October 2018
Welcome to In the District: news from the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District. 

NEMAA Announces Departure of Executive Director 

The Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association NEMAA announced on Friday the 28th on Facebook that Executive Director Dameun Strange has departed from the company September 28. Anna Becker will act as interim director at this time. 
Review of Hatch to presentation to Developers


The September Pecha Kucha held at Rogue Buddha Gallery
was  a success on many levels. With 40 people in attendance it was excellent especially considering this is only the 3rd such  event . The presentations were awesome to watch  and participate in. The developer, architects and artists learned and shared a lot of thoughts.  The program was well
moderated with good questions. . The audience was very engaged. The invited guests,  developers and architects, got into some deep discussions with the artists about the future of the Arts District and how to better connect with their trades. 
This kind of program is a much needed regular event throughout the  arts district.   The Hatch group is planning many more Pecha Kuchas. Artists are commenting that it is great to learn about the new artists and are finding out artists they have known do way more than they realized. Lots of new discoveries are being made about each other as well as educating the community and invited guests. 
The Pecha Kucha also offers a great platform for artists to focus in and explain their work in 20 slides at 20 seconds per slide. This makes the presentation simple and straight forward.  
Watch this newsletter and website for updates on the next Pecha Kucha

Art to Change the World - Two Artist Reviews. Make a "device monster" or listen to your heart

by Nick Cocchiarella

Layl McDill making Device Monster
Layl McDill making Device Monster

When Layl McDill's daughter was in high school, she confiscated her phone, then decided to make art. A sculptor who has presented at multiple art shows and fairs around the world, McDill's topic for Art to Change the World is "persuasive devices." She explores the way technological devices and apps are designed to draw their users in, often causing addiction. Her work, which she has dubbed "the device monster," is a clay creature with head perpetually bent towards the screen of its phone.

Unlike some of her other projects, McDill says this has required a fair amount of research, yet it's a part of our everyday life. "It's so easy for people to discuss it; anytime I go anywhere, it comes up all the time," she says. 

McDill plans to host a two-hour long workshop discussing the pros and cons of persuasive devices, teaching basic sculpting techniques, and giving participants the opportunity to walk away with their very own miniature device monster. 

"I've never taught a class with that kind of a specific viewpoint, so we will all see how that evolves." It is open to all audiences, but McDill encourages parents to make an appearance, as she hopes to foster awareness of what technology is capable of doing. 

"I think a lot of parents thought, 'Oh, that's cute!' at first, and 'Oh, look, they can figure it out!' but that's because they designed them that way so kids don't ever want to stop. Technology is a blessing and a curse; making that distinction is up to us." The workshop will be at Art to Change The World's fall event, "See. Say. Do.What's Your Issue?" at Squirrel Haus Arts in South Minneapolis on October 5-14. For a full schedule of performances, workshops and art exhibit hours, go to arttochangetheworld.org. There are many social and environmental justice themes, from mental health awareness and cultural diversity to climate change and economic reform. 

Anne Kleinhenz Reliquary for Mary
Anne Kleinhenz Reliquary for Mary

Another Northeast artist participating is  Anne Kleinhenz. An artist, social activist, lover of archaeology, she's traveled to places ranging from Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, to Tirana and the Egyptian pyramids. 

Kleinhenz's work is centered around the concept of "heart listening" with an emphasis on "soul activism," the idea that our intentions and motives come from the heart. 

Her installation art will include two ladders - one hanging horizontally on the wall, the other lying vertically on the floor - with pictures related to angelic themes and the divine feminine images between the rungs; a contained "contemplation cove" with relevant pictures, messages, and a place to think in relative solitude. 

Kleinhenz says rather than focusing on the big picture of social justice topics, her art focuses where it all starts. "Change comes from within, and that is reflected out in the world." Kleinhenz's art is always a work in progress. "It doesn't really get put together until all the elements are on site, and then I almost have to in some ways start over.

Kleinhenz hopes to encourage us to shine our own individual light onto the world. "Listen to our small still voice within to make a stand for other human voices in every corner on our beloved planet," she writes. "WE are not separate. WE are all ONE."

