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Artwork by Tom Schroeder
 access+ENGAGE  the definitive alternative
  Issue #32.2

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In this Issue: Moving Pictures

For this issue, we're continuing our month-long look at the homegrown film scene, with a particular focus on those artists making independent animated shorts. Alison Morse, a writer and twenty-year veteran of the craft, offers an essay on the beauty of this "in-between form" and assembles a fantastically varied collection of independent animated shorts made by local filmmakers.

PLUS: a new batch of winning miniStories (including our grand prize-winning short from this quarter!) and a collection of new episodes from the nationally-syndicated podcast Some Assembly Required

MASHUP: A Form In-Between, an essay and collection on independent animation by Alison Morse

Elisa Takagi's short LUCY THE PIRATE AND THE ENCHANTED ISLAND A collection and short essay exploring independent, MN-made animation by writer and twenty-year veteran of the craft, Alison Morse.

That is the question people still ask me whenever I tell them that I was an animator for twenty years before becoming a writer. My answer? Usually, I just say: “I made cartoons. You know, like Disney.”

What I’ve always wanted to say is a bit more complicated. An animator's work falls somewhere in-between visual art, music, dance, acting and filmmaking. An animator makes movement happen by positioning and repositioning objects, drawings, digital images—anything that doesn’t move in real life—and figuring out the incremental positions between those positions. An animator moves between the enormous technical resources and time it takes to produce animation and the short time it takes to view it, and, as is the case for any artist, between the pulls of personal expression and making a living. Still from IMMIGRANT SONG by Mike Owens

Animators can actually make a good living working commercially. But what happens if an animator doesn’t want to sell a product, create explosions or make cute animals sing? What if she wants to be in charge of her own design and content?

That’s where the form “independent animated short” comes into play. When mnartists.org asked me to assemble a collection of the animated shorts that I liked best from the roster of artists registered on the site, I added the stipulation that those pieces be “independent” as well as animated, because I want to level the field a bit. I don’t want to judge work produced and paid for by a commercial studio next to a film someone labored over, for free, in her own basement.

I also have a bias. I love the concept of “independent animated shorts.” The form has been around since the beginning of filmmaking, when visual artists like Viking Eggeling and Oskar Fischinger tinkered around with the idea of creating visual music, one frame at a time (iTunes visualizers have a long distinguished pedigree)....continue reading on mnartists.org

CLICK HERE to read Alison Morse's introductory essay, and then GO HERE to watch the animated shorts she collected for mnartists.org.

Photo of Alison Morse by Peter Yackel

About the curator: Alison Morse’s poetry and prose have been published in Water~Stone, Rhino, The Potomac and a bunch of other places. She is currently spit-polishing a novel, The Beethoven Frieze, about animators during Yugoslavia’s collapse. For twenty years she animated everything from cigarettes and glass shards to Barbie in 3D computer models and taught at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and the University of Minnesota.

Now she runs TalkingImageConnection, an organization that brings together writers, contemporary visual artists and new audiences. The next TalkingImageConnection reading, on October 11th, is the result of a year-long collaboration between sculptor-woodworker Seth Keller and six writers at the 332 Gallery in the Northrup King Building. For more information, check the calendar on www.talkimage.org.

Credits: Still (top) from Elisa Takagi's short, Lucy the Pirate and the Enchanted Island. Still from Immigrant Song by Mike Owens (middle). Photo of Alison Morse by Peter Yackel.

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

(Deadline September 12)

CALL FOR ARTIST LIAISONS: The Southern Theater board and staff are seeking your nominations for artists who could serve as liaisons, serving in an as-yet-determined capacity, to advise future leadership on management and governance issues


JOB POSTING: Zorengo Flamenco seeks experienced production manager for upcoming series at Minnehaha Park

(Apply immediately, event dates: September 16-21)


ARTIST RETREAT/RESIDENCIES AVAILABLE: New York Mills Regional Cultural Center Artists invites artists of all disciplines to apply for a two- or four-week residency

(A stipend plus living and studio space will be provided to artist residents)


CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS: Conceptual artist/artist-in-residence for St. Paul Marcus Young  seeks volunteer performers for a "Joyful Public Action, dancing where dancing doesn't belong as a protest to standardized behavior," during the RNC

(Rehearsal 8/31 11 am-1:30 pm, Performance on Labor Day from 5-7:30 pm)


CALL FOR FIBER ARTISTS: The Stevens County Historical Society & Museum in Morris, MN invites submissions from fiber artists for a juried show, Fantastic Fibers

