Looking for Workers with "Soft Skills"? Hire Dancers
Many university degrees prepare young people for technical tasks but overlook some of the important interpersonal skills needed within the working environment. Yet, for those who have spent their lives engaging in the work of dance, the necessity of these skills is perfectly obvious — no dance work could be made without them.
Education is often credited as the sole necessity for a more secure and prosperous life. As a child of the ’80s, my parents said to me: go to college, take out student loans, and you’ll do fine.…
Liz Glenn, Utopia or Oblivion at Performa 11, inspired by Buckminster Fuller's 1948 geodesic dome experiment.
Painting the Present
Amanda Hamilton's new series of small works grapple with the transcendence and despair of our present moment, with thick swaths of gold-flecked gray paint offset by live plants, to remind us we, too, are rooted here and now.
"Even if one no longer speaks of painting as a window opened onto the world, the modernist picture is still conceived as a vertical section that presupposes the viewer's having forgotten that his or her feet are in the dirt."…
Amanda Hamilton, like this, installation detail. Courtesy of Bethel Art Galleries.
Envisioning an Art Ecology
Writer and landscape architect Diane Hellekson outlines a dynamic model for thinking about cultivation of the arts in Minnesota -- specifically, she makes the case for seeing the health of state's arts and artists in ecological rather than economic terms.
START PONDERING THE CONNECTIONS BETWEEN ART AND ECOLOGY, and you find yourself confronting a complex web, which, depending on your point of view, could look like a stairway to heaven (where art and the rest of life seamlessly connect) or a deathtrap, where good work goes unreward…
The Escape Artist
Consider Samantha French's bright, Impressionistic paintings of a summer idyll: When so much contemporary art seeks to shock and surprise, to push boundaries, is such an unabashedly pleasant, familiar style of work still relevant to the conversation?
LAST SUMMER I WENT TO SOO VISUAL ARTS CENTER to see a show by Samantha French, a Minnesota painter living in New York. The paintings were bright and lively, mostl…
Photo courtesy of the author
Culture Wars and Culture Gaps
Lauren DeLand looks back at the Culture Wars of the 1990s and, specifically, the facts and apocrypha surrounding a 1994 performance in Minneapolis by Ron Athey that galvanized the country's conservative backlash against government funding for artists.
It is mid-March 2010, and I am deep in the belly of the Walker Art Center archives, settling in to watch a videotape retrieved for me by the archivist.…
Ron Athey, Solar Anus (1998). Photo: Regis Hertrich
Repetition & Repair
Miranda Trimmier asks, how can we repair the wearisome effects of endless novelty? Her modest but surprisingly transgressive tonic? Simple repetition as a sort of detoxifying reparation for our shared cultural attraction to the easily blurbed.
Listen, there's something unsavory pooling in my joints. I am tired, in a deep way. And I have been thinking about it for some time; I believe I am beginning to know what this weariness is about:I am weary of novelty.I am weary of variety.…
Courtesy of the photographer, reproduced via Creative Commons license. http://www.flickr.com/people/tancread/
Why Does Minnesota Still Go Crazy for Prince?
Ira Brooker made a 2 a.m. pilgrimage to Paisley Park recently (and paid $50 for the privilege) on the off chance he might hear Prince play. It got him to wondering about the Purple One's enduring (maybe irrational) appeal for the hometown crowd.
I PULLED UP TO THE CURB OUTSIDE A NONDESCRIPT OFFICE building around 1:15 a.m., happy to have found parking within a quarter-mile of Paisley Park.…
Photo: 3rd Eye Girl website