image for In Your Backyard depicts a wrinkled, metallic emergency blanket. “It’s open-ended in that sense,” she said. “I feel like art is more asking questions and going between the grey areas and looking at different what-ifs… it’s not a definite answer. Everything that you look into is very complicated; from your personal life to your political life, and after a while, I move on.” In Your Backyard will be on display through the 20th of December in the O’Shaughnessy Educational Center Lobby at the University of St. Thomas.

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Water Bar, NEMAA, & The Art of Water Politics NEMAA recently moved its office to Water Bar & Public Studio, a storefront art project that fosters communication and community around a wide range of water issues. Artists from Northeast and across the Twin Cities have been addressing similar themes in their work because when it comes to water, we’re all in the same boat. by Russ White If you want to see firsthand the diversity and vitality of Northeast Minneapolis, take a stroll up Central Avenue. In just a few blocks, you’ll pass diners and breweries, barbershops and salons, tacquerias and community centers, liquor stores and coffeeshops, and countless restaurants serving cuisine from Vietnam, Thailand, Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia, 18 Fall 2018

China, and the Middle East. It’s no wonder the bridge at Broadway and Central features over twenty different ethnic motif medallions, designed by artist Susan Fiene to represent Northeast’s many populations: Polish, Palestinian, Latinx, Lakota, Irish, Czech, Somali, Lebanese, Slovak, German, and more. Photo by Russ White. Article sponsored by


“The tap in your kitchen is a direct connection to the environment.” Nestled in among all the awnings and signage, just north of Lowry Avenue, is a big blue raindrop. This is Water Bar. Founded by Shanai Matteson, Colin Kloecker, and Jennifer Arave, the Water Bar & Public Studio is essentially an art project about ecological awareness, a storefront that provides free tap water tastings as a way to start conversations. Indeed, my conversation with Kloecker started with a glass of Minneapolis city water, fresh from the faucet.

The tasting notes, however, are merely an icebreaker, an on-ramp to discussions about where we source our water, how we use our resources, and how we can be better stewards of the environment. “The space that we’re trying to create is one of possibility,” says Kloecker. “We don’t think of ourselves as a political organization of any kind. We’re not sitting down with a series of policy talking points. If we do have a goal, it’s to get people curious about where their water comes from. Basic water literacy.”

“Over the past hundred years, we’ve done a great job of hiding our connections to water through infrastructure, architecture, and the built landscape,” he says. “The reason that we start with the tap at Water Bar is that most of us in the States are lucky enough to have a kitchen with a tap in it, and that’s a direct connection to the environment.”

The idea for the Water Bar project came from a simple question: could you drink from the Mississippi River? The answer is even simpler: we already do. Minneapolis municipal water is collected from the Mississippi and treated at a plant right on the river near Fridley, Minnesota. “The Minneapolis filtration system is incredible,” he assures me. “The first thing In an era of endless artisanal IPAs, it may seem you see when you tour any water treatment facility is strange to organize tastings around a mostly the people who work there and how much they care tasteless beverage. But when they first started this about providing the best possible product to the project, he says, “we went around and collected people in that location.” water from a handful of suburbs and sampled them, and we were shocked at how different they tasted,” I’m skeptical, given the ongoing debacle in Flint, owing to different water sources and treatment Michigan, and Kloecker agrees, “Flint is a good exregimens. ample of how precarious these systems are.” But he assures me that we are lucky to live in a state with Water Bar is open every Saturday for tastings of rigorous water quality standards. “Minnesota is a various local tap waters; they also perform a dozen really water-rich state and has great municipal waor more off-site pop-ups a month at conferences, ter sources across the board. If you get a water bill, local government functions, and even the Minnesota then your water is being monitored and tested on a State Fair (where Matteson was tending bar when regular basis. If people have issues drinking city tap I sat down with Kloecker). They’ve developed a list water related to taste, we suggest trying a Brita. You of 250 volunteer “water-tenders,” from engaged certainly don’t need it, though.” If you’re still nercitizens to city council members to municipal water vous about the water or the pipes in your home, estreatment experts, all on call to help out when they pecially if you drink from a private well, he suggests can. getting your water tested on-site. NEMAA.ORG 19


Water Bar Above: Water Bar brought water literacy to the Minnesota State Fair again this year, offering free tastings of local tap waters. Photo by Sarah White. Opposite: Illuminate the Lock: Returning the River by Mike Hoyt, Dameun Strange, & Molly Van Avery, with Ritika Ganguly. Photo by Dan Marshall, courtesy of Northern Lights.

