Archive for January, 2007
The commissioned graffiti-style art decorating the Riverside Market is old news. After the painting party took place in early November 2006, there was a brief blurb about “neighborhood controversy” in The Bridge neighborhood newspaper, because a few neighbors liked the art, and a few neighbors thought it looked like graffiti. Ironically, both groups of neighbors, as well as the artists who painted the building, all share a common goal: beautify this part of Minneapolis.
Anyway, the neighbors who didn’t like it called the cops to report the “crime,” but alas, there was no crime, because the paint job was commissioned by the Seward Neighborhood Group. So it’s old news…. but at this point, I am compelled to underscore the lunacy of The News, because now it’s been on TV:
One quote from the news story is this,
“Just weeks after the mural’s completion, illegal tags started popping up on it.”
Comically, these same “illegal tags” are the reason cited by Lori Stone of the Seward Neighborhood Group, as a reason the Group commissioned the mural project. Guess it’s not really the mural that’s magically causing these tags now, is it then?
This same concern is evident in this excellent quote from an angry neighbor, who says,
Anyway, after watching that story online a few times and feeling the urge to puke, I had to go to the Market again, to check out why this is so TV news-worthy all of a sudden. I want to mention that I couldn’t help but notice the complete lack of paint on anything but the building.
I drove down the alley to see the most secluded side of the Riverside Market. I was compelled to photograph the abandoned, boarded-up house right across the alley, and the long privacy fence, and thought about how maybe the Riverside Market right next to it is art, and isn’t encouraging vandalism around it.
Even with the increased attention that publications like vita.mn and the other weeklies have been giving to the arts lately, there has been quite a bit of talk about the lack of real arts reporting in our local media. MPR devoted a recent Midmorning broadcast to the topic of declining arts coverage in a discussion with Douglas McLennan, editor of the arts aggregator ArtsJournal.com. When asked about the Twin Cities, Mr. McLennan generally skirted the question but did offer the opinion that there was little indication of the true culture here. He also spoke pointedly against writing that acts simply as a ‘cheerleader’ for the arts.
There is a distinct difference between arts coverage and arts criticism. Arts features, particularly related to the visual arts and gallery shows, do a great service in garnering attention for all the hard work that artists and gallery owners in Minneapolis do to bring art to the public but a feature is not a critique and rarely are we offered any real, thoughtful analysis of an artist’s work.
Just as art should challenge us as viewers, the artists need challenging as well in order to accurately and properly reflect the culture around them. They need to hear our opinions, questions and critiques or we all become nothing more than cheerleaders.
It is with that idea in mind that we have asked Mark Wojahn, a member of the visual arts critics union VACUM, to offer a critique of Ben Olson’s solo show at Rogue Buddha. In the interest of full disclosure, the review we will be posting later today was solicited by mplsart.com, Ben Olson is a featured artist on the site and the subject of his work is Emma Berg, his wife and founder/director of mplsart.com. It should also be made clear that any review we post now or in the future will remain unedited and printed in full, regardless of the position of the critic.
We believe strongly that a critical dialogue is needed amongst artists in Minneapolis and we hope that you will join in that dialogue with your comments here.
last year anna lee took a break from voltage (the annual fashion/music event @ first avenue)…however, this year it’s back & it will be amazing…
check out the new site & mark your calendars
p.s….did i mention i’m on the panel.
I love all kinds of street art. One favorite genre of urban decoration is stenciled-on-the-sidewalk stuffs:
art on the actual street, at your feet!
…I thought about these lil’ dudes I spotted last summer, when I read Emma’s post callin’ out to the peeps to candy-coat Minneapolis. Can’t wait ’til the pavement warms up.
there are not many art openings that include cake walks, glittered cupcakes, glitzed out bears and parties packed with beauties, of both genders…all clad in pink. Ahhh…an opening @ Density Studios Gallery...now gone.
for those who didn’t already know, Density Studios, as a gallery, has shut it’s doors. Kate Iverson, the owner of the gallery, was unable to sustain the gallery due to all of the costs & time required…I have to say now, with l’etoile no longer in the tyler street space and kate closing density, things are looking a bit dull.
Perhaps a lesson learned should be… support with cold hard cash…
Density Studios will remain open as an agency, offering photography, graphic design, creative consulting, etc…
over the lunch hour today i had the opportunity to head over to the walker for a “thank you” luncheon, hosted by MNArtists.org. It’s nice to break away from the day job and play mplsart.com director, now & then.
If you are an artist and are not currently listed on MNArtists.org…I think I’ve said it before, but you should be…it can, at times, be a valuable resource.