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Art by MNfashion FLASH winner Nic Marshall Photography

 access+ENGAGE  the definitive alternative
  Issue #30.2

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In this Issue: Yarnspinners

The variety of work highlighted in this issue attests to the fact that compelling storytelling happens in any medium: strong visual narrative is a central element running through all the winning fashion photography for this round of MNfashion FLASH. The innovative online creative endeavor, Northography, pairs visual art with poetry for the sake of finding a good story. And the centerpiece of this issue, an original tale by our miniStories Grand Prize-winning author David Bengtson, offers haunting, graceful testimony to the potency of a well-told yarn.

PLUS: A look at the virtual writers' workshop, Northography, and the MN writers who find their inspiration there

STORY: The Easter Rabbits by David Bengtson

mnartists.org is proud to present The Easter Rabbits, an original short story by David Bengtson, the miniStories spring 2008 Grand Prize-winning author

when I discovered that he had hidden there, in an old, empty, heavy ammunition shell that stood at attention in a dark corner, all of the girlie magazines that he had found at the Stink River Dump. While I was growing up, Richard lived just a few houses away, so when I was out looking for something to do, his place was usually my first stop. Instead of ringing a doorbell or knocking, we always stood near the back door and yelled the name of our friend: “Hey Richard....Hey Richard,” with the last syllable, a descending minor third. If no one answered, I crossed the railroad tracks to the house near the swamp and yelled for Possum. Sometimes Richard and I went to Possum’s together.

We never knew where the tracks originated or how far they went. We did know that a train with an engine, a few cars, and a caboose went past twice a day, to and from somewhere. Usually the car doors were open and the cars, seemingly, empty. The train traveled slowly enough so that we could hide along the embankment at the edge of the tracks and, as the train passed, dig our feet into the crushed rock and gather enough speed to propel us to the train, where we could grab onto one of the ladders on the side of each car, ride until we saw the man in the caboose shaking his fist at us, then drop off and hightail it out of there....continue reading the story on mnartists.org

CLICK HERE to read David Bengtson's lyrical elegy for childhood's sorrows, The Easter Rabbits, in its entirety on mnartists.org

About the author: David Bengtson lives in Long Prairie, Minnesota, where he taught English at the high school from 1968-2002. His most recent book is Broken Lines: Prose Poems from Juniper Press in St. Paul.


miniStoriesCLICK HERE to read through the newly published miniStories for June, which will round out the complete cycle of flash fiction winners from the spring 2008 quarter

Now, we're looking for more stories! You have only a few days remaining to submit your own flash fiction for the summer 2008 cycle of miniStories. CLICK HERE for the full call for Minnesota fiction writers.

And, remember, each miniStories cycle has an entirely new panel of authors and publishing veterans serving as jurors. So, even if you submitted last time and your story wasn't chosen as a winner, it's worth your while to resubmit your work to their fresh eyes in this round—but hurry! The submission deadline is coming up June 30.

Credits: Artwork (top) Ed and Flo by Amy Rice, handcut stencil and spraypaint, 8" x 10", 2004. Logo design for miniStories (bottom) by Kelly Munson

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

Artist Opportunities




»CLICK HERE for a daily-updated list of many, many more opportunities for Minnesota artists in every discipline on mnartists.org

CALL FOR MINNESOTA WRITERS: miniStories, a new literary series by mnartists.org, is seeking flash fiction in any genre from local writers

(Deadline June 30)

CALL FOR MINNESOTA MUSICIANS: mnSpin, mnartists.org's music series, is taking song submissions from local musicians for a new round in this groundbreaking competition

(Deadline July 7)

CALL FOR ART: The UnConvention is looking for artist-designed political yard sign designs for a nationwide competition, My Yard Our Message. PUBLIC VOTING ON THE WINNING DESIGNS OPENS JULY 1

(Submission deadline is June 30)

CALL FOR VISUAL ARTISTS: Space 144, mnartists.org's unique exhibition space at Minneapolis Central Library is taking proposals from visual artists and others for the fall 2008 exhibition cycle

(Deadline for proposal submissions is noon July 7)

CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS: mnartists.org is looking for folks to man the booth this year at the Minnesota State Fair

CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS FOR A PUBLIC PERFORMANCE: In the spirit of Stonewall-era gay liberation movements, NY artist Sharon Hayes and 70-100 local participants will recite a speech in unison to publicly demonstrate the relationship between love and politics during the 2008 Republican National Convention

JOB OPENINGS: Artist League Studios has a number of openings for graphic and web designers, craftsmen, laborer/apprentices, and interns