NEMAA & The Public Studio

the direction NEMAA is going, being more accessible and opening up what it means to be an artist in Water Bar is also the new home base for NEMAA, Northeast.” who moved their office this summer from their longtime perch at the California Building. The org- NEMAA is just one in a long list of collaborative orgs anization was looking to be more centrally located and artists working with Water Bar. The “store” part and to do more arts-based engagement work in of their storefront includes artwork, books, and the community, says former Executive Director more from local makers and the Public Studio aspect Dameun Strange. “I learned of [Water Bar’s] work means that people of all stripes come through to use during my days with the Community Innovation the space, from activists to yogis to community leadprogram at the Bush Foundation and have been ers. impressed with their ability to bring people from multiple communities together. They always yield Artist Amoke Kubat, for example, has hosted a recurgreat conversations. NEMAA had hopes of being ring workshop at Water Bar called YO MAMA, where more visible and accessible as an organization, so it mothers of all ages create art and talk about issues of wellness and water. Kubat infuses water with herbal seemed that we might do well in their storefront.” flavors, encouraging participants to stay hydrated Kloecker agrees: “We’ve been really impressed by even if they don’t make a daily habit of drinking wa20 Fall 2018


host more regular art exhibitions and build out their basement as a maker space, ready for artists, designers, and printmakers to make water-inspired works on site. “With their future planning,” says Strange, “NEMAA also scored a place to host our own workAnother partnership is with the Healing Place shops and panels, and eventually we will have space Collaborative, an indigenous-led group of artists available to our members to teach classes.” who have been inspired by Water Bar to host their own Mniówes, which translates to “places for Strange, himself an accomplished composer, colgetting water” in Dakota. (The language also gave laborated on some water-themed art of his own us our state’s name, Mnísota, “cloudy” or “sky- recently. He worked with artists Molly van Avery, tinted water.”) The Mníowes offer water tastings Mike Hoyt, and singer Ritika Ganguly on the most from a Dakota perspective, serving insights and info- recent Illuminate the Lock installation at the decomrmation about the tribe’s philosophies, practices, missioned St. Anthony Falls Lock & Dam. The group and relationship to the natural environment. Most used music, poetry, and projected animation to importantly, according to a Healing Place blogpost: tell an allegorical fable about walls and water from a drifting canoe fifty feet below the audience. The “Mní (water) is a relative and not a resource.” evening performances were beautiful and weird and As for the future, says Kloecker, “we’re always in a just one example of how artists in the City of Lakes state of becoming.” He and Matteson have plans to respond to our environment. ter. “Water and Mothers,” says Kubat, “reminds us of the importance of nurturing relationships of all living things. You take care of that which takes care of you.”


The Politics of Water & The Art Thereof Water is life; simple enough, right? It turns out politics, money, and white supremacy have a way of complicating things, though. Flint’s water disaster is a case in point, and one that first helped bring water consciousness onto the nightly news a few years ago. The city, which was under state-supervised emergency management, switched its water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint River in order to save the city money. Anna Clark, author of The Poisoned City, told WBUR, “The water crisis did not start with the switch in April 2014. I think it really goes back decades,” when desegregation and fair housing laws drove fearful white people out of town. “The infrastructure did not shrink along with the population,” Clark explains. “So [the city now] has far fewer and poorer people, who are expected to pay to support a water system meant to serve twice as many — and not just residents, but also all those huge industrial plants. The pipes were built with large circumferences to support all the water that they needed. So this Above: Mayumi Amada’s plastic bag mushrooms, part of This Is Ours, a one-day exhibition at Lake Hiawatha. Photo by Russ White. Below: Mirror Shield Project, Concept Artist: Cannupa Hanska Luger, Image Credit: Rory Wakemup. Oceti Sakowin camp, Standing Rock, ND 2016. Image courtesy of the artists.


directly relates to how unaffordable the water was for residents.” After the switch, it became clear that the local water treatment facility was ill-equipped to process the river water, which was so corrosive that it caused excessive lead from the old pipes to leach into the water supply. People started getting sick with Legionnaire’s Disease, a bacterial pneumonia, and after months of defensive and inaccurate proclamations, city and state officials finally admitted there was a serious problem. Now the city’s water once again comes from the Great Lakes Water Authority and the removal of lead pipes has begun, but the process is expected to last until 2020. In the end, at least twelve people had died, infertility and fetal mortality rates had increased, and an unknown number of children were exposed to lead poisoning, which can cause lifelong brain damage. Water is life, but only if it’s clean. Standing Rock, like Flint, was another moment of collective water consciousness, when tribal leaders and thousands of activists worked to halt construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in 2016. (The successful stoppage was overturned shortly after the Trump administration took office.) Among the participants was Rory Wakemup, a Minneapolis-based artist who runs Wakemup Productions and is the gallery director at All My Relations Arts on Franklin Avenue. He specializes in “Funktavism,” fun activism that uses pop culture and youth engagement to address Native issues. One of his signature performances features Darth Vader, in futuristic Native regalia, beheading Chief Wahoo of the Cleveland Indians. Standing Rock was a touch more serious, though. Building on an idea from artist Cannupa Hanska Luger and in partnership with Forecast Public Art, Wakemup organized a group of students and artists to create 500 mirror shields — plywood riot shields fitted with reflective mylar — to take to North Dakota for a piece of performance art. Inspired by Ukrainian protesters holding up mirrors to their aggressors,