(Submission deadline: October 24)


CALL FOR VOLUNTEER USHERS: Volunteer to be an usher for the Walker Art Center's upcoming production of Ocean by Merce Cunningham and John Sage and get a free ticket

(Shows September 11-13 at the bottom of a granite quarry in Waite Park near St Cloud, MN)


CALL FOR FILMMAKERS: Big Sky Documentary Film Festival seeks submissions in film or video, in any genre, subject matter, production dates, or lengths

(Regular submission deadline: September 1; Final deadline: October 20)


CALL FOR ART: Fox Tax Gallery and guest curator Emma Berg seek submissions for ART FORM 1040: US IDEALISM RETURNS

(Deadline: September 30)

Credit: Dancer Andrea Weber from Merce Cunningham Dance Company's Ocean (Photo: Cameron Wittig for the Walker Art Center)

Homepage: Featured arts writing and collections from MnArts magazine

LITERATURE: A Reporter Investigates the Darkest Story of His Life: His Own

Writer Michèle Campbell delves into David Carr's provocative new book, The Night of the Gun, in which the author uses investigative journalism techniques to uncover the truth about his drug-fogged past, and in so doing re-imagines the boundaries of memoir.


It started way before he lost his job at a Twin Cities business magazine and before he wheeled through dozens of downtown and south side bars, or cooked up back door deals with sketchy characters. It began even before he snorted, smoked, and shot up those countless lines of cocaine…continue reading on mnartists.org


Click here to read Michèle Campbell's profile of MN-journalist-turned-New York Times columnist, former junkie, and proud father of twin girls David Carr's genre-bending new memoir





The Night of the Gun: A Reporter Investigates the Darkest Story of His Life. His Own by David Carr (Simon and Schuster, 2008)

MUSIC: Bought Any Good Records Lately?

Duluth music writer Chris Godsey investigates the quiet resurgence of vinyl among audiophiles and finds there may just be more to the trend than simple nostalgia.

Bob Fuchs should host a radio show about music industry life—a podcast, at least. He's manager of the Minneapolis Electric Fetus, where he's worked for 22 years, since his early twenties. Doing that job, in a city of rarefied popular-music influence, gives him a privileged perspective on artists, labels, trends, and a lot of other stuff that most of us experience only through layers of remove. Fuchs doesn't just work in the industry, he lives itcontinue reading on mnartists.org

Click here to read Chris Godsey's report on the enduring retro-appeal of the record

Credit: Photo courtesy of Jerry Raskin's Needle Doctor in Minneapolis, purveyor of turntables and other audio equipment since 1979.

VISUAL ART: A Summer Feast

Critic Mason Riddle took in the second annual Summer Invitational group show at Thomas Barry Fine Arts and found the selection of work to be varied and satisfying, a good example of Barry's unique curatorial vision.


With the dog days of summer upon us, the art world barely sounds a whimper. But, when the work of a deceased artist appears in a summer invitational show, you know that gallery has it goin’-on, heat doldrums or not (apparently, even with the Other Side).continue reading on mnartists.org

Click here to read Mason Riddle's assessment of this strange and satisfying mélange of work

What: Summer Invitational II
Where: Thomas Barry Fine Arts, Minneapolis, MN
When: The exhibition is on view through August 29 (Hurry!)
Admission is FREE and open to the public


Credit: Alexa Horochowski, Arcadia III, 2008, bronze, 15 x 14 x 12 inches (Image courtesy of Thomas Barry Fine Arts)

miniStories: August 2008

This month's batch of four winning miniStories from the late summer-early fall quarter, including this cycle's grand prize-winner, is:

      GRAND PRIZE WINNER: Shoo, Shoo by John Jodzio
      Buried Treasure by Damian Sheridan
      Umbrella Etiquette by Sarah Gunther
      Squirrels by Brian Beatty


About the series: miniStories is mnartists.org's quarterly flash fiction competition. This new literary series is coordinated by Electric Arc Radio's Geoff Herbach (author of newly released novel, The Miracle Letters of T. Rimburg, published by Three Rivers Press), and it showcases previously unpublished short stories by Minnesota writers. These winning short-short stories are selected by authors, editors, and publishing industry veterans from across the country.

Click here to begin browsing this month's collection of winning flash fiction


Check the News/Opportunities listings on mnartists.org next week for a new call for flash fiction submissions!