CALL FOR ARTISTS: The Dahl Arts Center is looking for artists working on innovative approaches to traditional or contemporary forms of "The Art of Personal Adornment" to submit proposals for a juried show

(Submission deadline is July 1)

CALL FOR FINE CRAFTS: The 2008 Art in the Round Contest is a publicly juried, online competition featuring 3-dimensional, creative interpretations of the vessel form, including bowls, platters, glasses, vases, etc

(Deadline August 15)

CALL FOR PAINTERS: G Marketing Group and Belvedere Vodka are looking for artists to do live paintings and/or body painting in the Minneapolis Market during the month of July

Homepage: Featured arts writing and collections from MnArts magazine

VISUAL ART: What's In a Name?

Critic Julie Caniglia weighs in on Rosalux Gallery's annual group show, Open Door, which highlights work by artists outside the collective; in the process, she notes the inherent problem in playing fast and loose with the meaning of the "juried" art show.


Tradition dictates that summer is the season for group shows and juried exhibitions, smorgasbords that don't demand too much of a gallery or its visitors. Rosalux Gallery, a professionally run collective of 25 artists, has just such a summer show, now in its fourth year and known as Open Door; for this annual juried exhibition, the collective invites submissions of work from non-member artists. It's an admirable practice for the Rosalux artists to turn over their space to these outside artists every year, and I don't want to quibble with terminology and exhibition protocol at the expense of addressing the actual art in this show, but ... well, I kind of do.continue reading on mnartists.org


Click here to read Julie Caniglia's trenchant observations on both the inner workings of juried shows and about the varied artwork in the group show, Open Door

What: Open Door 4
Where: Rosalux Gallery, Minneapolis, MN
When: Exhibition runs through June 29, 2008
Admission is FREE and open to the public

COMMENTARY: What is the State of the Arts in Minneapolis?

On the evening of June 12, the Minneapolis Arts Commission invited a panel of arts leaders (from a handful of the city's most influential arts organizations) to participate in a discussion at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts with the aim of taking stock of "the current state of arts in Minneapolis and how to move it forward." mnartists.org asked arts administrator and critic Michael Fallon to attend the event and report back with his impressions on the evening's conversation.


If you happened to miss the first fifteen minutes of the recent panel discussion on “Minneapolis’ artistic future,” sponsored by the Minneapolis Arts Commission, you didn’t miss much. In what best can be described as an excruciating exercise of intensive local arts spin, early attendees to the event were treated to a host of thought-terminating clichés from Minneapolis City Council President Barbara Johnson and from representatives of the Walker Art Center, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Minnesota Orchestra, Loft Literary Center, Guthrie Theater, and McKnight Foundation.continue reading on mnartists.org

Click here to read Michael Fallon's case for increased candor and realism in the public conversation about civic support for the arts

Credit: Photo by Will Lager

THEATER: Shakespeare in the Parking Lot

Theater maven Christy DeSmith attended the new all-female, circus-themed rendition of the bard's bloodthirstiest tale, Titus Andronicus, which is being staged in a charter school parking lot. Read on for the pleasures and disappointments she found in the show.


Severed limbs, pickled human heads, and fake blood spilling everywhere: these are but some of the tricks employed by the feminist theater troupe Swearing Jack Productions and director Natalie Novacek to modernize Shakespeare’s bloodiest play, Titus Andronicus, with an unconventional, all-woman cast.

The production purportedly takes inspiration from a “'30s dustbowl carnival.” The set prominently features a large sign painted with the words “Circus Roman,” which is flanked by two spinning wheels of death..continue reading on mnartists.org


Click here to read Christy DeSmith's engaging review of this unusual performance

What: Titus by William Shakespeare
Where: Southside Family Charter School Parking Lot
2123 Clinton Ave S. Mpls, MN 55404
(No seating is available bring your own chairs and blankets)
When: June 23, 27, 28, 29; all shows start at 7:30 pm
Tickets: $10, Box Office 612-872-4223 or tickets@swearingjack.com

LITERATURE: Writer, Interrupted

Nationally acclaimed author Marya Hornbacher talks with Hannah Dentinger about her new memoir, Madness: A Bipolar Life, which offers an unflinchingly candid glimpse into a life periodically upended by mental illness.


One day in 1997 Marya Hornbacher rifles through the phone book, looking for a psychiatrist. Any psychiatrist. She settles on a Dr. Beedle. “A man named Beedle,” she reasons, “can’t be all bad.” Later that day, Hornbacher perches on a chair in Dr. Beedle’s office.


