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Posts about Minnesota artists

Coen + Partners, Minneapolis landscape architects, win national award

Posted by: Mary Abbe Updated: May 5, 2015 - 5:56 PM

Shane Coen, file photo by David Brewster, Star Tribune

Coen + Partners, a Minneapolis landscape architecture firm, has won a National Design Award from Cooper Hewitt, the Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City.

Established in 2000 by the White House Millennium Council, the National Design Awards promote good design as a "humanistic tool in shaping the world." Recipients will be honored at a gala dinner October 15 in New York City.

The New York-based museum announced 11 award winners including a posthumous Lifetime Achievement citation to Michael Graves who died March 12, age 80. Graves is best known for bringing high style and elegant fuction to a series of popular, low-priced products that he produced for Target, Corp. Graves also designed The Target Wing, a $50 million quasi-neoclassical addition to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts that opened in 2006.

Founded by Shane Coen in 1991, Coen + Partners is a 12 person firm that prides itself on collaborative, environmentally sensitive landscapes using native plants. It has worked in more than 20 states and 10 countries. Locally it is best known for the prairie landscaping at the Jackson Meadow housing project near Marine on St. Croix and for terraced landscaping at the Hazelden Foundation in Center City.

The firm's present projects include redesigning Nicollet Mall with James Corner Field Operations, redoing a plaza at the Department of Transportation in St. Paul, and working on the Minnesota Senate Building at the State Capitol in St. Paul. Elsewhere its projects include Washington Square Park in Kansas City, Missouri and a masterplan for the King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Additional 2015 National Design Awards and their recipients are:

Director's Award: Jack Lenor Larsen

Design Mind: Rosanne Haggerty

Corporate & Institutional Achievement: Heath Ceramics

Architecture Design: MOS Architects

Communication Design: Project Projects

Fashion Design: threeASFOUR

Interaction Design: John Underkoffler

Interior Design: Commune'

Product Design: Stephen Burks

Minnesota Museum of American Art names new development director

Posted by: Mary Abbe Updated: April 7, 2015 - 12:22 PM

Theresa Sweetland, Director of Development and External Relations, Minnesota Museum of American Art

The  Minnesota Museum of American Art (MMAA) in St. Paul has hired Theresa Sweetland as its new Director of Development and External Relations starting April 27. Sweetland has headed the Minneapolis neighborhood organization Intermedia Arts for the past six years, serving there in the dual role of Executive/Artistic Director.

In a valedictory announcement, Intermedia board chair Andrea Jenkins credited Sweetland with having "successfully revived [Intermedia]  from near death in 2009 to our current position of strength and impact." Intermedia immediately named Julie Bates MacGillis to be the organization's acting executive director for the next six months while the board searches for a new director. A writer and spoken-word poet, Bates MacGillis is presently the Associate Director of Intermedia. She also recently received a Joyce Grant from the Arts Professional Development Fund for Emerging Leaders of Color.

At the MMAA Sweetland is expected to strengthen ties to the institution's current funders, solicit new revenue, increase the museum's membership, and broaden its visibility through marketing and communications.

The MMAA now presents temporary exhibitions of new work by Minnesota-based artists in a "Project Space" that's open three days a week (Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays) in the historic Pioneer Endicott Building near Lowertown. The site is adjacent to the Green Line of the light rail system connecting St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Most of the museum's 4000 piece collection is presently in storage or on loan to exhibitions that travel the region. It organized the show "Modern Spirit: The Art of George Morrison" which is on view at the Minnesota History Center through April 26.

It's a spider! It's a mosquito! It's "Insectula!"

Posted by: Colin Covert Updated: March 12, 2015 - 6:28 PM
Where's the mosquito repellant?  Photo: Digital Melies

Where's the mosquito repellant? Photo: Digital Melies

Sometimes things that are deliberately ridiculous are big fun because they’re intentionally silly. Case in point, “Insectula!,” a micro-budget fan fiction film for admirers of B movies from 1950 to yesterday.

By far the most ambitious giant monster from space movie ever shot in White Bear Lake, it makes its Midwest debut at 7:30 and 10:30 p.m. tonight at the Theatres at Mall of America. It shows twice nightly Friday through March 19 at 7:30 and 9:55 p.m. with 12:05 a.m. late shows Friday and Saturday.

