When Fox 9 news anchor Robyne Robinson was profiled in Midwest Home magazine last year, the avid art collector started thinking about her role in the artistic community: "What can I, as a patron, do to get the word out?" she recalled asking herself.
So the former gallery owner teamed up with her friend and curator Yuri Arajs to explore the idea. The answer they came up with? "Be an activist, a champion, who is trying to put the artists' names out there and communicate with the world," Robinson said.
The result of their meditation came to fruition last weekend in an open unit at the Bookman Stacks condos in Minneapolis. The white walls and cement floors provided the perfect backdrop for artwork from 11 artists, some owned by Robinson and other new works for sale. There are blooming flowers by Amy Rice, portraits by Ben Olson, ceramics by Ernest Miller, mechanical pictures (with moving parts) by Anne Wood and Dean Lucker, and found-object sculptures by Al Wadzinski.
Patrons, artists and artsy types flooded the opening-night party. Kim Witczak, who lives in the building, was there. She had commissioned works of art from artist Greg Dickerson, incorporating fabric from clothes that had belonged to her late husband. "I sleep with Greg Dickerson every night," she said of the paintings hanging in her bedroom. "I just love his work."
The feeling is clearly mutual. "She's the greatest," Dickerson chimed in.
That's the kind of bond that Robinson was hoping to foster. "The turnout speaks volumes -- clearly more people want to be active in the community and find out what it means to be a patron," she said.
Sara Glassman • 612-673-7177