          “What brings you here today?” he asks.
          “I’m going crazy.”
          “Well, don’t beat around the bush,” he says. “Jump right in.”

Hornbacher’s new memoir abides by that maxim.continue reading on mnartists.org

Click here to read Hannah Dentinger's revealing profile of this articulate, ferociously intelligent author

Visit the author's website for detailed information on upcoming readings and live appearances throughout the state.

PODCAST: Some Assembly Required (June 2008)

Hosted by Minnesota artist Jon Nelson, Some Assembly Required features sample-based music and audio art by a variety of artists and groups working with bits and pieces of their media environments, giving something back to the cultural landscape from which they so enthusiastically appropriate.

This month’s highlights include a sampled sampler, another Presidential theme and an interview with one half of the sound collage duo, Nubile G & The Spurious Whiz continue reading on mnartists.org

Click here to listen to all the June episodes of this nationally syndicated podcast on mnartists.org

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


Class: Fused Glass Tiles: An Introduction to Glass Fusing
(Grand Marais Art Colony, Grand Marais, June 27-29)

Class: Solarplate Intaglio: An Introduction
(Grand Marais Art Colony, Grand Marais, June 28-29)

Class: Beginning Spinning: Weekend Intensive
(Weavers Guild of Minnesota, Minneapolis, June 28-29)

Class: Kids Make Sculpture workshops - kids create their own 3-D work with resident artists
(Franconia Sculpture Park, Franconia, June 28, July 19, August 23)

Class: Art on the Road - Children's art camp
(ArtiCulture, Minneapolis, June 30-July 3)

Art Car Making Workshop - hosted by Tom Edwards and the Leather Van
(Intermedia Arts, Minneapolis, June 19, July 3, 10 and 17)

Class: Summer Intensive Youth Workshop with world-renowned Vaganova Academy faculty member, Marina Osipova
(Academy of Russian Ballet, Eden Prairie, July 7-18)

Small Bronze Sculpture & Functional Art Workshop
(White Bear Center for the Arts, White Bear Lake, July 8, 12, 17)

Credit: Photo courtesy of Franconia Sculpture Park


Trisha Brown Dance Company - The company remounts four important site-based works from the 1970s
(Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, July 5)

Artery 24 - twenty-four hours of performance and new media
(The Soap Factory, Minneapolis, July 5-6)

Merce My Way: Photographs by Mikhail Baryshnikov

(Weinstein Gallery, Minneapolis, exhibition runs through July 20)

Credit: Mikhail Baryshnikov, Untitled #5, 2007. 30" x 40," Digital C-print mounted to sintra. Signed and dated on verso. Print 1 from edition of 15

Festivals and Group Shows

2008 Pride Festival - many arts organizations booths and loads o' prizes
(Loring Park, Minneapolis, June 28-29)

Park Point Art Fair - 120 of the region's finest artists and crafts people exhibiting and selling their work
(Park Point Recreation Area, Duluth, June 28-29)

MCAD/McKnight Fellows Exhibition 2008 - an exhibition of work by recipients of the 2007/08 McKnight Artist Fellowships for Visual Artists
(Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minneapolis. Opens July 2 and runs from July 2-August 10)

Credit: March by Megan Vosseler, one of the artists with work in the MCAD/McKnight Fellows Exhibition 2008

Lectures and Readings

Fresh Art! June Program on keeping studio art blogs
(Saint Anthony Park Public Library, Saint Paul, June 26)

The People's University: Summer of '73: The Year that Changed Baseball Forever
(Minneapolis Central Library, Minneapolis, June 26)

Living Consciously, Dying Gracefully book signing by local authors Nancy Manahan and Becky Bohan
(Common Good Books, Saint Paul, June 29)

Superpowers by David Schwartz – a reading by an author with "a keen eye for both popular culture and the harshness of human nature"
(Common Good Books, Saint Paul, July 3)

The Gunflint Cabin: A Northwoods Memoir - John Henricksson reads from his memoir
(Common Good Books, Saint Paul, July 6)

Soap Boxing Poetry Slam - the '07/'08 season's top eight spoken word artists
(The Artists' Quarter, Saint Paul, July 7)

Split Rock Soirée - readings and artists' talks with Split Rock's 2008 faculty
(University of Minnesota- Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, July 8)

ScriptNight at the Ritz: Incarnation
(Ritz Theater, Minneapolis, July 8)

Music & Film and Video

mnSpin Listening Party – hear a sampling of some of MN's winning mnSpin musicians in this live showcase of local talent

(Grumpy's, Minneapolis, June 28)