Viewers who thrill to inside jokes about cult filmmaker Ed Wood’s stinkers, delightfully gross bloodshed, and the sort of moviemaking that puts as many attractive actresses in skimpies as possible will admire this proudly, shamelessly,  gloriously brainless production. It boasts the sort of unlikely plot that made “Sharknado” a cult smash – a man-eating mosquito-spider hybrid from another world splashes into White Bear Lake with a powerful appetite. Fear novelist R.L. Stine called the cut he viewed "a hilariously bad horror movie."

Four years in the making, “Insectula!” began in 2010 as a feature involving more family and friends than Hollywood talent. Mike Peterson, an art school graduate turned computer programmer did the script, direction, camerawork and PC-powered visual effects. His wife Danielle Cezanne, education director of the White Bear Center for the Arts, produced. Their daughter Arielle Cezanne plays the female lead, a wise casting choice, because she is charming. Peterson’s friend Pasquale Pilla plays the hero, an ineffective government agent who investigates after a mysterious life form pulls his lady friend to the bottom of White Bear Lake in many small pieces. When the alien mosquito-spider creature goes on a mad blood sucking rampage against the state capitol, the endangered occupants of downtown St. Paul include the couple’s little dog Kip. It’s 101 minutes of hoots.

Ace gallery director Dyani White Hawk Polk resigns AMRG post

Posted by: Mary Abbe Updated: March 10, 2015 - 2:20 PM

Artist and gallery director Dyani White Hawk Polk with artist Greg Bellanger at All My Relations Gallery; Star Tribune staff photo by Joel Koyama.

Award winning artist and curator Dyani White Hawk Polk has unexpectedly resigned her post as director of All My Relations Gallery (AMRG) in south Minneapolis, effective March 17.

During her four year tenure at AMRG, she combined inclusiveness and administrative savvy with a keen eye for top quality contemporary and traditional American Indian art, the gallery's speciality. Drawing on national contacts, she organized handsome shows of contemporary sculpture, paintings and installations as well as traditional beadwork, birch-bark containers, grass baskets, ledger drawings and jewelry.

Leading AMRG was "an unexpected turn in my career," White Hawk Polk said in an email announcing her plans. It had been "a joy, inspiration, and blessing" to work with the gallery's artists and supporters, she said, but now it was time to "make the leap and transition into a full-time studio practice, chasing my own dream as an artist."

A Sicangu Lakota from Madison, Wisconsin, White Hawk Polk has won awards for her own work at the prestigious Santa Fe Indian Art Market and a 2013-14 fellowship in visual art from the McKnight Foundation. Her paintings deftly incorporate Indian motifs (feathers, moccasin shapes) into modernist designs that have been shown at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Bockley Gallery and elsewhere.

After her departure, AMRG's operations will be overseen by Jay Bad Heart Bull, president and CEO of the Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI), and Graci Horne, gallery associate. The gallery is located in a sunny street-level showroom in the headquarters of NACDI at 1414 E. Franklin Av., Minneapolis.


Northeast Minneapolis Arts District wins "Best" award from USA Today

Posted by: Mary Abbe Updated: March 6, 2015 - 4:12 PM

Gallery owner Anita Sue Kolman carries a painting by Patrick Kemal Pryor in their jointly-managed Kolman Pryor Gallery at the Northrup King Building in Northeast Minneapolis. Star Tribune photo by Marlin Levison.

The Northeast Minneapolis Arts District topped a USA Today reader's choice competition to claim the title "Best Art District," beating out nine other unnamed cities with pretentions to the title. Voting was conducted over a four-week period. Swinging Northeast was entered into the competition by Lindsay Pollock, editor in chief of Art in America magazine, and Joe Lewis, an art professor at University of California, Irvine.

A recent cruise through USA Today's crowded website of Reader's Choice categories didn't turn up any other contenders in the "Best Art District" award category. But maybe the site was having an off moment. Who knows?

In any case, there were many other "Best" categories on which dedicated USA Today readers might vote, among them: Best US Water Parks, Best Budget Hotel Brands, Best Birdwatching Sites, Best Breweries, Best National Monument, Best Gluten-Free Baked Goods.

You get the picture. Jump in and tout your favs. Maybe they too can share the glory with the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District.


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