Artist Profile: Matt Wells, the Lizardman of Minneapolis

From Botticelli to Banksy, artists have often used alternate names as a way to identify their creative mark on the world. For Matt Wells, his distinctive moniker came from a seven-foot-tall, green, scaly-skinned reptilian humanoid cryptid said to inhabit the swamplands of South Carolina: Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp. “When I was a teenager, … [ Read more]

Artist Profile: Ellen Schofield & David Rogers

While the lone wolf artist has long been romanticized for his or her singular innate genius, the collaborative duo has also, many times over, recast the shape, innovation, and creative magic of art. Think Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Now, Ellen Schofield and David Rogers. “Working solo, you can get stuck in … [ Read more]

Trailblazers 2017: Carol March

St. Paul’s Lowertown neighborhood has grown from a collection of rough-around-the-edges warehouses into a revitalized, pulsating dining district within the Capital City. With restaurants like Big River Pizza and Saint Dinette, and exciting new additions in Kyatchi, Octo Fishbar, and Salty Tart, momentum in Lowertown is hitting an all-time high. But before the neighborhood started … [ Read more]

Trailblazers 2017: Youth Farming Nonprofits

America has a farming crisis, one that has nothing to do with prices, pests, topsoil or water quality. The problem is with the farmers themselves—the average age of Minnesota farmers is 56, and they aren’t being replaced by younger generations at the rate we need. Couple that with another drastic shortfall—1.6 million Minnesotans lack easy … [ Read more]

Trailblazers 2017: HOTTEA

For a decade, someone has been marking and splashing words and colors on chain-link fences around Minneapolis. Not with spray paint, but with yarn. Using thousands of colored strings, Eric Rieger, aka HOTTEA, has harnessed a non-destructive take on street art by elevating the more-often-than-not bad rap of graffiti to another level. But before blanketing … [ Read more]

Artist Profile: The patterns and forms of Ross Bruggink

A fearless and philosophical duo, “Calvin and Hobbes” follows the adventures of the mischievous six-year-old Calvin, and his best friend, a talking and plush sardonic tiger named Hobbes. Their relationship is playful, poignant, and fantastical, as they convert corrugated cardboard boxes into time traveling machines, dig for dinosaur bones, and build crime-stricken groups of snowmen. … [ Read more]

Artist Profile: Greta McLain of GoodSpace Murals

Murals bring color and vibrant energy to bleak building exteriors, but the change to the physical walls runs deeper than the brushstrokes. The true power of a mural is in the changes and cultural connections these projects inspire within communities. “Murals create spaces and opportunities of for us to gather together and find the ways … [ Read more]

Artist Profile: The curious creations of Benjamin Currie

It’s hard to shake the desire to “solve” art. We’ve all been there—faced with an eye-catching work, buzzing with color, line, and form, we squint and ponder, grasping for the nearest gallery guide or explanation, trying to figure out what it all means. The reality is that art is not the Sunday morning crossword. It’s … [ Read more]

Artist Profile: Award-winning seed art by Liz Schreiber

Instead of vibrant vessels of oil paint, colorful jars of grain line the shelves of Liz Schreiber’s Minneapolis home. In every corner of the upstairs studio are jars, canisters, and glass containers large and small—all filled with hundreds of thousands of seeds. Corn kernels and soybeans. Split peas. Green millet. Beautifully black and glossy wild … [ Read more]

Artist Profile: Charles Youel, founder and creative director of ARTCRANK

Ten years ago on a Saturday night in April, Charles Youel staged a pop-up bike poster show at One On One Bicycle Studio in Minneapolis. Expecting maybe 50 people, you can imagine the pure shock and awe that Charles felt when he saw an ever-extending line out the door, and the studio packed to all … [ Read more]

Artist Profile: Gordon Purcell

The Incredible Hulk, in its human form as Bruce Banner, is a nuclear physicist. Chemistry lover Barry Allen, aka The Flash, works as a forensic scientist for the Central City Police Department. And in “Star Trek,” 23rd century adventurers take off in a powerful interstellar spacecraft to explore the far reaches of the galaxy, using … [ Read more]

The Dark Arts: Graffiti walks the line between petty vandalism and complex art form

Provocative bursts of bold colors. Wild, distorted lettering. An urban canvas full of lines, shape, and form, soon to be wiped away—reconditioned to a beige, gray, or whitewashed surface. It’s the nature of the art—atypical, public, transient. It’s graffiti. But is it art? Building an identity in Philadelphia in the late 1960s, graffiti truly exploded … [ Read more]

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Artist Profile: Leslie Barlow

Art doesn’t instruct you what to think—it just tells you to think. In today’s ever-shifting political, economic, social, and cultural climate, we’re sometimes left speechless. But Leslie Barlow shares her art as a language—thought-provoking topics rendered through colorful, realistic, life-sized portraits that you can stand face-to-face with and look right in the eye. “I like … [ Read more]

Artist Profile: Jaime Anderson

“In the presence of nature,” Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in his essay, “Nature,” “a wild delight runs through the man, in spite of real sorrows.” Losing oneself (and one’s cell phone service) in the company of nature can be a blissful experience. At the very least, stepping into the wilderness helps wash away the worries … [ Read more]

Artist Profile: Laura Eng

Most of us probably don’t put a lot of thought into where our “trash” goes once it leaves the street curb and it’s thrown into the back of a garbage truck. Out of sight, out of mind. Out with the old, in with the new. But in the quest for the latest-and-greatest in our ephemeral … [ Read more]