Welcome to Artcetera. Arts-and-entertainment writers and critics post movie news, concert updates, people items, video, photos and more. Share your views. Check it daily. Remain in the know. Contributors: Mary Abbe, Jon Bream, Tim Campbell, Colin Covert, Laurie Hertzel, Tom Horgen, Neal Justin, Claude Peck, Rohan Preston, Chris Riemenschneider, Graydon Royce, Randy Salas and Kristin Tillotson.
Olga Viso of Walker Art Center.
Two of three new appointees to the National Council on the Arts are from Minneapolis. Olga Viso, executive director of Walker Art Center, and Ranee Ramaswamy, founder and co-artistic director of the Ragamala Dance Company were recently named by President Obama to the council, which is the governing body of the National Endowment for the Arts.
The council, which meets three times a year, wields considerable influence. It votes on grant funding and rejections, advises on the NEA's budget and policies and gives the President recommendations on who to nominate for the National Medal of the Arts.
Viso, who as led the Walker since 2008 after a 12-year stint at the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., called the appointment, which also had to be approved by the Senate, "a huge honor. It will be a privilege to be a part of this group, to bring a new generation of thinkers to the table as well as a Minnesota presence to conversation."
Ramaswamy has been a master choreographer, performer, and teacher of the South Indian classical dance form of Bharatanatyam dance since 1978, founding Ragamala in 1992. Among her many awards and honors are 14 McKnight fellowships, a Bush fellowship and being named the Star Tribune's Artist of the Year (with co-director Aparna Ramaswamy, her daughter) in 2011.
The third appointee to the 17-member council is Rick Lowe, an artist and founder of a nonprofit that revitalizes neighborhoods in Houston. Six ex-officio legislator members on the council include two members of Congress from the Upper Midwest: Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) and Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI).
Ranee Ramaswamy (right) with her daughter and co-artistic director, Aparna Ramaswamy. Photos by Tom Wallace.
Nine Minnesota-based architecture firms won Honor Awards in the 2013 competition sposored by AIA Minnesota. Three firms won two awards each: Julie Snow Architects, HGA, and MSR. Chosen from 66 entrants, the winners were picked by a team of national jurors including Ben Gilmartin of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, New York; E.B. Min of Min l Day, San Francisco, and George Z. Nikolajevich of Cannon Design, St. Louis. The winners are:
HGA Architects and Engineers for the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center at Macalester College, St. Paul. Photo: Paul Crosby.
MSR (Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, Ltd. for the Drexel University College of Media Arts and Design URBN Center in Philadelphia, PA. Photo: Lara Swimmer.
MSR (Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, LTD.) for the Weitz Center for Creativity at Carleton College, Northfield, MN. Phooto: Brandon Stengel.
Julie Snow Architects Inc., with Ryan A+E, Inc for Target Plaza Commons in Minneapolis. Photo: Paul Crosby.
HGA Architects and Engineers for the Union Depot Multi-Modal Transit and Transportation Hub in the Lowertown neighborhood of St. Paul. Photo: Paul Crosby.
Leo A. Daly for the Minnesota Fallen Firefighters Memorial at the State Capitol Mall in St. Paul. Photo: Bill Baxley, AIA.
Salmela Architect for Hall House in Duluth, MN. Photo: Paul Crosby.
Variable Projects for the Centennial Chromagraph sculpture at the School of Architecture at the University of Minnesota College of Design. Photo: Adam Marcus.
George Costanza wasn't exactly known for paying tributes to anyone but himself. The actor who played him is another story. Jason Alexander, who won six Emmys for his work on "Seinfeld," will be at the Temple of Aaron Congregation in St. Paul as part of Honoring Our Fathers, a fundraiser created to honor the memories of the late Edward Paster and Richard "DIck" Shaller, who were both leaders in the local Jewish community.
Doors open at 6 p.m. with a keynote presentation at 7 p.m. Alexander is expected to take questions from the audience.
Student tickets are $18, general admission is $50 and reserved seats go for $100. We assume the limited $2,500 VIP packages include Festivus gifts. To obtain tickets contact email@example.com.
Aspiring designers apply from top colleges and universities around the country and world for the opportunity to intern in Walker Art Center's design office, founded by Mildred "Mickey" Friedman. The year-long internship, which is now accepting applicants, has been named the Mildred S. Friedman Design Fellowship after Friedman who headed the department from 1970 until her retirement in 1991.
Among her pioneering exhibitions were shows of furniture and designs by L.A. architect Frank Gehry (1986), the historic DeStijl movement (1986), and "Tokyo: Form and Spirit," an innovative 1989 exploration of Japanese culture that was co-organized with her husband Martin Friedman, then the museum's director.
Prior to joining the Walker, Mickey had worked as a designer for Minneapolis architect Robert Cerny. In consultation with architect Edward Larrabee Barnes she designed furniture for the museum's 1971 building, and then developed an expansive design program for the Walker. Throughout the 1970s and '80s she edited Design Quarterly, a quixotic and influential Walker publication that dealt with everything and anything design-related from Julia Child's kitchen to typography and the course of the Mississippi River.
