February 2017

Happy New Year! Welcome to In the District: news from the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District. 

Josh Blanc

Northeast P.E.E.P.s
(People, Events, Exhibits, Places)
Wintertide Recap
by Jay Gabler

Wintertide, the biennial juried art exhibit presented by the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association at Public Functionary, collects 29 pieces that represent the diverse techniques and interests of the artists working in the area. Some of the pieces that hit hardest for me, understandably, have political resonance.
_American Feral_ by Brian Boldon
American Feral by Brian Boldon

Most fascinating, and chilling, is Brian Boldon's sculpture
American Feral. Two white porcelain pig faces with mud-spattered snouts flank a third that's been bashed in, revealing that behind its dark inner lining it's simply hollow. The Animal Farm association is unmistakable. 

Bound Leather by Marjorie Fedyszyn
Bound Leather by Marjorie Fedyszyn

Marjorie Fedysyn's Bound Leather II lurks around a corner as a haunting companion piece. There, black leather is sewn tightly around another wall-mounted shape that might or might not be a human head. More poignant is Amro Sallam's Ezbet Abu Qarn. A delicately painted but chaotic Cairo roofscape is seen from over the shoulders of two young children - one of whom perches precariously on a beam, surveying the dense and haphazardly developed city where he or she will find a future.

Wide Open_ by Dan Marshall
Wide Open by Dan Marshall

It finds an echo in Dan Marshall's photograph Wide Open, in which two children huddle together on a rock that breaks through the darkening surface of Lake Superior; they're seemingly uncertain as to whether they want to jump in. 

Actor IV_ by CL Martin
Actor IV by CL Martin

Other artists impress with technique. Awarded Best in Show, CL Martin's Actor IV is a haunting mixed-media black-and-white portrait, the high-cheekboned subject agape at something just beyond our view. Eric Cornett's Reeds, reflected is a delicate painting of mirrored aquatic foliage that seems to float in a grey void. Photographer John Rodman uses a carbon-based printing system to achieve striking contrast and rich gradation in Cemetery - Native American School, SD

Cemetery-Native American School_ SD_ by John Rodman
Cemetery-Native American School SD by John Rodman

The show's more whimsical pieces are generally less successful. Sometimes an Indian goat in a sweater is just...well, an Indian goat in a sweater, as with Donna Meyer's oil painting of that title. Kat Corrigan's painting Screen Door Surveillance puts a desperate-looking dog in your face at large scale: it's unsettling, and not in a good way. Carolyn Kleinberger's oil painting Together in the Mudbath
is full of soupy bonhomie, but leaves the viewer wondering what more might have been accomplished with this visually interesting subject. 

Arboreal_ by Emma Glidden
Arboreal by Emma Glidden

The show's most intriguing Rorschach test might be Emme Glidden's oil painting Arboreal. A woman stands before rolling green hills, white branches growing upwards from her bare shoulders; one shoulder holds a living bird, the other a dead bird. In a statement, the artist writes that the figure is in a moment of "transformation"; within "the full circle of life and death." Seasons change, and in this particular season this personification of nature looks deeply annoyed. Can you blame her?
Hex House: Prototype for Crisis Housing Planned for Northeast 
by Josh Blanc

Disaster strikes. A hurricane, earthquake, tsunami, terror attack, war: hundreds of people flee for their lives. They lose everything except what they can carry. Natural and human-made calamities affect hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. The average stay in a refugee camp is seventeen years, according to Northeast architect Amro Sallam. Think about that. 

Hex House Drawings
Hex House Drawings

Sallam, executive director of the nonprofit Architects for Society and his twelve-member team have devised an affordable and exceptional solution: Hex House.  The Hex House is designed to solve some of the challenges of constructing transitional and long term housing in critical situations. Awarded "Best of the Best" by the German Design Council for visionary architecture, the first Hex House prototype is planned for construction in the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District in time for Art-A-Whirl. 

Sallam is intent on utilizing NE community resources, including locally-sourced materials and art. He is currently seeking space to build the prototype; and a fundraising campaign for the project has been set up on Indiegogo.

Hex House awarded _Best of the Best_ in the Iconic Award by the German Design council for visionary architecture.
Hex House awarded _Best of the Best_ in the Iconic Award by the German Design council for visionary architecture.

Sallam is a recent transplant to the Arts District from Switzerland where he worked at the world-famous architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron (Walker Art Center). He was born in Cairo, Egypt and traveled around the world. He has lived in Illinois, California and Mankato, Minnesota where his father was a professor. He went to school in Los Angeles at SCI-Arc (Southern California Institute of Architecture).
I asked him why he set up shop in NE Minneapolis. Sallam explained that he wanted to be immersed the arts community; as a fellow artist, it seemed like a perfect fit for Architects for Society to construct the first Hex House.
A major goal for the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District is to attract artists from all over the world: to draw substantial talent, bring forward challenging ideas and continue to build the profile of a sustainable creative community. We look forward to seeing the world's first Hex House to be built in the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District.

Welcome Damian Kussian to the NE Minneapolis Arts District Board of Directors

Damian Kussian

Damian Kussian is a Minneapolis native and has called NE Minneapolis home for the last fourteen years. Damian is the father of a 22-month-old girl named Dessa and is married to Maiwenn Kussian, who is originally from Brest, France. 
Damian is professional filmmaker who specializes in documentary film. He has created films on a large variety of subjects, such as: NFL Sports Fans, Newly Naturalized US Citizens, WWII Aviators, Seeds, The Rise of Comedy in Asia, and Art-A-Whirl.
He has received three Regional Emmy awards, including an award for a short video that he and his crew created with video captured during the 2015 Art-A-Whirl. Damian has spent a large amount of his free time documenting the stories of many local artists, community leaders, various local events and working on collaborative projects with other creatives in the community. Damian is currently working on many projects, including a documentary about the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District. 
For more information on Damian's cinematography, visit Flyover Films


Artist Videos Needed
In the internet age artist have been turning to videos to showcase and promote their work. The Arts District is looking to showcase your videos of your process, work, studio or your experience working or living in the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District.  Have you done a episode on MN Original? Please send us the link. Working in your studio or giving a talk, we would love to share it. We are not looking for your cat videos but we are looking for the artist experience of NE Minneapolis so please send your videos to nemadboard@gmail.com

We have our own Youtube.com channel. 

Three Main Goals 
of  Arts District Planning

1. Continue to discuss who we are as a community. 
2. Continue to define the v ision of the next 10 to 15 years, in order to drive the decision making.
3. Start a framework on how we can finance the goals of the district. This goal is only possible to discuss if the other two goals can be met.
Recent studies to consider reading: 
5.   Take the survey for the  CREATIVE MINNESOTA
Issue: 58
In This Issue
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