Hanska Luger mobilized makers across the entire country — not just Wakemup’s group — by providing an instructional video of how to make the mirror shields. “It is critical,” says Hanska Luger, “that this project is continually viewed and respected with a continued lack of ownership, as it was really the entire nation who engaged in solidarity for the making of the shields.” Once on site, the group worked to make sure the shields would be seen as art objects, not as a tool for further escalation in the tensions. In addition to encouraging literal self-reflection by the police on the frontline, the shields were held aloft by marchers in a performance conceptualized by Wakemup, forming a flowing river that curled in on itself like a human Spiral Jetty. The shields represent protection, but they also conceal each person completely, turning their bodies into reflections of the sky above them and the world around them. You can see a beautiful drone video of the performance on Wakemup’s YouTube page. “War doesn’t work, but successful messaging can,” says Wakemup. “Using art to own our own narrative, to beautify our movement, helps build empathy from folks to join our cause.” Hanska Luger, who grew up on the Standing Rock reservation, agrees: “Using art as a vessel to communicate is incredible because it crosses language barriers and sociopolitical barriers.” In talking about the origins of water protection, Wakemup draws a thread back through history to the earliest interactions between Native Americans and colonial Europeans, in which indigenous approaches to farming, animal husbandry, and land use were deemed savage. Protecting clean water is now, as Wakemup sees it, the last line of defense. “The way the United States government screwed over Natives is the same way corporations are screwing over everyone now. So welcome to the reservation. This ain’t about race any more, it’s about the environment… You can’t eat racism,” he laughs. “So let’s work together to defend those resources.” NEMAA.ORG 23


Think Global, Art Local Of course, oil spills aren’t the only threat facing our environment. Plastic pollution is a huge problem too, from the Texas-sized garbage gyres in three of our five oceans to the mountains of microplastics working their way back to us through the food chain. It’s a problem of global proportions that you can see right in your own neighborhood park, which is where artist Sean Connaughty can often be found. A professor at the University of Minnesota, Connaughty spends his free time collecting garbage by kayak out of Lake Hiawatha and pushing city officials to install better storm drain filters to keep street trash from funneling directly into the lake. When asked Sorted plastic straws from garbage collected in one mornhow vigilante trash collection fits into one’s studio ing at Lake Hiawatha for This Is Ours by Sean Connaughty. practice, he replies with a dry sincerity: “I don’t take pains to separate art from everything else.” Clearly art, science, and civics go hand-in-hand. But back at Water Bar, Kloecker brings the discusThis past September, he and local artist and curator sion to something more spiritual. “Different ideas of John Schuerman organized a one-day exhibition on how the world works in this place have always been Hiawatha’s lakeshore called This Is Ours. With the shaped by water. Through our partnerships with help of thirty-seven volunteers, they collected a gi- Healing Place Collaborative and the Dakota Lanant heap of trash from the lake in a matter of hours guage Society, we’ve learned a lot about the Dakota and then began sorting the garbage by type: styro- people, whose homeland we’re on right now, and foam, plastic bags, aluminum cans, bottle caps, cig- their understanding of how the world works is that arillo tips, drinking straws. The organized specificity we are all connected. The origin of the universe for drives home the point, explains Schuerman: “Now the Dakota people is the Bdote, where the Minnesoyou see what a problem straws are. If you don’t sort ta and the Mississippi meet. So water is central not it, you don’t make that connection.” just to a colonized idea of place and industry, where a city might form, but is central, we think, to underOther installations included Presley Martin’s collec- standing the universe.” tion of 1500 styrofoam chunks, standing skewered on sticks in a giant circle, and Mayumi Amada’s float- Water has long been an inspiration for art, and now ing styrofoam water lilies and forest floor fungi, wo- art is inspiring action. At Water Bar, it starts with ven out of shopping bags. The delicate beauty of the mindfulness. “We serve water to build relationships sculptures made them all the more disconcerting. to transform culture,” says Kloecker. Culturally, politically, biologically, ecologically, water is a fundaThe issue of storm drains helps give Connaughty mental part of our story. It powers our industry, our some focus. “It’s easy to get misanthropic” clean- trade, our agriculture, and our bodies; it’s what we ing up an endless stream of neighborhood garbage, drink, bathe in, garden with, and flush down the “but with the help of the volunteers and the shared drain every day. Water flows into every crack and disgust that we have, and the Park Board and the crevice of our society, touching race, class, access, City finally getting involved, I have hope that it’s go- and privilege. We’ve ignored them for years, but the ing to be resolved.” waters are rising. 24 Fall 2018


Christopher Palbicki, Whatever Floats, acrylic on watercolor board, 2018

NEMAA.ORG 25


TAKE ME TO THE RIVER

A profile of artist Annie Hejny by Andrew Ellis for

Local painter Annie Hejny draws more than just inspiration from rivers and lakes, combining water, soil, and soul to create her acrylic abstractions. She currently has a solo exhibition on view at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winona through January 6, 2019. I’m standing with abstract painter Annie Hejny at the top of an old wooden staircase that is blocked by a chain. The stairs lead down to the Mississippi River underneath Minneapolis’s beloved Stone Arch Bridge. Those chains are usually meant to deter people from entering, but hey, why not live a little? She 26 Fall 2018

steps over with ease, and I stumble over, immediately realizing the probable reason for the chain: the boards that made up the middle of the stairway have been swallowed by the dirt underneath. She makes her way across easily as I carefully place my boots on the remaining pieces of wood to get down the path. Photo by Sarah Weiss, courtesy of the artist