Credit: miniStories logo design by Kelly Munson

TEN: Susannah Schouweiler, Editor of mnartists.org

This second installment of our monthly featured collection series, TEN, offers a personal introduction to another staffer on mnartists.org's small team: Susannah Schouweiler, editor for the arts writing and criticism in MnArts Magazine and access+ENGAGE


I think this gig has made an obsessive of me. To tell the truth, I've probably always carried a tendency toward the neurotic, but this job has taken those latencies and really brought them to the fore. And when I wake up to face the day and poke my way to the laptop with a cup of coffee in hand, it's that very fact that gives me daily cause to feel grateful...continue reading on mnartists.org


Click here to browse through an idiosyncratic collection reflecting Schouweiler's background and interests, and for the scoop on her dad's startling link to the Munsingwear penguin


Credit: Photo by Tom Schouweiler

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


Spiritual Tune Up - access your core creativity through Kundalini Yoga and Writing Circles
(Rene Dance Studio, Minneapolis, August 30; September 6)

Display Sculpture Techniques Weekend Intensive
(DEI Studio, Minneapolis, September 5-6)

Classes: Hauser Dance Fall Open House - Turn, Toss and Spin into Fall
(Hauser Dance Studios, Minneapolis, September 6)

Class: Memoir Writing Group
(Mill City Writers' Workshop, Hopkins, September 8-October 27)

Class: Cone to Cloth to Cape
(Weavers Guild of Minnesota, Minneapolis, September 9-November 22)

Credit: Image courtesy of DEI

Festivals and Group Shows


Reflection – a fusion of music, dance and poetry
(Bloomington Art Center, Bloomington, September 5-7)

Annual CVA Faculty Exhibition - works by faculty who teach at the College of Visual Arts

(College of Visual Arts Gallery, Saint Paul, August 28-September 13)

Celebrating Connections - a group show celebrating 40 years in the career of Douglas Eckheart
(Luther College, Decorah, IA, September 3-October 5)

2008 Minnesota State Fair - a juried exhibit of fine art
(State Fair Fine Arts Building, Saint Paul, through September 1)

American Politics SideShow - a day-long series of events with choices of speakers, tours, films and performers
(Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis, September 4)

Ely's Fall Harvest Moon Festival - 125+ Booths of Arts, Crafts and Ethnic Foods
(Whiteside Park, Ely, September 5-7)

Duluth Historic Armory Art Fair - a benefit for the Armory Arts & Music Center
(Duluth Historic Armory, Duluth, September 7)

Salon 300: Minnesota State Fair Overflow Show - featuring both professional and up-and-coming artists
(Hopkins Center for the Arts, Hopkins, through August 30)

Minnesota State Fair: Weavers Guild Booth in the Creative Arts Building - Demonstrations
(Creative Activities Building, MN State Fairgrounds, Saint Paul, through Sept 1)

Film and Video

Cinema of Urgency: The Listening Project - a cinematic journey to find the answer to "What does the world think of America? "
(Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, August 28)

Sneak Preview – Love: A Documentary - part of the Underground Film Festival
(Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minneapolis, August 30)

Anne Wilson & Shawn Decker present Mess - a collaborative video and sound installation
Denier Art Gallery, Saint Paul, September 4-October 9)

Crawford - the political documentary of the year!
(Oak Street Cinema, Minneapolis, August 29-31)

Impact Film Festival '08 - a four-day event showcasing social-consciousness-themed films, plus an engaging group of panel discussions
(Oak Street Cinema, Minneapolis, August 1-4

Credit: Still from The Listening Project (courtesy of the Walker Art Center)

Lectures and Readings

Geotÿpøgrafika Nuovo: Global Issues in Graphic Design and Typography
(Minnesota Center for Book Arts, Minneapolis, August 29)

Doorstep Democracy: Face-to-Face Politics in the Heartland by James H. Read - book signing and talk
(Common Good Books, Saint Paul, September 2)

Artist Nexus Meeting - artists join for an informal networking and professional development series
(Duluth Art Institute: Lincoln Park Site, Duluth, September 3)

Mack Lecture: Merce Cunningham, "Talking Dance"
(Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, September 7)

Books & Bars: Zeroville by Steve Erickson
(Bryant Lake Bowl Theater, Minneapolis, September 9)

Bart Schneider reads from his new literary mystery The Man in the Blizzard
(Virginia Swedenborgian Church, Saint Paul, August 31)

Spike Carlsen on A Splintered History of Wood
(Common Good Books, Saint Paul, August 28)

Credit: Image by Erik Brandt, courtesy of the artist and MCBA


Nikki Schultz CD Release - Lost and Found (and Lost Again)
(331 Club, Minneapolis, August 28)

