March 2012


Welcome to the first issue of "In the District" - news from the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District. If you are receiving this email, it is because you've signed up to receive news from the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District.

My name is Josh Blanc. I am an artist and I have worked and lived in NE Minneapolis since 1995. I served as president of the NEMAA board from 2003 - 2005 and was on the committee for the arts district from 2006 to 2009.

In 2003, the city of Minneapolis officially designated a sizeable geographic area as the official "Northeast Minneapolis Arts District." Since then many 
individuals and groups have tried to get their hands around what the district is and what it can do for us as a tool. Artists and community members have created a website, signage, and the logo. There have been on and off regular meetings since 2003, but no tool for the artists to hear what decisions and ideas are going on regarding the arts district. I felt it was time to start that process of reporting, discovering and engaging the artists and the community on what the
Made by Amy Toscani
Northeast Minneapolis Arts District is, and thought a great way to do that is with a regular newsletter to tell our story.

The goal of this newsletter is to gather information, engage artists and report the great artwork being created, ideas, inventions, happenings, visiting artists, culture, image of artists, the district itself and basic news to tell our story. I know there are many people who are interested in the success of the arts district but we rarely talk and discuss all of its potential and complexity. This newsletter will be a start in collecting that information for us to digest. As we meet at parties, meetings, events I am positive we will develop a deeper collective conscious of this swath of land we call  the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District. 

To start, I will feature 3 to 4 artists/news events per month: profiles of what seems to be the top news I know of. But you can help guide this newsletter by sending me your news and updates on yourself. 


Dougie Padilla "i either love this tee shirt or hate. or both."
Here is what I request from those of you reading this.  
1. Share these newsletters on your social media. 

2. Send me your news experiences, images of your work, public art projects, artist talks, visiting artists in the district, performances, happenings, gallery openings, images in photos, painting, drawing of artists working in the district, event images, tell me about awards you win, press you have receive, etc. What ever you feel tells the story of what you do here in the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District.

3. If you are inclined to be a guest writer let me know - I would love to have people tell what they see.

Jamie, who has been helping move this forward, wanted to note: this newsletter isn't intended to replace the calendar of events on the arts district website, just support it. Updates to the calendar are made regularly and more robust updates will be made this spring to make the site more share-able and user friendly.

If you have a specific event you'd like to promote on the website calendar, you can submit it here:

Thank you so much for taking the time to check out this newsletter, and for everything you do to make the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District Remarkable! 

Doug Padilla Organizes Paris NE
Photo by Scott Pollock 
Doug Padilla talking to John Kraemer at Paris NE in February. Photo by Scott Pollock

One of the newest social developments is  
Paris Northeast.

Doug describes it as a monthly chance for arts and culture workers and imaginative/ creative sorts that live or work in Northeast to gather/banter/imaginate/vision/eat & drink/fabulate, etc. at different eating and drinking establishments east of the river and north of the University.

Their mission: to re-enchant daily life here in our own little piece 
of God's Country.

Their plan: to avoid
committees/agendas/boards/officers, etc. - in 
the pursuit of sustained conversational pleasure.

His inspiration for Paris NE comes from his time visitng Paris in 2005 for a gallery show of his work where he read 
"Re-enchantment of Everyday Life" by Thomas Moore. After reading this book he realized: if he couldn't live in Paris, he 
Doug Padilla on the Origins of Art-A-Whirl
Doug Padilla on the Origins of Art-A-Whirl
would do his best to make NE a more magical, enhanced world. The restaurant food is perfect, the music is perfect, the people are great and you feel blessed being here.


Doug has been in NE for 21 years. He loves lots of parts of NE Minneapolis - including NE social, anywhere along the river, Gluek Park, watching baseball at NE park, how 13th Ave has developed, churches, lots of gardens and shrines, Boom Island, the view of downtown, all the big arts building, and how Chowgirls is trying to fill a vacant slot of gathering nights for cultural workers.

Doug Padilla photo by Sarah Whiting 
Doug Padilla photo by Sarah Whiting NE artisan project
He described coming to a large art building as a
rabbit warren for artists who might be in there - and he wants to discover them.

In the 80's, when he used to visit NE, the police were trying to get rid of the artists. Then there was a big shift to an artist culture. Ultimately, he would like to see NE is place where even the French would want to visit.

Caitlin Karolczak, Sean Smuda, Doug Padilla at January Paris NE. Photo by Scott Pollock


The Paris NE showcase will move from studio to studio.  
The March 22nd edition will be held in Robynne Robinson's studio in the california building - Thursday, solid frenchie night.


April will be held in Mark Wojahn's casket cinema studio in the Casket Arts Building, the May edition a the NE Social on 13th, and June will be held at my (Josh's) house in Northeast.

To stay up to date on Paris NE activities and events, Become a fan on facebook!   


March Gallery Activity - District Highlights 

This section of the newsletter will choose a few events from the calendar to highlight each month. For a complete list of events and activities, please check the calendar!     




Altered Esthetics - Belles Lettres

Language surrounds us in a variety of forms, from classic literature to modern messaging. This month at Altered Esthetics, 40 artists ponder the power of words through artwork, poetry and imaging.

Artists' Discussion: Saturday, March 17, 2012, 1pm-3pm
Show runs March 1 - March 29, 2012

Altered Esthetics Gallery
1224 Quincy Street NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413


Icebox Gallery - 365D

Icebox Gallery announces 365D, a photo exhibition of 365 Italian Women - to open on Friday, March 16, 2012. 

This exhibition, which opened in Rome and Milan, now travels in a scaled down version to the Icebox Gallery for a rare glimpse of 365 photographs of women from all over Italy with different backgrounds, ages and socioeconomic status.