We’re there so she can collect water from the river and earth from the shore to use in a future painting. This part of her process is inspired by the teaching of the Honorable Harvest, as recorded by Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer in Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants. “Kimmerer offers beautiful insight of the connection between science and spirit,” Hejny explains. “The Honorable Harvest is about living in reciprocity with the earth. For me, awareness of this teaching reframed my collection process to reflect my sacred relationship with the earth. I gave my love and attention to the water in a deeper, more dedicated way.” As we follow a path that’s been made by constant foot traf- Annie Hejny; Lake Pepin Disposition; acrylic, collected Lake Pepin water, and sediment fic, she takes in her surround- on canvas; 48 x 48”; 2018 ings. She has a backpack and two pails with her. One is for harvesting water and ture reference as she’s imagining what the painting the other I soon find out is for picking up litter, and could look like. As she collects water and sediment, there’s enough here to fill it up. It’s one of her ways Hejny takes only what she needs and offers gratiof giving back to a place from which she’s about to tude for these materials. receive. When she gets back to her shared studio space in The water and earth she gathers from this area will the Casket Arts Building, the process continues. turn into another unique piece of abstract art, mixed Hers is a two part technique, first pouring raw sediwith acrylic paint on large canvases to create He- ment on a flat canvas and mixing acrylic paint in with jny’s moody, ethereal paintings. After a short walk the river water, which creates a textured pattern through the woods along the shore, she finds a spot that dries on the canvas. Then the painting moves that she likes. She starts by unpacking and setting to an easel, where more traditional brushwork adds out her tools, including a notebook to document layers of color and light. She pays attention to the what’s going on around her. That could be every- mood of the water when collecting — calm and easy, thing from notes about the weather, time of day, col- bright and intense, fast and kinetic (her notes come ors she sees, and more. “It’s usually pretty brief,” she in handy here). But these paintings aren’t meant to says, adding that she also takes photographs for fu- document; they are honoring the water, telling the NEMAA.ORG 27


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Hejny started painting in her dining room in 2012 while waiting tables. A year spent in Chicago in 2013 became a turning point for her style. Initially she worked realistically, painting specific cityscapes, buildings, and streets. She was still paying attention to her environment, but it materialized on her canvas in a different way. She noticed the city was full of abstract art and decided to push her style in that direction: her buildings turned into abstracted lines and squares. Occasionally she’d bike over to Lake Michigan as an escape. Then a realization hit. “I realized I was painting about water,” she says. “And I wanted to become intentional with my materials by using actual river water and earth to paint about the environment.”   When she moved back to the Twin Cities in 2014, she started renting an art studio and enrolled in a mentorship program with the Women’s Art Resources of Minnesota. Hejny was paired with Deborah Foutch, a mixed media fiber artist also based at Casket Arts. Having completing the two year mentorship, Hejny Photos by Russ White


The artist in her studio at Casket Arts, stacking work for Water Lines, her solo exhibition at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum.

now regularly meets with a small group of artists for formal critiques, sharing notes on all aspects of visual art. “We’ve been meeting for two years now,” she says, “so we’ve seen each other’s work evolve and supported each other with creative and business problem-solving.” Hejny’s visual language connects viewers to their own water stories. Feeling connected to water is especially important because of climate change and the inevitable disruption to natural resources. The change is something she has noticed firsthand as she documents the state of the local ecosystems she visits, from longer winters to shorter springs, the unpredictability of both seasonal weather patterns and day-to-day forecasts. “People will follow up with me, even years later, and

recount times when they visited their favorite water and were reminded of my paintings. They explain their water usage or share how they are making lifestyle changes to honor the water. We start this conversation around my painting, and hopefully they take ownership of their choices to protect our precious resources, however that may look in their life.” These stories continue to inspire her, recognizing that working with water could be a lifelong endeavor. But no matter which media she explores, art will always be her forte, her way of channelling the energy of the rivers she visits. As she puts it, “I’m trying to bring the earth’s voice forward.” This article originally appeared on MPLSART.COM in May of 2017. It has been edited for length and updated for content.

NEMAA.ORG 29


Charles Lyon, Dahlia # 6, watercolor on paper, 25 x 20.5�, 2012

30 Fall 2018


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KU by Alia Jeraj • Photos by Sarah White

Award-winning, Minnesota-born Chef John Sugimura brings tradition & technique to Northeast tastebuds

restaurant for the last time. The next morning they entered an internment camp. Sugimura’s family was among nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans who fell victim to “racial prejudice, war hysteria, and failure of political leadership,” as stated in the Civil Liberties Act of 1988.

“The restaurant is to tell that story,” Sugimura says. The chef does this by creating a stylized, artistic exJohn Sugimura opened PinKU in 2016 with one ob- perience for all of his customers, “because what betjective: to tell his story. Sugimura comes from a fam- ter way to tell a great story than to accentuate it with ily whose widowed matriarch opened a restaurant in a big exclamation point with art.” Sacramento in the early 20th century. On a Wednesday night, after living and working in the US for 25 Sugimura located his restaurant in the heart of years, Tsui Sugimura and her five children closed the Northeast Minneapolis, a neighborhood whose ca32 Fall 2018


sualness, realness, and diversity he credits for much of its success. The PinKU experience begins with the menu. Emulating ema, small wooden plaques on which wishes and prayers are written and left outside of shrines, PinKU’s menu is written on wooden boards inside the door. Presented in English, the menu is accessible even to those who enter the restaurant without any knowledge of Japanese cuisine, a key component to Sugimura’s storytelling. The menu also encourages people to ask questions about the food, creating a genuine interaction between the diners and, often, the chef himself. “If I didn’t have that moment to talk to you about that menu, I might not ever say the word ‘grandmother;’ I might not ever say all these little nuances that make it real,” says Sugimura. “We just had a connection and [you] didn’t even order yet.”

