Notice anything different around here lately? Along with the ballyhooed website revamp rolled out by the Walker Art Center in recent months, mnartists.org is also working to spruce things up here on our blog this year. In partnership with the Walker’s Education and Community Programs department, we’re launching a few new regularly-appearing features, to give you more breadth of information about and by Minnesota’s arts scene, and to include a broader diversity of artists’ voices in the mix of things we publish.
Here’s what’s new on the mnartists.org and Education and Community Program blogs for 2012:
It Is What It Is!
You’ve likely already noticed our weekly web-comic, posted midday every Wednesday and perfect for light lunchtime reading. The strips offer an irreverent, funny glimpse behind the scenes at the museum, and is written and drawn by illustrator-cum-gallery monitor Todd Balthazor — it’s Dilbert meets Dada. We hope it’ll become a regular part of your hump day routine.
Viewfinder – Art is where you find it
Look for these short-shorts to be posted once or twice a week; you may have noticed Jehra’s post in this category yesterday, on the Lowertown St. Paul venue Rage to Order. Viewfinder posts are your opportunity to “show & tell” about the everyday arts happenings, interesting sights and sounds made or as seen by Minnesota artists. We’re counting on you to share with us what you’re seeing in your neck of the woods — it could be something in a museum, gallery, or on stage, of course, but responses to more quotidian sights and sounds are welcome, too. Interesting signage, seasonal bird song, graffiti, architecture, fashion — tell us what’s in your viewfinder. Submit your own informal, first-person responses to the everyday art around you to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we may well publish your piece here on the blog. Submissions should be no longer than 300 words (photos and multimedia – video, audio – are welcome!). We ask that you not write about your own work or anything with which you’re directly connected; but if you’ll offer a sentence or two about yourself (no more than 150 words, please), with links to your own websites and current projects by way of a bio, we’ll include that after your “Viewfinder” response.
Making It – How art gets done
Under this umbrella, we’ll include things that lift the curtain on art-making around the state with a broad mash-up of semi-regular cross-disciplinary posts that go inside the process of making and showing work. You’ll find these visually-oriented little pieces on both the Education and Community Programs’ blog and here, on the mnartists.org blog, along with staff dispatches from Arty Pants to Open Field, rehearsal notes and studio visits, maybe even a few DIY tutorials by and with Minnesota artists.
The Family Business – Dispatches from the intersection of art and real life
For this monthly column, which we’ll publish both as an essay on the mnartists.org homepage and in the Education and Community Programs blog, we’ll invite a local artist or arts worker to write something about their experience of the day-by-day juggle of art-making with the responsibilities of real life – kids & family, day-jobs and other everyday obligations – and to do so in their own voices. From grocery shopping to daycare, caring for older relatives to community activism, we aim to offer snapshots of what a life in the arts really looks like, as seen through the eyes of the creative people living it every day.
Now, we want to hear from you! We welcome your questions and story ideas. Submit a “Viewfinder” response of your own any time by emailing katie – at – mnartists.org, and join the conversation.