Virtual Connections: Together From a Distance by Everyone
SooVAC is currently not inhabiting our physical space but that doesn’t mean we’ll stop sharing what artists are up to, this is a new landscape for all of us but we’re still creating and thinking about ways to tell the story of our times. So with that in mind we will continue to show work on a virtual platform, our goal is to post a new interview, story or video every Wed-Sun as though we were open. Stay tuned for studio visits, artist led projects you can do at home, images of work in progress, and maybe a recipe or two. Have some ideas of what we could share, we want to hear about them…send your thoughts to Carolyn Payne at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be commissioning additional online artist run projects.
Upcoming and Recorded Live Events:
Join us for a conversation between Yijia Li and Pujan Gandhi on January 21 at 7PM Central Time (US and Canada) via Zoom
Join the Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87986459413
Meeting ID: 879 8645 9413
Yijia Li is a painter focusing on discovering how people connect with the world around them. She was born and grew up in Shanghai, China, attended Shanghai University and received a B.A. in Studio Art in 2012, and M.F.A. in Visual Studies (painting and drawing) from Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) in 2017. After she moved to Minneapolis in 2015, her paintings have been widely exhibited in the Twin Cities area and New York.
Pujan Gandhi came to Mia in the autumn of 2018. He was previously based in his hometown of Atlanta, where he served as a consulting curator at the High Museum of Art while working independently on exhibitions in Midland, Texas, and Mumbai. Pujan completed his BA at Middlebury College, and his postgraduate diploma and MA in the History of Art and Archaeology at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. During his studies, he interned at several international art galleries and cataloged in the Asian Art Department at the British Museum. After graduate school, he ran his own art advisory business, focused on Indian miniature painting, classical South Asian sculpture, and global modern and contemporary art. He also guest lectured at SOAS. In 2015, he was shortlisted for Spear’s “Young Turk Art Advisor” of the year award. While his dissertation focused on early Jain art (c. 100 BCE to 300 CE) at a site in Mathura, India, Pujan considers himself an avid generalist. He looks forward to stewarding Mia’s South, Southeast Asian, and Islamic collections, while deepening the community’s engagement with the dynamic arts of these vast regions.
Recorded on Zoom Dec 16, 2020 - Finding the Patterns:
A Conversation Between Rachel Breen and Christina Schmid
Title: Finding the Patterns: A Conversation Between Rachel Breen and Christina Schmid
Topic: What is Art's role in social engagement? What do sewing, drawing and fabric scraps from Bangladesh have to do with the global garment industry? Join a conversation between writer Christina Schmid and Rachel Breen about these and other questions!
Rachel Breen is a visual artist who works at the intersection of drawing, installation and public engagement. She has exhibited her work locally and nationally and is the recipient of four Minnesota State Arts Board grants, the Walker Art Center’s Open Field fellowship, and the 2019–2020 Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship. Rachel holds an MFA from the University of Minnesota and an undergraduate degree from The Evergreen State College. She is a Professor of Art at Anoka Ramsey Community College. Her solo exhibition at SooVAC, The Shapes We Take will reopen in January 2021 for public viewing.
Christina Schmid is a writer, teacher, critic, and occasional curator whose essays and reviews have been published in Artforum, ArtPulse, Afterimage, Flash Art, Foam, and in a range of online venues. She is the recipient of a 2020 MSAB grant for creative prose and teaches contemporary art, critical thinking and theory at the Art Department of the University of Minnesota, where she gets to talk about art for a living.
While we take a pause with in person visits you can take a video adventure inside our current exhibitions...
Previous Studio Visits
Click on the images below for more information and a link to the recorded studio visits.
Christopher E. Harrison and Gregory J. RoseThey shared stories about their trip to Dakar, Senegal during their collaborative studio session at Galerie Sobo Bade during GAP (Global Arts Project) VII residency in January 2019, and how this experience influenced their practice. The video is recorded from a live Zoom conversation on June 10th.
Alex M PetersenVisual artist and educator Alex M. Petersen is inspired by relationships of technology, gender and sexuality, and environments. With a research based, aesthetically engaged career, he currently balances being a full-time educator with a robust studio practice. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally with a recent solo exhibition at SooVAC in Minneapolis, MN in 2018. In 2019 he was commissioned to create a large-scale painting for Queer Forms at the University of Minnesota.
Alejandro ZhangDrinking Water with Alejandro (Junyao) Zhang from Instagram LIVE, recorded May 6th.
Alejandro (Junyao) Zhang is a Chinese interdisciplinary artist who builds the relationship between performance, electronic music, and videos.
Vitus ShellRecorded From Instagram Live April 29th.
Vitus Shell is a mixed-media collage painter born in Monroe, LA, where he lives and works. He received a BFA from Memphis College of Art in Tennessee, 2000 and an MFA from University of Mississippi, 2008.
Alison HiltnerRecorded from a Zoom studio visit on April 22nd.
Alison Hiltner views herself as a science fiction archeologist exploring the landscapes of video games, films and other related media, sourcing narratives to intertwine with tidbits of scientific reality.
Ta-coumba T. AikenRecorded from Instagram Live on April 15th.
Ta-coumba T. Aiken is a public artist and public arts activist. He creates art to help communities find their Visual Voice through collaborative community engagement and creative discovery.
Syed HosainRecorded from Instagram Live on March 24th.