Customers order their food at the counter, whose base is decorated with the geometric patterns of kimonos. Baskets are provided to store coats and bags under your chair, as is the custom in Japan. By bringing this simple element into PinKU, Sugimura provides another way for his customers to learn about Japan – and therefore his story – and to find common ground. Perhaps the most striking piece of art in the restaurant is the giant fish mural created by NEMAA artist Jared Tuttle. Both Sugimura and Tuttle spoke of the long, gratifying experience of designing the piece together. True to the value of accessibility, the mural is inspired by a piece of graffiti – an art form found on the streets rather than in galleries. While walking the streets of Isla Mujeres in Mexico, Sugimura came across Tristan Eaton’s colorful, segmented shark. This inspired the silhouette of the fish as well as its NEMAA.ORG 33


Left: PinKU’s menu, written on wooden plaques resembling traditional ema. Center: Chef Sugimura enjoying a laugh in his kitchen. Right: a signature dish of Pork Gyoza, Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice, and Crispy Shrimp on Radish Noodles.

segmentation. The shapes and patterns reference traditional Japanese woodblock prints, kimono patterns, and tattoos. The cherry blossoms cascading down the fish’s dorsal fin recall Lord Mayor Ozaki Yukio’s gift of the trees to Washington DC, and in the eye of the fish one finds Sugimura’s family crest. And then there’s the food. According to Sugimura, PinKU is the only licensed kitchen in Minnesota that does not have a walk-in freezer. That means the chef goes out every morning with his grocery list: two jalapeño peppers, twelve serrano peppers, five green onions, one purple cabbage, for example. “I get to hand pick and hand select,” he boasts, directly connecting cooking to more traditionally accepted art-

forms. Take glass artists, he says, who inspect every piece of glass to create a mosaic. “I consider that no different from when I look [at my ingredients].” PinKU in Japanese directly translates to “pink.” However, the meaning, Sugimura says, is much more than that. “It talks about working for democracy, peacefulness, and breaking stereotypes.” Sugimura recognizes the urgency of this work. “Who knew three years ago when I was conceptualizing the restaurant where the world would be right now,” he says. “So all this is much more relevant.” At PinKU you can eat amazing, affordable sushi. But you also walk away with much more – you leave the restaurant with a story.

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Alex Mitchell, Deep Dive, digital comic, 2018

NEMAA.ORG 35


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with Pete Driessen by Kate Drakulic • Photos by Sarah White

Visual artist, curator, and cultural producer Pete Driessen discusses his small-town origins, his deep connection to the landscape and public art, and what he’s working on both in his studio at the Casket Arts Building and out in the open air. Kate Drakulic: To start, how did you come to be an artist? What’s your story? Pete Driessen: I grew up in Waseca, in southern Minnesota. It’s a little town — home of Birds Eye Cool Whip, Johnson CB Radios, Herter’s Rice Patty Pancakes, and the Moo-U. I learned a lot about the cultural, socio-economic, and geographical differences of the smaller, more rural sections of the state versus the cities. Those differences became quite apparent at an early age, and the connections to the land, 40 Fall 2018

landscape, and agricultural small-town life became visual references for me. While going to art school at MCAD in 1980, there was confusion surrounding the transfer from handson fine art and design to the computer era. This hands-on work ethic is still part of how I create — leaning away from technology still to this day. I quit art school, finished a BA at St. Thomas, and finally landed in the design and advertising community.


Reducing everything to a logo, branding, and product development still applies to my public art today — but being laid off several times led me into my fine art. I decided to seek out my MFA at Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA), and that’s when my painting really took off. Being able to work in a low residency program with artist mentors and faculty was a very holistic and intentional experience. KD: I know you just got back from another residency there recently. What you were working on? PD: This was my second returning residency as a team supportive Alumni Assistant at VCFA. While there, I’m able to offer critiques and guide MFA students’ transitions from various walks of life into their post-MFA setting. I’m acting as a part support system, part curator, and part art tech, all the while located in the charming city of Montpelier within the lovely Green Mountains setting. It produces a radically transcendent and transformative outcome for the students. I consider it an artist residency because although I’m not focused completely on my own work there, I’m recalibrating my mind, my artist speak, and my visual goals as a cultural practitioner. KD: How do you define your art practice and how has your studio practice evolved? PD: I really don’t define my studio or artistic practice. I lean towards a more unwieldy and uncategorized visual practice, and I allow for the potential of the practice to become a process in itself — one that self-organizes and designs itself. To be a cultural producer, I try to remove the three creativity killers of perfectionism, micromanaging, and over-planning. Over-strategizing and excessive precision often lead to restrictive design and lack of innate access into the artwork. I am looking for natural shifts and organic accidents that allow unexpected variance. This variance leads to idea development and breaks curation and presentation norms. KD: What is an example of how you’ve worked with these unexpected variances? PD: The last big project I created in Brainerd, Trestle Support Systems, had an abundance of variance

