If you're having trouble reading this email, click here to view the web version in your browser





Artwork by Erik T Ritter

 access+ENGAGE   the definitive alternative   Issue #23

Forward to a friend
If you like a+E, pass it on!



In this Issue: A Festival of Appropriation

—Including a showcase of work by the artists with pieces on exhibit at this year's Festival of Appropriation, presented by mnartists.org and hosted by the Soap Factory, plus a behind-the-scenes essay by one of the show's curators, Some Assembly Required's Jon Nelson

Is there anything truly new under the sun? No human endeavor, art included, springs pristine from a vacuum. Instead, artistic expression is tethered to the mediated world in which the artist steeps. Art reacts to that context in ways that may be ingenious and even novel, but rarely is anyone's artistic work wholly unmoored from the surrounding culture. This issue's featured artists gleefully embrace this conundrum, fusing the newly made with the refashioned to express something all their own. The Festival of Appropriation, presented this month by mnartists.org in an offline exhibition at the Soap Factory, offers a showcase of artists using a variety of media—drawn exclusively from the ranks of the member artists of mnartists.org—whose work best illustrates the daring, creative drive to mix, match, and mash things up. FOA co-curator Jon Nelson lifts the curatorial curtain, allowing you a glimpse at how the show was assembled. Be sure also to check out the extensive accompanying collection of work done by artists featured in the FOA exhibition. The fun doesn't end with The Festival of Appropriation: from mini-golf designs for the Walker to altered books for Space 144 and a new cycle in the What Light poetry competition--mnartists.org is calling for submissions from artists in just about every discipline for future projects. And, as always, get out your datebook and browse through the happenings listed in You Are Here: it's not even Thanksgiving yet and, already, the holiday events are beginning. 

Mashup: Bits and Pieces In a Semblance of a Whole, an essay by FOA co-curator Jon Nelson

Mural by Ian Sorlie

THE FESTIVAL OF APPROPRIATION HAS ALWAYS BEEN FOCUSED, QUITE SIMPLY, ON ARTISTS who use bits and pieces of previously existing images, objects, and sounds to create new and compelling works of art. It’s the visual counterpart to my sample-based music and audio art show, Some Assembly Required.


Collage is a fairly simple concept, really. You take an existing cultural artifact, like a movie or a postcard, and take it apart—strip its soundtrack or isolate an image from the card--and re-use the pieces you’ve appropriated, or taken as your own, in concert with one or more other fragments from other cultural artifacts  combining them to create new juxtapositions. The creative effort involved in collage work is defined by what you choose to use and also by how you choose to use it.


My own reasons for being attracted to the form have less to do with an interest in appropriation than with a strong interest in the surreal (and even more, in the absurd). It just so happens that these interests are often best expressed through the appropriation and reworking of existing materials....Jon Nelson's curator's statement for this year's Festival of Appropriation continues on mnartists.org.


>>CLICK HERE to browse through a collection of artwork showcasing the artists featured in this year’s Festival of Appropriation.


>>CLICK HERE to continue reading Jon Nelson’s behind-the-scenes essay in honor of this year’s exhibition at the Soap Factory.


About the Festival of Appropriation curators:

Photo of Jon Nelson by Kate IversonJon Nelson is an artist, curator, and producer focused almost exclusively on collage, with forays into visual art, theater, writing, and installation. His nationally syndicated radio program, Some Assembly Required, is a weekly show (airing in podcast form on mnartists.org) which highlights the talents of audio artists who appropriate sounds from their media environments. Since SAR's inception Nelson has produced over two dozen artist features, interviewing everyone from John Oswald and The Evolution Control Committee to Christian Marclay and DJ Spooky.

Photo of Kate Iverson by Stephen Stephens

Kate Iverson is an award-winning art photographer whose work has been shown in galleries locally and nationally, and published in The Onion, Lavender Magazine, Underworld Magazine, l'etoile magazine and on startribune.com. Kate is the Arts Editor for l'etoile magazine, a local arts and style publication, and she also serves as the Marketing Director for Some Assembly Required. Once curator for the now defunct Density Studios Gallery, she still works closely with artists, galleries, and arts organizations, occasionally curating visual art shows like the Festival of Appropriation now on exhibit at the Soap Factory.


