When Art to Change the World director Barbara Bridges saw all the new construction of apartment buildings going up in her Northeast neighborhood she saw potential art buyers and collectors moving in. The Northeast Minneapolis Arts District has seen a lot of change in the ten years since she chose to buy a house and set up a studio there. Many artists were just like her- finding affordable space in a community where there were other artists all around to build a community. Gradually more non-artists wanted to live in NE and many worried that this change would push the artists out.
Art to Change the World connected with Minneapolis City Council Member Kevin Riech who in turn connected the organization to Rob Miller developer of the Huxley Apartments under construction at 2201 Jefferson St. NE. Bridges’ vision was to see the new residents make a real connection with individual artists in the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District in order to foster a community of artists and art collectors and admirers. The Arts District Palette- Where Artists and Neighbors Mix was developed.
Developer Robb Miller commissioned a total of 224 works from twenty artists that are either members of Art to Change the World or the Northeast Minneapolis Art Association (NEMAA). Artists from these two organizations submitted samples of the works they would create and a panel of three jurors chose twenty artists: Layl McDill, Lucienne “Lucy” Schroepfer, Kelly Jean Ohl, Anne Kleinhenz, Cory Favre, Ashtyn Sibinski, Mary Bacon, Jodi Rebb, Kathryn Flora, Jo-Anne Reske, Kirkman, Scorpio Rising, Jodi Janz, Marko Fields, Owen Brown, Hannah Foster, Susan Gainen, Candy Kuehn, Barbara Bridges, Alison Price, and Laurie Salmela.
Artist and “Whimsical Wildlife Documentarian” Susan Gainen is a resident in the Midway area. She celebrates the magic of detail every day. She arrived in Minnesota in 1992, and was introduced to the State Fair, a magical place. She began winning ribbons for needlepoint, jam, jelly, and barbecue sauce. She is also part of the Art to Change the World taskforce and working on organizing the upcoming in person pop up festival on August 8th.
As the new residents move into the Huxley they will choose two pieces of art each and receive a tote bag filled with coupons and items that welcome them to their new neighborhood. Residents and the general public will also be invited to meet the artists in person on Aug. 8, 2021, noon to 8 p.m. at Sociable Cider Werks, 1500 Fillmore St. NE at a Pop Up party. Each artist will have work on display and for sale and look forward to conversation with the residents that chose their work.
Art to Change the World is a nonprofit 501(c)3 with a mission to employ the arts in service of positive change and seeing artists supported by this organization during these challenging times meets that mission. The hope is that this project will show how an art community can welcome new neighbors and build upon these relationships to enhance the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District’s interconnected community.
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