In 1980 she established the Walker's design internship program whose participants engage in all aspects of museum work from designing brochures and publications to exhibitions and public spaces. Graduates of the program have gone on to work at Apple, Dwell, Nike and other firms and museums, to open their own studios, and to teach at colleges and universities around the country.
CAROLINE PALMER, SPECIAL TO THE STAR TRIBUNE
Choreographer Karen Sherman may be the Twin Cities’ answer to Emmy/Tony Awards host extraordinaire Neil Patrick Harris. On Tuesday night she emceed the 2013 Sage Awards for Dance at the Cowles Center and revealed a natural gift for keeping the show running smoothly while supplying a steady stream of wry one-liners.
Strolling to center stage with live DJ (and dancer) Greg Waletski providing a musical cue from his decks, Sherman modeled her tartan kilt ensemble and declared it a find from “Dolce and G’Savers.” After making the obligatory Miley Cyrus reference (“Improvising is the new twerking”) Sherman got down to the business of the evening, that is honoring all the artists who contributed to the vibrancy of the local dance community over the past 12 months.
This is the ninth year for the ceremony. Since its inception 127 panelists have seen more than 2,300 performances. The awards are named for Sage Cowles, a choreographer, performer and philanthropist who has supported dance over the years (including major funding for the Cowles Center with her late husband John). Aside from awards, the event features performances by past recipients. Last night Emily Johnson, Katie Johnson of Minnesota Dance Theatre and members of Shapiro & Smith Dance stepped into the spotlight. And the late choreographer, teacher, researcher, blogger and all-around nation dance expert John Munger was honored with a moment of silence.
This year’s program had a special emphasis on dance education, with Julie Kerr-Berry, Dance Program Director, Minnesota State University, Mankato giving the opening address. She urged the audience to think about all the teachers helping others to learn to dance everywhere from public schools to suburban studios and college campuses. “Dance is a powerful medium,” she said. “To dance makes us think differently about ourselves.” Sage panel member Judith Howard (who teaches at Carleton College) reflected fondly on her own childhood dance teacher Miss Shirley: “She had a lot of pizzaz and a questionable reputation.”
But when artist educator Florence Cobb took the stage to accept her special citation, the force of history behind Kerr-Berry’s words became especially poignant. Cobb founded the Mankato program in the 1970’s. Wearing biker-ready black leather pants and boots, the octogenarian accepted her award with a few wise words: “I’ve shared time and space and energy with all of you. And that’s all it’s about on this earth.”
Choreographer Chris Schlichting was the big winner of the evening, scooping up two awards, both for “Matching Drapes,” which premiered at Red Eye Theater in February (one for Outstanding Dance Performance and the other for Outstanding Design, shared with the team of Terrance Payne, Max Wirsing, Justin Jones, Morgan Peterson and Heidi Eckwall).
Hip hop received notice with two awards: Jason Noer for organizing the annual Groundbreaker Ballet Festival at the Cowles (Outstanding Dance Performance) while “We’re Muslim, Don’t Panic,” featuring the cast of “Mourning in America” (Amirah Sackett, Iman Siferllah-Griffin and Khadijah Siferllah-Griffin) garnered the Outstanding Dance Ensemble Award. Choreographer Sackett (whose collaborators are both just 15 years old) honored the pioneers of hip hop – “the brown and black people of the Bronx” – but acknowledged her crew is blazing new ground in the genre. “We’re three Muslim women,” she said. “And that’s not without controversy.”
From left: Sage winners Khadija Siferllah-Griffen, Amirah Sackett and Iman Siferllah-Griffen.
Other awardees included choreographer Megan Flood for “Folding in Wings” (Outstanding Dance Performance), musician/composer Butch Thompson (Outstanding Design for “Destination Twin Cities” choreographed by Sarah LaRose-Holland), Suzanne River (Outstanding Dance Educator), and Kenna Cottman, Jim Lieberthal and Sally Rousse (all in the Outstanding Dance or Performers category) Lieberthal, a longtime performer who won for his work in “Listen” created by Rosy Simas, vowed to continue dancing. “There’s always so much more to learn.”
Myron Johnson and Ballet of the Dolls were nominated in the Outstanding Dance Performance category for “Venus and Adonis” and while they didn’t win, the troupe and their entourage were among the best-dressed in attendance. Johnson himself sported a look somewhere between commodore and pirate. No one wears glamour and glitter like the Dolls, although past Sage award-winners Tara King, Theresa Madaus and Monica Thomas of Mad King Thomas were a close second in their sparkling gowns and feather boas.
But Sherman had the last word on the sartorial front. She came out wearing a blanket fastened together with some clips filched from backstage. “That’s a wrap,” she announced at the end of the show. Somewhere downtown a rimshot echoed into the night.