mnartists.org’s Scott Stulen (project director) and Susannah Schouweiler (editor) are two of four critics selected to make an art show, rather than write about it. The Critics’ Show, running January 15 through February 22 at the Hopkins Center for the Arts, makes visible the personal tastes of local critics; it also subjects them to dissection, analysis, and, of course criticism, from their peers, arts, and the public at large.
A novel idea, no? Still, the critic in me can’t help but quibble with the format. The exhibition theme does not revolve around the art or the artists, but rather the curators (let’s leave out the fact that Stulen, for one, is a practicing visual artist as well). That would be fine if a single curator/critic were involved, but having four of them, each contributing one or two artists, makes this a group show of curators, not artists, if that makes any sense. Which it largely doesn’t – thus the quibble.
But there’s another novel aspect to the show, one that could detract from the above issue: At tomorrow’s opening reception, the quartet of curator/critics will briefly talk about their selections. Actually, the press release used the verb “defend,” perhaps to sound more provocative. But whether the critics defend, justify, extol, or merely explain why they chose what they did, it sounds promising. Perhaps this is something that should occur at more gallery receptions?
PS – if you’re hesitant to venture to Hopkins, get over it. Hopkins Center for the Arts is at the end of a quaint (but not overly cute) shopping street, with several options for dining and drinking; you can even catch a movie after the reception – the gallery is across the street from one of the few remaining bargain cinemas in the metro area.
“The Critics’ Show”
Opening Reception + panel discussion with artists and critics
January 15, 6 – 8 p.m. (panel discussion at 7pm)
Charles D. Redepenning Gallery at the Hopkins Center for the Arts 1111 Mainstreet
Hopkins, MN 55343
Scott Stulen selected Erik Ullanderson, Beatrix JAR<
Gregory J. Scott (Lead Arts Writer, Vita.mn) selected Ruben Nusz