Radiohead Project Debut - a 7-piece group of seasoned musicians performing interpretations of Radiohead music
(The Terminal Bar, Minneapolis, September 4)

Wordless Music Series - pairs rock and electronic musicians with classical and chamber music performers
(Southern Theater, Minneapolis, September 5)

Peace Island Picnic - Great musicians of diverse ethnicities and styles committed to the cause of peace
(Harriet Park, Saint Paul, September 6)

Bill & Kate Isles in concert with Canadian fiddler April Verch
(County Seat Players' Performing Arts Center, Cloquet, September 9)

Brock McGuire Band - Direct from Ireland
(Paul & Sheila Wellstone Center, Saint Paul, September 9)
Openings and Parties



Jean Charles Duffaut from Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. DUFO @ ArTrujillo Gallery
(ArTrujillo Gallery, Minneapolis, Opening Reception August 29, Show runs through September 30)

Art Croquet and Other Recent Works by Bill Gorcica - quirky digital drawings and nature-based interactive projects
(Swan Song Contemporary Art, Maiden Rock, WI, opening August 30, Show runs through October 5)

The UnConventional Gathering Place - theater, multimedia projects, lectures, readings and visual arts
(Intermedia Arts, Minneapolis, Opening night reception August 31)

Paper Tiger: New Works by John Vogt - dissecting our culture both past and present
(Soo Visual Arts Center, Minneapolis, Reception September 5, Show runs from September 1-October 26)

Animal Art II: Critical Habitat - featuring local, national and international artists
(Altered Esthetics Gallery, Minneapolis, Opening Reception September 5, Show runs from September 4-27)

Ryan McGinness: The Seven Deadly Sins, integrated paintings and wall drawings
(Franklin Art Works, Minneapolis, Opening Reception September 5, Show runs from September 5-November 1)

Kathleen Moroney's Between the Past and the Future - an installation of lit porcelain globes
(Augsburg College Sateren Music Hall, Minneapolis, Artist Reception September 6, Artist Talk September 10)

Americans Who Tell the Truth – an artist talk hosted by members of The Traffic Zone Center for Visual Art
(Traffic Zone Gallery, Minneapolis, Opening Reception September 18, Exhibition runs September 1-30)


Dérive 2 - Flaneur Productions' annual evening of short performance works
(Open Eye Figure Theatre, Minneapolis, through August 30)

The Wide Stance - Political Theater Comedy Collective
(The Playwrights Center, Minneapolis, August 29-31)

Sharon Hayes presents Revolutionary Love 2: I am Your Best Fantasy - a large scale public performance
(State Capitol Grounds, Saint Paul, September 1)

Sample Night Live September show - a dozen 10-minute previews of upcoming and ongoing events
(Bryant Lake Bowl Theater, Minneapolis, September 3)

Credit: Image courtesy of Sharon Hayes and Revolutionary Love 2: I Am Your Best Fantasy

Visual Arts


Translating Politics - an exhibition of artists exploring political themes in their work
(Northrup King Building, Minneapolis, September 1)

Through These Eyes - Photographs by Terrance Davis
(Stevens Square Center for the Arts, Minneapolis, through August 31)

Songs of Returning, Both Silent and Aloud - (Domestic Struggle Pt. Three) - appraising relationships to the land
(Art of This Gallery, Minneapolis, through September 7)

A Portrait of America - various artists' interpretation of this theme
(AZ Gallery, Saint Paul, through September 7)

A Child's Hope - an exhibition by the Children's Book Illustrators Guild of Minnesota
(Owatonna Art Center, Owatonna, September 9-November 1)

Just Looking - a mix of traditional media, projection and live video
(Susan Hensel Gallery, Minneapolis, through August 29)

Minneatures by PLASTICGOD - dubbed "the 21st Century Warhol" with a personal twist on celebrity caricatures
(Soo Visual Arts Center, Minneapolis, September 1-October 26)

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

PODCAST: Some Assembly Required

Listen to a collection of recent episodes of the nationally syndicated broadcast, Some Assembly Required

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. Since its inception in 1999, Nelson has produced over 100 artist features, and interviewed everyone from John Oswald, Steinski and The Evolution Control Committee, to Christian Marclay, Negativland and DJ Spooky, providing a variety of unique perspectives on the nature of this daring and creative style of expression. hosted by Minnesota artist Jon Nelson, on mnartists.org. This month’s highlights include a number of longer form compositions by a painter, an experimental composer and a college professor.

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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