FOA logoAbout the exhibition: The Festival of Appropriation was conceived in the summer of 1999 as a six month long series. In its second year, the program was shortened to two months; in the third year to one. The Festival of Appropriation continues as a recurring exhibition of both local and international artists who choose to create using items, objects, and images which they have appropriated, manipulated, and incorporated into their original works of collage, assemblage and mixed media. More info online: www.festivalofappropriation.org



Credits: Mural/poster (top) by Ian Sorlie, one of the FOA featured artists. Photo of Jon Nelson by Kate Iverson. Photo of Kate Iverson is by Stephen Stephens.

News You Can Use: a selection of current artist opportunities on mnartists.org

Artist Opportunities


CALL FOR POETS: The What Light: This Week’s Poem series is beginning another competition cycle and mnartists.org is seeking poetry submissions (Deadline November 25)


ATTENTION ARTISTS AND DESIGNERS: Walker in the Rough, an artist-designed miniature golf course, is planned for this spring and mnartists.org and the Walker Art Center are looking for creative proposals on the theme of socially-responsible design. (Deadline January 14)


FELLOWSHIPS AVAILABLE FOR FILMMAKERS AND SCREENWRITERS: The McKnight Foundation and IFP Minnesota are offering four fellowships of $25,000 for screenwriters and filmmakers (Submission deadline for Screenwriting Fellowship is February 4; Submission deadline for Filmmaking Fellowship is March 3. How-to-apply workshops in the Twin Cities and Duluth are scheduled to assist interested applicants.)


CALL FOR BOOK ARTISTS: mnartists.org and Susan Hensel Design Gallery are looking for book artists to submit work for At Play in a Field of Books, an altered book exhibition in the distinctive display case, “Space 144”, at the Minneapolis Central Library (Deadline November 28)


CALL FOR GRAPHIC DESIGNERS: The Experimental College of the Twin Cities is holding a logo-design contest and is offering $300 for the winning design (Submission deadline is December 1)


CALL FOR WRITERS, MUSICIANS, AND ARTISTS: A new lit-mag, InDigest, is looking for submissions from visual artists, musicians, and writers. (Deadline for issue #2 is TODAY, November 15)

Homepage: Featured arts writing and collections from MnArtsWeekly

On Uncertain Ground: Sandbox Theatre's War With the Newts

CLICK HERE to read Jaime Kleiman’s incisive review of Sandbox Theatre’s production War With the Newts.

Jaime Kleiman reviews Sandbox Theatre's ambitious, eye-catching stage adaptation of Karel Capek's 1936 dystopian novel exploring the pitfalls of greed and unbridled capitalism.

Sandbox Theatre’s adaptation of War With the Newts Czech writer Karel Capek’s eponymous 1936 novel, is an exercise in Suzuki method performance and thematic movement. In layman’s terms: it looks really cool. The adept ensemble has created a convincing likeness of Capek’s denuded world using unexpected splashes of color and impressive vocal and mask work. The set, by Sandbox founder Ryan Hill, consists of three docks extending towards the audience. The space in between the docks represents water. The physically skilled actors clearly know exactly what the show is about, which is good, because the play itself is obtuse, and the actual story hard to follow. As adept as the performers are, they can’t keep the production on course over its full ninety minutes in the absence of a clearly discernible plot, a necessity for any tale—science fiction or not. ….continue reading Kleiman’s review of Sandbox Theatre’s adaptation of War With the Newts on mnartists.org.

What: War With the Newts by Sandbox Theatre
The Red Eye Theater, Minneapolis, MN
When: Performances through Saturday, November 17
Tickets: Call (612) 554-1302 or visit Sandbox Theatre’s website, www.aboutthisplay.com, for full information.

Credit: Production photo from War With the Newts courtesy the Sandbox Theatre website.

The Ambiguity of Wonder: Mark Dion, Christine Baeumler, and Eleanor McGough at Gallery Co.


CLICK HERE to read Christina Schmid’s elegant review of Naked Wonder, the ecologically-minded group show now at the Gallery Co.