Open District

November 2nd- 4th. 

Open District featuring 5 Art Buildings
Open District featuring five Art Buildings in the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District

Exploring race and identity

by Margo Ashmore

Leslie Barlow Nigel_s Wedding
Leslie Barlow Nigel's Wedding

Leslie Barlow's next project will be about her grandmothers, "not only because I find them fascinating people, but...I want to tell the history of race relations through their eyes. How we in America create our identities, how narratives placed upon us affect those identities, and how what we think we know can shift depending on who we meet or where we move." 

Her work, which is due at a show in Winona in March 2019, is funded by a Minnesota State Arts Board grant, and is in its research phase. 

As the oldest of her parents' children, she was the first mixed race grandchild, and hers is the only mixed-race family for both sides. "Some people have their built-in prejudices, then once it becomes personal, they might think 'I shouldn't think that way' but there are residues," Barlow said. "There's no one story (of growing up mixed race). There are lots of complexities. There are not a lot of books that tell you what to do. It IS getting better because there are folks trying to change the narrative." 

Much of her earliest work, circa 2011, was about identity and as part of that, race. Even in the "Loving" series exhibited in 2017, Barlow would leave areas of a painting unfinished as a way of indicating identity as fluid, evolving, and intersectional; a story with parts left to be written. 

Barlow paints life-size, and found that while she loves painting on a large panels, those are difficult to pack and expensive to ship to galleries for shows. Especially since she has started to incorporate textiles sewn onto her canvases, she has found ways to display them anchored with grommets and pins, and to be able to roll them up for transport. She was delighted to find out that one of her idols, Kerry James Marshall, uses grommets to hang his work. 

_C-3PO Leslie Authentic Self Portrait_
C-3PO Leslie Authentic Self Portrait

Was he a mentor? No, she laughed, "I hope to meet him someday! But I've had lots of mentors," professors at Minneapolis College of Art and Design. "And now I mentor, and I've had interns." 

In a critique with her peers, there was positive feedback on the incorporation of, and the choice of, the textiles. "It is visually intriguing. They felt I am on the cusp of something and they suggested making my own textiles." 

So she will likely be learning to replicate fabric patterns depicted in thousands of family photos she's combing through as she learns about her grandmothers from interviewing them and her own parents. 

Barlow teaches at Juxtaposition Arts and the University of Minnesota, is on the leadership team of MidWest Mixed and the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association board. "I get fed from teaching and the other spaces I am in," she said. "It can get lonely in the studio and can start to feel like work, so it's nice to be in community and inspired by the other creatives in this city. 

Jamie Schumacher book release on history of Altered Aesthetics Gallery

It is Never going to work.
"It's Never Going To Work," by Minneapolis arts advocate Jamie Schumacher, shines a spotlight on the Northeast arts community, community nonprofits, and Altered Esthetics gallery. The book features origins of Altered Esthetics gallery, founded in 2004, and its role in the growing Twin Cities art scene.The release event will be held at Eat My Words Bookstore, 214 13th Ave. NE, on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 7-8 p.m., including a curated pop-up exhibit featuring past Altered Esthetics artists. Both Schumacher and illustrator Athena Currier will be present. Info: jamie-schumacher.com.
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: 

Issue: 78
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Neighborhoods Need You!

Artists are a big part of NE. Most of us have lots of opinions about what we want the community to aspire to buy to make those ideas come to fruition we need to be more involved with the neighborhood groups. Neighborhood groups have been some of the most supportive organizations of artists since the beginning of the artists moving to NE. Please take a moment to consider attending their meetings and joining their boards or committees. Below are the contacts for each neighborhood.

The Northeast Minneapolis Arts District & the Arts District Committee is an outcome
of the Arts Action Plan.

"The Northeast Minneapolis Arts District Committee is comprised of interested volunteer community members, and is fiscally managed by the Northeast Community Development Corporation (NECDC). Additional support has been provided by Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (NEMAA), Clay Squared to Infinity, Northeaster News, 
Want to get involved? Contact us