I found a “new” gallery on Saturday! Actually, it opened in 2004 and has been increasingly active each year in the Twin Cities. In fact, some of you may have seen their Art Vending Machines (local art, often original):
and not realized who was behind them. The super heroes of today’s post are the fabulous volunteers and board of Altered Esthetics!
Ae (“a community organization run by artists for artists”) is on a mission “to sustain the historical role of artists as a true voice of society through our exhibits, events, services, workshops and programs.” Or more simply, “art for art’s sake,” as founder Jamie Schumacher puts it.
What that means for you and me is a) a gallery that changes its art every month (First Friday openings!), b) opportunities for all artists, regardless of saleability and c) a crack at gallery internships. Each of these aspects is designed to increase the vitality of the art scene here in the metro area. The third could actually lead to regular, everyday people breaking into the arts in leadership positions. How radical is that!
This was from an exhibit in August, 2009 called “A Celebration of the Newspaper Comic Strip.” Ae went out of its way to find a printer that would produce this huge paper in the large format of what used to be a traditional size. Each strip is a complete page and many are in color. It was produced in cooperation with The International Cartoonist Conspiracy, Big Time Attic, The Midwest Comic Book Association and The Source Comics and Games along with other sponsors; it was printed by the fine folks at Page1Printers.
If you love cartoons and want to get your hands on fresh strips, contact Ae (firstname.lastname@example.org) to purchase their most recent box of mini-comics by Minnesota artists: Lutefisk Sushi D. The price helps support future cartoon exhibits at Ae and minimizes expenses for the artists.
Ae also has a Bike Art exhibit each June that really packs in the crowds as well as other shows of less conventional artistic focus including: Classic Video Game Art (Sept 2010), Suburbs v. Cities (July 2010), Gender (Mar 2010), Digital Frame Art (Nov 2009) and several Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) exhibits. Pinko Commies and Guerilla Art were two that I’m sorry I missed in 2005 and 2006.
If you’re interested in a position on the board or want to apply for a future opening for their Curator or Assistant Gallery Director internships, go to the Ae/News site and scroll down the page for application information.
Or, if you’re an artist who wants a chance to get your work seen by a much larger audience, check out Ae. They have a great gallery space in the Q.arma Building in Northeast Minneapolis, just two blocks west of Central Av, off of Broadway.
Finally, if you’re interested in purchasing art, an energizing route to take is to seek out emerging artists. You’ll be able to buy low; if they gain a following, your investment will grow. Artists buy groceries, gas and art supplies, use vendors, such as printers and photographers, pay rent/mortgages and join others for evenings on the town. It’s a win/win/win scenario for the artist, the buyer and the local economy.
Here’s to super heroes of all stripes, in print or in business, and the people who support, encourage and enjoy them. May they continue to draw the truth as they see it. —Chris