Christina Schmid investigates the nuanced renderings of nature's hidden frailties and marvels in Naked Wonder, a group show on exhibit at Gallery Co. through January 4

Artists have sought to represent the natural world for almost as long as people have been awed into reverential silence by nature’s sublime attractions. Historically, the convergence of nature and art has been, if not tumultuous, still subject to the occasional controversy. Think, for example, of Damien Hirst’s carcasses floating in formaldehyde or about the insects in Huang Yong Ping’s work. The paintings, drawings, and photographs assembled in Naked Wonder do not invite such debate. Instead, the artwork seems to beckon us to share both the profound sense of wonder at nature’s “intricacies, beauty, secrets, and revelations,” as curator Colleen Sheehy puts it, and to wonder how our human actions might look like from the perspective of sentient creatures big and small, who cannot help but be impacted by our way of life. This ambiguity allows both for reveling in an old-fashioned sort of aesthetic beauty and for a very timely recognition of our human involvement in the fate of nature’s miraculous, but frail, wonders….read Schmid’s review of Naked Wonder on mnartists.org.


What: Naked Wonder: Work by Christine Baeumler, Mark Dion, and Eleanor McGough
Where: Gallery Co. in the Wyman Building, Minneapolis, MN
When: The exhibit runs through January 4, 2008
Tickets: FREE and open to the public, Monday-Friday from 10 am-5 pm.

Credit: Edge of Exuberance by Eleanor McGough

Radio mnartists: Ruth Brin


CLICK HERE to listen to Marya Morstad’s interview with Ruth Brin about her new novel, The Most Beautiful Monday in 1961

Producer Marya Morstad continues the Radio mnartists series of podcasts and KFAI radio interviews with Minnesota artists. Listen to her interview with author Ruth Brin.


Ruth Brin is a prolific writer and accomplished author, having published a memoir ( Bittersweet Berries: Growing up Jewish in Minnesota), eight children's books and four books of poetry (her most recent is  Harvest, Collected Poems and Prayers).  She served as a founder and editor of the Jewish literary magazine Identity, was a book reviewer for the Star Tribune for more than 25 years and now reviews for the local weekly, American Jewish World. She graduated from Vassar College and has an MA in American Studies from the University of Minnesota and taught at Macalester College for 10 years. At age 86, Brin has come out with her first novel, The Most Beautiful Monday in 1961 from Lerner Publishing in which six Jewish friends explore life and love on a Mississippi River journey.


What: Ruth Brin reads from The Most Beautiful Monday in 1961 (Lerner Publishing)

Where: Mount Zion Temple, Saint Paul, MN; Minneapolis Jewish Community Center

When: November 17 at 5: 30 pm (Mount Zion); November 25 at 2 pm (JCC)

Admission: FREE and open to the public

Credit: Photo of Brin appears courtesy of the author

Featured Collection: MCAD/Jerome Artists 2006–07—Ernest Arthur Bryant III, Brian Lesteberg, Cherith Lundin, Monica Sheets, Marcus Young

Relational art has entered the MCAD/Jerome Artists exhibition in a big way. In his book Relational Aesthetics, Nicholas Bourriaud describes an artistic practice that elevates the connection with the viewer and real-life experience over and above the contemplative object found on a gallery wall. Its effects are clearly found in the work we see in this year’s show: Monica Sheets’ exhibition within an exhibition; Ernest Bryant’s chicken party potlatch project; Marcus Young’s From Here to There and Beyond….continues on mnartists.org.

Read the exhibition introduction by Kristin Makholm, and see a collection of artwork MCAD/Jerome Artists 2006-07 show in the featured collection on mnartists.org.