Pete Driessen; Franconia Boat Tower; four found vintage boats, recycled telephone poles, Douglas fir, steel hardware, cement footings; size varies; 2015. Photo courtesy the artist.

by the physical nature of it because I was working with a thicker, rough-sawn wood within a large, raw setting. Materials and sites that have variance shift your ideas and intentions of the material. The material becomes more vulnerable, and you become more vulnerable with it. The rough historic rail yard location gave agency to the size and scale of the final abstract Trestle. KD: Why do you choose to engage in public art, and how does your background translate into your work? PD: My engagement with public art has developed over a long period of time. It was the natural progression of my work, creative interests, and extension of my artistic process. I kept getting rejected by various funders and institutions, and I felt an internal urgency to creatively connect with a wider range of forms, sizes, and spaces. I started TuckUnder Projects [a gallery in the artist’s garage, currently on hiatus] in 2010 to engage with an undefined public community outside the confines of the traditional art fair, gallery, white cube, and museum systems. NEMAA.ORG 41


Pete Driessen; Trestle, part of Trestle Support Systems,two site-specific installations at the Northern Pacific Rail Yard in Brainerd, MN; red pine & steel hardware; 2017. Photo courtesy the artist.

With my own artwork, it wasn’t until someone said, “Yes!” that a real physical breakthrough occurred. I am very grateful to have worked closely with artists Alyssa Baguss and Eileen Cohen on my SilverWood DryDock sculpture at Silverwood Park, in St. Anthony, MN. This outdoor sculpture put my ideas of dematerialization into effect and set the wheels in motion for further large-scale works, such as the Franconia Boat Tower at Franconia Sculpture Park in Shafer, MN. KD: And have you been working within the public art realm ever since? PD: Yes, in tandem with painting, mixed media, sculpture, and installation. They are recipes for the early structures of the larger scale outdoor projects. Public art has helped me reinterpret my two-dimensional output onto a greater scale. Working in a space that’s open air is very different than being 42 Fall 2018

stuck in a studio, and I particularly enjoy the spaces that aren’t overrun by tourists, that hold spiritual meaning or historical significance. How do we produce something on location that can have multiple interpretations and is respectful of the site? KD: Are you working on anything currently? PD: Most recently I’ve collaborated with my partner, Collaborative Seamstress (Nina Martine Robinson), who brings textile skills of sewing, stitching, mending, hemming, embroidery, and clothing design. This has been unique because I’ve primarily worked alone for the last 20 years. With her knowledge, Nina was willing to connect with me on producing a new body of abstract fabric paintings reflecting Landau Roof car top designs of the 60’s and 70’s, and questioning the form, space, and language of formal abstraction. We are considering moving forward with further abstract fabric remnants and seeing where


the visual components lead us. KD: What does being a part of Northeast community mean for you? PD: I rented my first NE studio in 1993 at the California Building with arts-positive landlord Jennifer Young. I stayed at the California Building for 14 years prior to moving to the Casket Arts Building where I’ve been ever since. At the time, NE was still scrappy, ruggedly fragmented, and happily underdeveloped. Studios were plentiful and affordable. This was prior to the Quarry, Art-A-Whirl, NEMAA, the Ferris wheel, the breweries, and the many new rental spaces. I think there is a highly active vibrancy now that wasn’t here before. One of the key associations you can make is the economic viability that artists have brought to NE. After years of hearing friends complain of the poor art scenes and high studio rates in other cities and states, I am very grateful to have a studio hub within the margins of NE, and I’m supportive of the wide range of collective artistic advocacy. I love the community, and it’s always been a very positive aspect of my studio and art life.

Above: Nina Martine Robinson, Driessen’s partner & collaborator. Below: the artists confer in front of one of their Landau Roof pieces.


“Creativity takes courage.” —Henri Matisse We salute the bravery, the boldness, and brilliance of artists. Join us. For exhibitions. Artist Talks. Concerts. Even a book club for artists and the people who love them. We’re always open to you.

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Eleanor McGough, Bug Silhouette Wall, hand-cut paper and pins, 2018. Photo by Petronella J. Ytsma


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The studio buildings – and their owners – are the backbone of the Arts District in Northeast Minneapolis. These old converted factories provide affordable space for hundreds of artists to work and have become destinations unto themselves during open studio events. In this issue, we’re taking a closer look at

1224 Quincy Street NE, Minneapolis by Savannah Simms • Photos by Sarah White

In 1916, walking up to 1224 Quincy Street meant that you were immediately greeted by the clamor of the National Tea Company warehouse. In the decades to follow, the flurry of activity in the building would come from textile workers, auto body manufacturing, mattress production, then studio space for artists and band rehearsals in the mid ‘80s and early ’90s.

