As temperatures cool, leaves begin to change color (and immediately fall), and calls for “winter” art pop-up on our News and Opps board over at mnartists.org, I fear the inevitable: winter in Minnesota is coming. However, there are a few Minnesotan happenings of late that are warming my heart and/or fueling my fire despite the brisk air that chills my poorly insulated living space.
First and foremost, the debate about the appropriate use of legacy funding has really heated things up around here. It doesn’t get much hotter than all this he said/she said, arts v. sports craziness. Why would this controversial topic make me feel warm and fuzzy when therein lies a potential threat to so many wonderful legacy-funded arts programs? Well, it’s the fact that thousands of our fellow art-lovers (and some haters, too) have taken action to voice their opinion (thanks for the easy-to-fill-out online form MN Citizens for the Arts!). There’s nothing like active political engagement to put fires in our bellies and reveal passion in our hearts for the things that really matter. And – call me crazy – but I believe our arts community is strong enough to withstand this heat.
Another hot topic? Design. It’s everywhere! From the Walker to your neighborhood gallery, graphics are gaining attention, pantones are popular, and fonts are finding fans in circles far beyond the usual type-nerds. (Have you played cheeseorfont.com? It’s so addicting!)
What’s hotter than design? Women in design. I’m heading over to the “WOMN: Women in Minnesota Design” show at CVA this week to see what our local female artists have done for the field. I’ll admit that this is one of the first exhibitions with the word ‘women’ in the title that I’ve been genuinely excited about in a long time… (Don’t get me wrong – I have nothing against female artists. Its just that ever since I accidentally stumbled upon a show about the art of menstruation a few years back, well, I’ve a hard time fully embracing the “feminine” in art.)
Still feeling cold about this whole November thing? Here’s one last item, guaranteed to either warm your soul or fuel your fire: Marcus Young at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. He’s everywhere these days, and known for ironically pushing the boundaries of performance/public art, one quiet smile at a time. As part of MAEP’s current show “Semblances,” Young has something new for the MIA’s traditional museum setting up his sleeve, or should I say robe… I’m curious as to whether this upcoming ‘behavioral art’ piece will ignite or fizzle, what do you think?