ICEBOX - Quality Framing & Gallery
Northrup King Building
1500 Jackson Street NE #443


Kendal Bohn documents Lowry Bridge - 16,000 photos (and counting!)

Architecture is a main component and underling structure that gives NE a distinct identity in the twin cities.
Lowry Bridge 2011-12
Documentation of Lowry Bridge being built. Photos by Kendal Bohn
A new form has risen over the past year and Kendal Bohn has taken it upon himself to document this new icon of the arts district: The Lowry Bridge.

Kendall has taken over 16,000 photos so far and has been posting hundreds of images on his 
facebook page, documenting progress from the very beginning. As all of us who live and work in the district know, bridges have been a challenging issue. Starting with the 35W bridge falling in 2009, the Lowry Bridge being rebuilt, as well as the Plymouth bridge being closed and during 2011 Art A Whirl! The Camden Bridge was also hit right after it had be refurbished. 


With the Lowry Bridge project, Kendall has been taking photos for 3 years. It all started when Kendal found out that the Lowry Bridge was going to blown up. He went down to the water the day before and began taking pictures.  


And he returned again and again.


As his interest grew, he wondered what should he do with these photos and why? He was hooked on the idea and continued taking photos, until it just became a daily routine. Kendal realized if he did not take pictures daily it was going to be a waste of time. So he made it a point to do it daily and it became personal labor of love.   


So he has continued, taking a break from his studio work daily to take a couple photos documenting the progress. So far he has taken 16,000 photos.  

Kendal has met a couple of the construction workers and has been talking to them on how it was built.  


After his regular appearances, he procured a hard hat and asked permission to get closer and get better photos. The engineers shared with him technical information - interesting and weird at the same time. (Did you know a piling weighs 1 million pounds?)  


While they were trying to install the pylons, the weather was a huge challenge with storms - lighting, wind and rain making it a major challenge but exciting to watch.  


Workers worked every day, no matter what - 5 days a week and sometimes longer and some weekends. Kendal met people who kept coming. One "old fella," a recent retired bridge construction worker, would explain what they were doing which he found very interesting.  


He also discovered there are Bridge Groupies! One lady in particular would show up from Bloomington on Wednesday and Sundays just to watch the progress.  


You can find out more about Kendal and his Lowry Bridge project by emailing him at the address below, or checking out his facebook page.  


Kendal Bohn

California Building 
Facebook page for Kaleidoscopia Coloring Books 

Arts District Exports

Some of our artists are doing tremendous things in other areas. This section of the newsletter will highlight Arts District Artist activity around the globe. (or for this month, the greater midwest.)

Mary Welke exhibit in Hudson   

Mary Welke
has paintings on exhibit at the Hudson Hospital in Hudson, WI as part of "A Healing Arts Exhibition." Her paintings will be on display in the Patient/Staff Hallway until mid April 2012.

Karen Wilcox & Daphnae Koop in North Dakota

Karen Wilcox and Daphnae Koop are showing their work at the Art on the Plains XI 


"The 48 artists in the Art on the Plains XI live and work in the global Midwest. Although their work emerges fervently from the terrain, culture and ethic of the Plains, it resists and upends the quaint color of this exhibition's title.


Plains Art Museum

Regional Juried Exhibition

Fargo, ND


Randy Walker wins McKnight Grant
Randy Walker McKnight Grant  

Congratulations to Randy Walker, the recipient of the 2012 McKnight Foundation Public Project Grant! The 50,000 grant, administered by Forecast Public Artworks, is intended to provide a mid-career public artist the chance to develop and create a temporary or permanent project for a public audience anywhere in the state, receive increased recognition, and develop his or her career.


Walker's proposal, Filling the Void, will be a permanent outdoor installation with the capacity to change over time.  The artwork will be created in collaboration with the youth and staff of the Kulture Klub Collaborative on the downtown Minneapolis property of Youthlink's Youth Opportunity Center, a drop-in center for youth experiencing homelessness.  The sculpture will be based on a three-dimensional framework that will act as a much-needed visual beacon for the Youth Opportunity Center.  Upon this structure, Walker will work with youth to create two temporary fiber-based installations over the course of a year.  At the end of one year, the framework will serve as the basis for future artistic interventions to be designed and implemented by dynamic population of the Youth Opportunity Center.  The artist hopes to initiate not only a long-lived and ever-changing piece of art, but also of a long and rich engagement between the youth of Kulture Klub and the pieces they create.


Kulture Klub Collaborative is an ideal partner for this project.  The organization already has a structured program in place for bringing in artists to lead groups of youth, and Filling the Void's steel framework offers another venue for these groups.  KKC also offers a supportive environment for youth to express themselves through art, and offers materials and encouragement for youth organizing their own projects.  The organization - and the YOC in general - also attracts a steady stream of new ideas, visions and energy within their ever-changing clientele - which is just what Filling the Void requires for a long and varied life.


Randy Walker
Northrup King Building

Studio - Dock 3

Phone: 612-282-9820



Issue: 1
In This Issue
Doug Padilla - Paris Northeast
March Gallery Activity
Kendal Bohn - Lowry Bridge
Arts District Exports
Randy Walker awarded McKnight Grant!
Know when to go! Check the Arts District Calendar for events.
Check the Arts District Calendar for events -


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The NE Mpls Arts District & the Arts District Committee is an outcome of the Arts Action Plan.

Currently managed by the
Northeast CDC, the Arts District Committee is comprised of NEMAA staff, Northeast CDC staff and interested community members. Additional support has been provided by Clay Squared to Infinity, Altered Esthetics, and the NE Chamber of Commerce.

Want to get involved? email