50 Fall 2018

Visitors in 2018 will still hear a hum of energy from the industrial space, but instead of assembly lines, the background noise of the Q.arma (pronounced “karma”) Building comes from 40+ artists creating their work in 27 different studios. “This is a 102-year-old building, but there is a sense of rebirth here, a transformation from its early days


thing in between, there is an artist tucked away in the three-story building that does it. Everywhere you look there is life of some kind, from tenants and visitors coming and going, sharing hellos along the way, to works of art on display outside artists’ studios to potted plants bathing in sunlight from the old factory windows. Sculptures and ceramics line the basement hallway, where studios are occupied by both artists and musicians. Up the stairs on the first floor, you walk right into a vibrant gallery space showcasing tenant work; beyond that are art studios, a frame shop, and the Beauty Lounge, a salon that prides itself as “a multi-cultural hair destination.” The top floor is chock-full of photographers, painters, make-up artists, and III AD themselves. Sculptor and architect Dan Noyes runs Studio NoYes on the second floor, where he works with autistic as a warehouse and fabrication building,” says build- students from Edison High School, making art “to ing owner Jonathan “Jono” Query. “There is this empower alternative sensory perspectives as a way sense of creative life coming into the space through of viewing the world in a wider and wilder way.” the floors. Artists are like urban pioneers that find fissures in unexpected places to burrow into and “Jono is all-out community focused at the Q.arma create vibrant communities. That’s what this build- Building,” says Noyes. “He has a resident business so is around the building a great deal of the time. Jono ing feels like now; it’s a creative vitality.” revels in his tenants’ contributions to the communiJono was a graduate student studying architecture ty and pushes us all to be great artist citizens. We are when he first rented studio space here to start his all proud citizens of Q.arma and what it stands for.” design/build company III AD with two classmates. He fell in love with the building and its potential as For Jono, what Q.arma stands for is two-fold: The an artists’ enclave, so he decided to buy and rehab obvious one, he says, “is about building good karthe building 15 years ago. Everything you can see ma, about the unfolding of good through creative in the building is a product of the love and careful hands and minds at work.” The second is more subtle: Q.arma stands for “Quincy Artists, Renegades, thought he poured into the space. Madmen’s (and Madwomen’s) Association,” paying “When I bought the building, we set to work sand- homage to the location of the building and the arting floors, building walls, and remodeled most of the ists themselves. building as time and money permitted,” he says. “I wanted to make this a campus of creative complexi- “It’s a small building,” says Jono, “but it’s big enough ty with a vibrant diversity in the types of art that are that you can come here every day and maybe not interact with everyone who works in this space. Still created here.” there is a sense of ownership and availability of reWhether you are looking for sculptures, textiles, sources that is always there for everyone.” paintings, ceramics, metalwork, photography, wood-carving, furniture, hand-made shoes, or any- There is often a cross-pollination of skillsets happenQ.arma Building owner Jono Query

NEMAA.ORG 51


ing in Q.arma, and Jono describes the building as a “living organism,” in that the dynamic of the community changes slightly with every new artist that moves in. Because of this, the interview process for new tenants is deliberately slow and personal to ensure that available studios go to artists who will add to the community. “When new artists come here, it’s like they’re getting adopted into our family,” he says. “The people who get here tend to stay for a long time, so I’m never in a rush to fill space.” And in the spring of 2019, Q.arma will have even more room to grow its family. Jono and his team plans to spend the next nine months building a L-shaped studio arts addition to the property adjacent to the current Q.arma Building. This secondary structure will feature a bridge connecting the second floors of both buildings, along with two roof gardens, a gas-fired ceramic arts kiln, and a woodshop/art studio. “This second building (Q.arma’s little sister) is going to gather around our current space, as a kind of open embrace of the old building,” Jono says. “We will have a design studio, kitchen and conference room on the second floor, and a miniature art gallery at the front at street level.” With his architecture background, Jono and his crew at III AD designed the space themselves. From the outside, the second floor shifts forward off the floor underneath it, with a “leg” (the mini art gallery actually) supporting the rest of the structure. Underneath will be an outdoor workshop space and room for large community meals and art performances. When asked about the future of Q.arma, Jono says, “I want this building to always sustain a creative community, both within this space and the Twin Cities. This is all geared to support the arts. We’re here to provide thoughtful, deliberate stewardship of our creative community.”


The arts are not a frill. The arts are a response to our individuality and our nature, and help to shape our “identity. What is there that can transcend deep difference and stubborn divisions? The arts. They have a wonderful universality. Art has the potential to unify. It can speak in many languages without a translator. The arts do not discriminate. -Barbara Jordan

The arts lift us up.”

Looking for art in NE? Come have it in a cocktail glass! COCKTAIL ROOM HOURS Wednesday 4-10pm Thursday 4-11pm Friday 4-Midnight Saturday 3-Midnight

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Start your day with a Bunny's Breakfast NORTH

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Fun and casual introduction to pottery for folks who have never thrown pottery before. Book a Crafty Happy Hour or sign up for a workshop.

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815 East Hennepin Ave Minneapolis, MN 55414

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Serving Minneapolis since 1987 Enjoy skillfully prepared food that’ll make your taste buds come alive. Award-winning chef Tammy Wong is still serving up her take on traditional Chinese favorites.

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Community Friends

Photos by Sarah White

NEMAA is nothing without its members, which currently number close to 1000. The organization strives to serve those members through open studio events, professional workshops, marketing and promoting member events, and advocacy for the arts within Northeast and in the broader Minneapolis community. NEMAA members come in several varieties: Individual Artists, NEMAA NXT Students, Professional Galleries, Nonprofits, Business Partners, and Community Friends. This last group, made up of local residents and art enthusiasts, encapsulates NEMAA’s roots in the greater Northeast community. We caught up with a few of them to find out just what it is about Northeast they love so much.

