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An image from Sean Smuda's portfolio "Blueprints," recently acquired by Walker Art Center.
Sean Smuda, a Minneapolis photographer, multimedia artist and ubiquitous fixture on the cultural scene, once unwittingly insulted Walker Art Center associate curator Bart Ryan. But Ryan hasn’t held it against him. He recently acquired a portfolio of Smuda’s work, “Blueprints,” for the Walker’s collection.
“I’ve pestered various Walker curators over the years to stop by my studio, with no real expectations,” Smuda said, in his usual charmingly dry, affectless tone. “The first time I met Bart, he gave me a drink ticket at a Walker event, then I criticized a show I didn’t know he had just curated.”
“Blueprints” is a series of collages made from photographs of modes of transport from trains to hot-air balloons plane to a shopping cart -- against barren, fantastic landscapes, with excerpts of poems translated from many different languages embedded at the bottom.
Ryan said he was drawn to Smuda’s work for its “constellations of knowledge, the interplay of information, identity and geography.”
“I now feel completely justified for dropping out of art school,” Smuda said. See and read more about his work at http://seansmuda.com/mosaic.html
Internationally known Minneapolis photographer Alec Soth has produced a limited edition of 100 prints (above) whose sale will go to support the Soap Factory, a non-profit Minneapolis arts organization that showcases experimental projects in a former factory warehouse. This summer Soth staged a "slide show" review there at which participants in his Summer Camp for Socially Awkward Photographers explained and exhibited their own work.
Soth's own work has garnered international attention for the past decade at the 2004 Whitney and Sao Paulo biennials, in 2008 shows at the Jeu de Paume in Paris and the Photomuseum Winterthur in Switzerland, and a 2010 retrospective at Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. While his gallery and museum career perks along, Soth uses the book format to tell stories in pictures. At regular intervals he turns out small editions of books and magazines that quickly become collector's items including "Sleeping by the Mississippi," (2004); "NIAGARA," (2006), "Fashion Magazine," (2007); "Dog Days, Bogota," (2007); "The Last Days of W," (2008); "Broken Manual," (2010). For the past five years he's been devoting a lot of attention to quirky publications issued through his publishing firm, Little Brown Mushroom.
The Soap Factory print is roughly 12 inches wide by 9 inches tall and will be issued in an edition of 100. Cost $400. Orders can be placed through the Soap Factory here.
Photo by Elizabeth Flores, Star Tribune
Minneapolis gallery owner Martin Weinstein talks photos in a new You Tube video put out by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in connection with a show of his gifts to the museum. Over the past 31 years Weinstein, a former Minneapolis lawyer and long-time trustee of the Minneapolis museum, has given the Institute more than 500 photos about 75 of which are on view through August 31.
On the video, museum director Kaywin Feldman, photo curator David Little and photographer Alec Soth talk about Weinstein's contributions to the Twin Cities art scene along with comments from Weinstein himself.
Gordon Parks, 1990 portrait by Richard Sennott for the Star Tribune
Two shows of photos by legendary photographer, filmmaker, musician Gordon Parks will run simultaneously at the Mill City Museum and Juxtaposition Arts in Minneapolis. They feature photos on loan from the Gordon Parks Foundation and work by Twin Cities students enrolled in a Juxtaposition program guided by nationally known photographer Jamel Shabazz.
Panel discussions and artist talks accompany the exhibits which open October 24. The Mill City show runs through June 8, 2014; the Juxtaposition exhibit through Dec.1. Both are free.
The exhibits' title, "A Choice of Weapons: A Living Legacy," alludes to Parks' powerful autobiography in which he recalls his tough, impoverished youth in Kansas and St. Paul during eras of racial tension and strife. Rather than respond to violence with more violence, Parks (1912-2006) chose to fight injustice and ignorance with a camera. His unsparing photo essays for Life and other magazines of the time documented the appalling living conditions endured by the poor in the United States, Brazil and elsewhere. Many of his photos are recognized as classics of the Civil Rights movement. He went on to be a pioneering filmmaker, composer, poet and inspiration to generations of admirers.
The exhibits complement One Minneapolis One Read, a community endeavor in which Twin Citians are invited to read the same book, this year's selection being "A Choice of Weapons" by Parks.
Opening reception and panel: 6 p.m.-9 p.m., Oct. 24, free. Mill City Museum, 704 S. 2nd St., Mpls. Panelists: Wing Young Huie, Archie Givens, Robin Hickman and Jahliah Holloman, moderator Daniel Bergin. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 612-673-2509.
Reception and artist talk: 5 p.m.-7p.m., Nov. 7, free. Juxtaposition Arts, 2007 Emerson Av., N., Mpls. Speaker Jamel Shabazz. RSVP to email@example.com or call 612-673-2509.
If she wins the Golden Kitty Award, will Grumpy Cat FINALLY smile? It's highly doubtful, but that's not stopping her fans from making her the front-runner in public online voting on Walker Art Center's website among the 5,000 votes cast so far.
After the giant furball of success the Walker experienced with its first Internet Cat Video fastival last year, they've changed venues. It will now be held at the Minnesota State Fair Grandstand on Aug. 28.
To build excitement, fans are encouraged to vote for their favorite cat-celeb video. Grumpy -- who actually just has a facial deformity and is probably quite happy-go-lucky inside -- faces competition from partners-in-meme Lil Bub, Henri Le Chat Noir, Nyan Cat and Keyboard Cat (who will all be on hand at the big event, presuming none of these feline divas O.D. on Fancy Feast and catnip before then).
Vote here by Wednesday, July 31: www.walkerart.org/catvidfest
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