4th Annual Ten Second Film Festival – highlighting video ephemera from cell phones, digital cameras, 007 pens
(The Soap Factory, Minneapolis, July 4)

The Living End: Remixed and Remastered
(Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, June 28)

Screening of Parting Glances
(The Heights Theater, Minneapolis, June 29)

Screening of animation short, Maybe - part of the Saginaw Film Festival Short Film Contest
(Pit and Balcony Theatre, Saginaw, WI, June 28)

Venice Gas House Trolley - music, mayhem and performance poetry
(The Dinkytowner, Minneapolis, June 28)

Aviette CD Release Party for The Way We Met
(Triple Rock Social Club, Minneapolis, June 28)

Community Concert/Community Celebration with Heatherlyn Music
(Harvest Moon Coffee House, Burnsville, June 29)

Wahoo Country Music Festival- featuring traditional country music and bluegrass
(Wahoo, Nebraska, June 24-29)

Stillwater Music Festival - honors Minnesota's 150th year with an all Scandinavian program
(Washington County Historic Courthouse, Stillwater, June 26)

Openings and Parties



Mezzolago Art Gallery's "Feast for the Senses" Summer Opening Bash
(Mezzolago Art Gallery, Minneapolis, June 26)

Kathy Braud: Watercolor Paintings at The Path Less Traveled Art Gallery
(The Path Less Traveled Art Gallery, Nisswa, June 27)

HERE: Book Art and Works on Paper by GLBT Minnesota Artists  
(Minnesota Center for Book Arts, Minneapolis, June 27)

Terra et Celestia at Vine Arts Center - works in clay and on canvas by Robert Everest and Rob House
(Vine Arts Center, Minneapolis, Opening June 28, Show runs June 28-August 10)

Down on the Farm 5 - Iron Pour - workshops, mold making, music and food
(Ronald Ludeking Farm, Decorah, IA, June 24-29)

ARThouse presents work by St. Cloud artist Bill Gorcica

(ARThouse, New London, July 16)


Queertopia: A cabaret celebration of queer love
(Intermedia Arts, Minneapolis, June 26-28)

Comedian Amy Anderson Live! at The Illusion Theater
(Illusion Theater, Minneapolis, June 27-28)

Povera – a new performance by Jaime Carrera on the economic struggles of the working artist  
(The Soap Factory, Minneapolis, July 5)

Open Eye Theatre Puppet Show: Juan Bobo - part of the summer driveway tour
(Pioneer Park, Stillwater, June 27)


Visual Arts




CVA Alumni Exhibition - art and design work by CVA graduates
(College of Visual Arts Gallery, Saint Paul, June 27-July 19)

Velocity: The Art of Motion - automotive fine art exhibition on the former dealer lot of Suburban Chevrolet
(Hopkins Center for the Arts, Hopkins, June 28-August 3)

ConVergence Art Show - Fantasy/Science Fiction themed art show
(Sheraton Hotel, Bloomington, July 3-6)

John Smaby Urban Improvisations - digital photographs of the urban landscape
(AZ Gallery, Saint Paul, July 4-27)

Order, Happiness and Other Fictional Perceptions Exhibition
(Fox Tax Gallery, Minneapolis, June 28)

Situations from Other Dimensions - Ethan Heidlebaugh Ink Drawings
(CorAzon, Minneapolis, July 3-31)

Heavy Weather: Tim Tozer

(Groveland Gallery, Minneapolis, runs through July 12)

Credit: Distant and Savage Land by Tim Tozer, 2008. Oil on canvas, 60" x 65".

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 member-driven, DIY arts events calendar.

Walker Art Center

One for the Road

The fact that you are reading this right now illustrates how internet technology has made it possible for those with like interests to engage in common discussion at any time, anywhere in the world. Email, websites, blogs, instant messaging and other technologies are widely available, and have become commonplace tools in the creative environment. One such tool is Northography.com, begun in April 2006 as a collaborative literary website for poets and writers living in our region.

Continue on to mnartists.org to read Northography proprietor, Britt Fleming's mini-history of this unique MN-based, grassroots writers' workshop, followed by a sampling of some of the poets and authors from around the state who are finding inspiration there.

"Stimulus" for the Northography writers from the

week of 2/24/08: a photo by one of their own,

Drive-By Shooting by Mona Ruff-Saer

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

Project Director, mnartists.org: Scott Stulen

Community Liaison, mnartists.org: Will Lager

News and Opportunities Coordinator/You Are Here Wrangler: Pat Parnow

>>Click here to read the fine print and the full credits

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 ©2008 mnartists.org. All rights reserved.
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