What: MCAD/Jerome Artists 2006-07: An exhibition of new work Jerome Emerging Artists Fellowships winners

Where: MCAD Gallery, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minneapolis, MN

When: Exhibit closes November 25

Admission: FREE and open to the public


Credit: Streetlight, Minneapolis, 2007. Brian Lesteberg

You Are Here: A handpicked sampling from the events listed on mnartists.org/calendar
Classes and Workshops

Class: Revising Therese of Lisieuxrethinking women's roles in Catholicism

(Carondelet Center, Saint Paul, November 15)


Class: Papermaking with printer, illustrator and book artist Jana Pullman

(The Studio at Rush Creek, Maple Grove, November 17)


Class: Beginning Weaving on an Inkle Loom

(Weavers Guild of Minnesota, Minneapolis, November 17)


Workshop: November Portfolio Review -- artists of all skill levels and photographic processes are welcome to get feedback and pose questions

(Minnesota Center for Photography, Minneapolis, November 29)


Class: Festive Raku Ornaments—design and create your own personalized ornaments

(The Studio at Rush Creek, Maple Grove, November 29)

Credit: Image courtesy The Studio at Rush Creek



Dousing the Mirage: an audience-interactive dance-based performance

(Center for Independent Artists, Minneapolis, till November 18)


Katha: The Story—a new family holiday tradition featuring three Indian dance forms: Kathak, Bharatnatyam, and Kuchipudi

(Ritz Theater, Minneapolis, November 29-December 2)


Sol y Luna: Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre presents dancer Domingo Ortega of Jerez, Spain, directed by Susana di Palma

(Southern Theater, Minneapolis, November 29-December 2)


If You Want to Dance...DANCE!! —new works featuring performances by Bryan Gerber and Leslie Weber

(Riverland Community College, Austin, November 30)


The Nutcracker: a non-violent take on the classic story

(Schneider Theatre, Bloomington, December 1-9)


Joe Chvala and the Flying Foot Forum: a vibrant and bold percussive evening of dance and theater

(Elk River Area Arts Alliance, Elk River, December 1)

Credit: Photo by Jordan Husney appears courtesy Dousing the Mirage

Fairs and Festivals

Huddleston Holiday Fair

(Christina Huddleston School, Lakeville, November 17)


North Branch Arts Fest: Huge craft fair

(North Branch High School and Middle School, North Branch, November 17)


9 Friends Art Show: Art for your yard and garden, your bath, your walls and much more

(Gale Woods Farm, Minnetrista, December 1-2)


Taste of Many Cultures: entertainment, authentic multicultural food, and opportunities to learn about the cultures in our global community

(Crowne Plaza Riverfront Hotel, Saint Paul, December 6)


Minnehaha Academy Holiday Festival Market: items by local artisans, Scandinavian dinner, and performer and comedian Bob Stromberg of Triple Espresso fame

(Minnehaha Academy, Minneapolis, December 8)

Credit: Scarf by Jill Hunter, courtesy of the 9 Friends Art Show

Lectures and Readings

Winners of the "What Light" poetry contest read from their work: featuring Charisse Gendron, Margaret Hasse, Amy Levine, Cass Dalglish, Greg Watson, James Henderson, Andrea Matthews, Vanessa Ramos, Terri Ford and Karsten Piper

(Magers and Quinn Booksellers, Minneapolis, November 18)


Hangover Hotel: a spoken word performance by artist Lydia Lunch

(Soo Visual Arts Center, Minneapolis, November 21)


Tellabration!— a storytelling concert hosted by Loren Niemi with storytellers Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux,  John Berquist, Joan Calof, Mark Erickson (Minonagamowag), Colleen Kruse and Howard Lieberman

(Open Book, Minneapolis, November 24)


Bill Holm reads from Windows of Brimnes: An American in Iceland

(Minneapolis Central Library, Minneapolis, November 29)

Music, Film, and Video


Poetry Film Night

(Emy Frentz Arts Guild, Mankato, November 15)


Wargoon Flishe: an animated feature film by John Akre

(Ritz Theater, Minneapolis, November 19)

Chance Appropriations art activity with Beatrix*JAR and a Festival of Appropriation film screening of Coleman Miller's Uso Justo

(Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, November 29)

Annual Gus Donhowe Memorial Concert featuring Butch Thompson (piano) and Laura Sewell (cello) in an engaging holiday program

(St. Anthony Park United Church of Christ, Saint Paul,

December 2)


2007 Advent Procession: The Gregorian Singers present a visual feast of darkness and candlelight that engages the congregation in singing, prayer, and movement

(St. Paul's Church on the Hill, Saint Paul, December 2)


Monroe Crossing: an upbeat blend of classic and traditional bluegrass, bluegrass gospel and heartfelt originals

(Newhall Auditorium, Faribault, December 6)


Cherish the Ladies Celtic Christmas: instrumental talents, beautiful vocals, captivating arrangements, and stunning step dancing

(Petters Auditorium, Benedicta Arts Center, St. Joseph, December 9



Credit: Photo of Beatrix*JAR courtesy of the artists.