Born in Pakistan, Hosain explores unfixed histories, traditions, and constructions of Middle-East geography and his own Muslim identity through painting. Process and material driven, Hosain builds up rich surfaces on canvas creating a tension between recognition and obliteration.
Previous Art Activities and Experiences
Click on the images below for more information.
Megan VosslerStorm Surge by Megan Vossler is about the literal and metaphorical power of water; specifically, ocean swells, and waves. Vossler explores the power and resilience of both nature and ourselves in this large scale multi panel watercolor.
Zoe CinelZoe Cinel created Symphony for a Walk of 7 to connect to her family in Italy during the pandemic.
We all take walks around 7pm and we live 7 hours apart from each other. We walked everyday for 7 days discovering what our passage in space looks like from far away. A sequence of lines and drawing on a map. And then created a score from the lines created in the walks. View the final product at the link.
PrernaThe Brown Paper Chair started from Today, we become, Prerna's exhibition at SooVAC in October-November 2019, starting with the remnants of that piece to begin anew. A cyclical process of repurposing the drywall used to create the walls in the exhibition, by printing it onto brown paper, and using that brown paper to mold onto plastic monobloc chairs. Success is in the process and the continuation of an idea, pushing past "failures" with even more resolve. The full piece at the link.
Alyssa BagussWhen was the last time you showed a little appreciation for the clouds? Sure, you have your problem clouds now and then but most of the time they mind their own business, go with the flow and accept change with grace. No matter who you are or where you live, clouds are usually there. You've got clouds? Me too! - Alyssa Baguss. Everything you need to know about cloud appreciation is at the link.
Amina HarperInstagram LIVE conversation May 13th.
Amina Harper is an artist born in Minneapolis, MN where she currently works and resides. She began her career in 2010 and has been developing an extensive exhibition history in the process.
Roshan GanuInterview and Workshop
Roshan Ganu is a storyteller who chooses 2D and 3D illustration to address the mundane lives we lead. She is an MFA candidate at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (expected 2020) where she was awarded the MFA Trustees Scholarship.
Laurie Van WierenA 3-Minute Solo Performance in 6 Steps by Laurie Van Wieren
Laurie Van Wieren is a dance maker, curator and teacher. Her solo and ensemble choreography has been shown in the Twin Cities, nationally, Germany, and Russia.
Christi FurnasEverything Cancer is Now Covid, A Comic by Christi Furnas
Christi Furnas is a multidisciplinary artist, living with mental illness. As a 2016 recipient of the Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, she began drawing comics related to her experience with schizophrenia.
Peng WuA Visual Poem by Peng Wu
Peng Wu is a design activist and an interdisciplinary artist dedicated to creating socially engaged art in public space. His work combines the power of design thinking with contemporary art strategies to address various urgent social issues including immigration, modern medicine and health, environmental sustainability.
Click on the images below for more information.
Yael Ben SimonIn 2018 Yael Ben Simon exhibited at SooVAC, Out of My Book. Two years later John Herbert has checked in with her to see what she is working on now. Yael Ben-Simon is an Israeli artist that works and lives in Brooklyn NY. Her works explore the relationship between propaganda, identity, magic and symbol making through painting.
Chris HeidmanChris Heidman's exhibition Full Spectrum is postponed. In the meantime, Tiffany Lange sat down with him (from afar) to talk about his art, life and finding the brilliance through the mundane.
Lauren KrukowskiLauren Krukowski's exhibition Full Spectrum is postponed, however you can learn more about her in this Q&A with Tiffany Lange. Lauren Krukowski lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Her work has been recently included in group exhibitions at the International Print Center, New York and Trestle Gallery.
MN ART MART: Artists who rely on income from contract labor, traveling gigs, and sales of work, have been adversely affected by the events of COVID-19. As we reinvent how we live and work during this unprecedented time, online platforms for supporting each other are more important than ever. Teréz Iacovino brought us this idea in conjunction with Virtual Connections: Together From a Distance, SooVAC is organizing Art Mart — a directory of MN artists selling work online in support of their livelihood.
We also want to compile information for the arts community as we all look to the future and the work that is ahead. This list was started by Public Art Saint Paul and we want to continue to expand this valuable resource, so if you have any opportunities for funding or other things you would like to share please contact Alison Hiltner at email@example.com and we will add it to this page.
These lists are the most expansive.
Artist Power Center-Very user friendly with extensive resources for getting or giving help in all forms.
Covid 19 Freelance artist resource – this a crowdsourced resource list that has emergency funds, learning tools, digital support webinars, mental health resources and more. Resources for all mediums including visual art, sculpture, paint, writing, creative writing, nonfiction, actors, performance and more.
Click here for another great list of fund resources for immediate support for artists in response to COVID19.
A comprehensive list of resources at Art Practical.
More specific sources.
Springboard for the Arts Emergency Relief Fund as well as other resources for organizations and foundations.
List of Funding Opportunities from Women Arts – multiple disciplines
Immediate response funds non-art related.
Unemployment Benefits with the State of Minnesota – the state is encouraging individuals who have lost work due to COVID19 to apply.
Solidarity Fund for activists, organized by Twin Cities Democratic Socialists.
Mutual Aid Fund – Women for Political Change
Temporary Medical Assistance with Shift MN
Otto Bremmer trust Community Relief Fund for organizations.
How to qualify for paid sick leave - Forbes Article
Contribute - not with money
If you would like to become a member or make a donation please visit the SUPPORT page. We can build a stronger future together.
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