Probably the food.

You can’t go more than a few blocks without running into a great neighborhood restaurant... [Also] one of the reasons we moved to NE was for the arts community. We joined NEMAA as a way to stay connected with the artists in our neighborhood.”

Emily Van Cook, who works in insurance and as a photographer, and her husband Sam, a writer who also runs a publishing company, bought a house in Northeast about a year and a half ago. Emily actually grew up in Northeast though, and was happy to move back to the neighborhood.

56 Fall 2018


Northeast is the city’s Arts District,

with studios and galleries and a supportive community of artists. And our night scene ranges from hole-in-the-wall to high-gloss, with music from punk to polka. Pride is the tradition here, and Northeast Minneapolis is truly making history again.”

Aaron Neumann has been a resident and realtor in Northeast for over a decade. Some even know him as “Mr. Northeast.”

NEMAA.ORG 57


Northeast has always been a hotbed of creativity for us. The way that this community supports not only artists but small businesses of all types makes it a very fun, interesting, and meaningful place to live and raise our family.� Paul and Mia Nelson have lived in Northeast Minneapolis (Logan Park specifically) for twenty years. They also run their business Outhouse Exhibit Services in Northeast, designing and developing public educational exhibitions for museums, zoos, and other public institutions. They also own a traveling exhibitions program and work directly with local artists and fabricators to make their visions come to life.

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SOLO EXHIBITION at ORCHESTRA HALL November 15-17, 2018 8/16/18 10:53 AM


Liz Pechacek, Treasure dishes, 2” by 2” by 1” , stoneware with glaze and gold accents , 2018

62 Fall 2018


Serving BREAKFAST & LUNCH Every Day & Weekend Brunch. We are proud of our great coffee & food; you will love our service and prices!

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St. Boniface Catholic Church 629 Second St NE, Minneapolis MN 55413 29th Annual German Dinner And Polka Mass October 14 2018

Founded 1858

Christmas Bazaar November 10 2018 Easter Boutique April 6 2019

Celebrating 160 years - all are welcome - Parish office (612)379-2761 Masses: Saturday 4pm, Sunday 10am & Noon(in French) Tuesday & Thursday 9am


Open Casket Art Attack Art This Way info Map?


TWO TWO ARTISTS ARTISTS WALK WALK INTO INTO AA BAR... BAR... by Russ White • Illustration by Mandel Cameron One is acclaimed sculptor, public artist, and local resident Kyle Fokken. The other, your humble editor. The bar was the Moose, one of the local watering holes tucked back into the neighborhoods here, and it seemed like a good place for a conversation about art, NEMAA, and Northeast. The place was hopping for a Wednesday night, and the only available seating was at a communal high-top right in front of the Bingo announcer. Patrons were studiously marking their sheets with fat orange paint markers, their quiet concentration broken only by the occasional “BINGO!” bellowed out from across the bar. I was expecting the Moose to be a towny bar, and it certainly was, but I was surprised by the diversity there — in age, in race, in attire — from the Harley dudes out front to the twenty-somethings singing karaoke to the buttoned-up yuppie drinking by himself at the bar. It was like a microcosm of Northeast, a neighborhood of neighborhoods, a district of distinct peoples all sharing space. Over the next four hours, Kyle and I drank beer and talked about sculptors we follow, the arc of the moral universe, the difference between art and design, and why Kyle

66 Fall 2018

hates lifestyle magazines like this one. “They’re always just full of great photos but not a lot of substance.” He told me some rough-and-tumble stories of old Nordeast, back in the earliest Art-A-Whirl days, and then used the tip of the Bingo marker to explain how his approach to art is like a pinnacle, where people engage with his work as a point in space and then veer off into different reactions: humor, politics, art history, however they choose to interact with the art. Pretty tall talk in a place known for bar food and pull tabs, but we didn’t feel at all out of place. That’s part of the magic of this neighborhood, and I hope this issue has captured some of that: the talented artists, the amazing food, the way people live and work here with both great passion and great humor. Speaking of which, we never did come up with a punchline for the joke, I’m sorry to say. Two artists walk into a bar... maybe something about how they’re not starving, they’re thirsty? Eh, close enough. Bingo!


The Heart of The Northeast Minneapolis Arts District

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*Open Studios: • 1st Thursday each month: 5–9 PM • Art Attack 2018: Friday, Nov. 2nd 5–10 PM Saturday, Nov. 3rd Noon–8 PM Sunday, Nov. 4th Noon–5 PM • Saturdays, some studios open; see website for details of these and other events and classes: northrupkingbuilding.com

1500 Jackson St. NE Minneapolis, MN 55413


Profile for NEMAA

N Studio Magazine, Fall 2018  

Issue 2 of N Studio, NEMAA's biannual magazine, focusing on the artists and artisans of Northeast Minneapolis. This issue: Katayoun Amjadi,...

N Studio Magazine, Fall 2018  

Issue 2 of N Studio, NEMAA's biannual magazine, focusing on the artists and artisans of Northeast Minneapolis. This issue: Katayoun Amjadi,...

Profile for nemaa
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