Sales and Galas

No Coast Craft-o-Rama: 3rd Annual Winter Craft Sale

(Midtown Global Market, Minneapolis, November 30 and December 1)


MCAD Art Sale

(Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minneapolis, November 30 and December 1)


Mark Sanislo Presents Sacred Art Showing and Sale

(Coon Rapids Civic Center, Coon Rapids, November 30)


Guardian Angels Christmas Boutique

(Guardian Angels Church, Oakdale, December 1-2)


These Elves Went to Art School: Mini Art by MN Talent —over 200 unique creations by more than 40 artists; nothing larger than four inches square

(Fox Tax, Minneapolis, November 16-December 29)


Inspecting Carol by Daniel Sullivan (Commonweal Theatre Company)

(Commonweal Theatre, Lanesboro, November 17-December 23)


Mr. Marmalade by Noah Haidle with Michael Lee and Jaime Kleiman (Walking Shadow Theatre Company)

(Red Eye Theater, Minneapolis, November 23-December 8)


Disney's High School Musical

(Wild Rose Theater, Bemidji, November 23)


Sex Across the Curriculum written and performed by Jen Tuder (Theatre Associates of Stillwater)

(Northern Vineyards Winery, Stillwater, November 30-December 9)


The Magic Dreidels (Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company)

(Hillcrest Center Theater, Saint Paul, December 6-21)

Credit: Production photo from Inspecting Carol courtesy the Commonweal Theatre Company

Visual Arts

Art at 2402: Lithographs, mixed media, oils, watercolors, sculpture, woodwork, fiber arts and weaving, glass and handcrafted bags

(Chittenden & Eastman Building, Saint Paul, November 16-17)


Threads of Community: Dunta Bulshada Iskuxirta

tapestries from the hands of Somali weavers

(Augsburg College Christensen Center, Minneapolis, November 16)


e-MERGE-ncy: An exhibition of 145 merged photographs by Ann E. Judkins

(Paradise Center for the Arts, Faribault, November 2-30)


The Five: Making the Abstract VisualFeaturing Carol Weiler, Jean Maztke, Maureen Welter, Mandy, Marly Keller

(Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts, Fridley, till November 30)

Leap of Faith 3: Casting Shadows—38 local and national artists cast light and shadow on issues of faith

(Susan Hensel Design Gallery, Minneapolis, MN, through December 28)

Credit: Jinx by Mark Ostapchuk, courtesy Art 2402

You Are Here event listings are drawn entirely from the mnartists.org calendar, so if you want to improve the odds that you'll see your happening linked here, you'd better start posting your events!

We've made it super easy to begin: here's a step-by-step guide that'll show you how to promote your own events on the new arts calendar. Browse through more up-to-the-minute events listings or post a show of your own on mnartists.org's new DIY arts events calendar.

Walker Art Center



One for the Road

Now I Get It! by Richard Hubal

Saint Paul Park artist Richard Hubal describes the whimsical piece above as an homage to Dali's surreal classic painting. "Dali has inspire my muse [and] I wanted to do a piece he has done. I did it, added to it what my strange mind made up and this seemed to be the most logical result... now I get it!" Read more about Hubal's current and upcoming projects here.

Mona, Put the Mirror Down. You Look Fine!

Editor, mnartists.org & access+ENGAGE:  Susannah Schouweiler

Project Director, mnartists.org:  Kathleen Kvern

>>Click here to read the fine print and the full credits for featured artists

access+ENGAGE is a free twice monthly e-journal offering indispensable,

fuss-free coverage of the arts in Minnesota and beyond

The mission of mnartists.org is to improve the lives of Minnesota artists and provide access to and engagement with Minnesota’s arts culture.

a project of The McKnight Foundation and Walker Art Center ©2007 mnartists.org. All rights reserved.
To unsubscribe from this email
click here