Intersections Exhibition Catalog (PDF) - Minneapolis College of Art ...

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Women, Leadership, and the Power <strong>of</strong> Collaboration


<strong>Intersections</strong> is the evidence <strong>of</strong> multiple crossing points:<br />

collaborative studio projects between teachers and<br />

students and alumni, discussions among women leaders<br />

in the arts, and interrelationships among eleven art<br />

departments in the greater Twin Cities area.<br />

The idea for this exhibition began with fourteen<br />

women who are current or recent studio art<br />

department chairs, engaged in very similar<br />

institutional activities, <strong>of</strong>ten in isolation. The<br />

traditional academic leadership model that<br />

creates that isolation begs to be challenged.<br />

Contemporary studio practice, on the other<br />

hand, is developing increasingly sophisticated<br />

collaborative models. The challenge is to<br />

discover how these practices might inform<br />

teaching and learning. And in turn, how does<br />

pedagogy inform leadership? The reciprocity<br />

among the practices <strong>of</strong> teaching, leading, and<br />

making speaks to the challenge, fostering open<br />

discussion and encouraging flexible process.<br />

Established artists/teachers let go <strong>of</strong> their set<br />

practices, and students and recent alumni<br />

explored unfamiliar directions. As the relationship<br />

between teacher and student intertwined,<br />

collaboration dissipated hierarchical roles. The<br />

process <strong>of</strong> creating work became a form <strong>of</strong><br />

joint mentoring, reversing normal relationships<br />

<strong>of</strong> power through mutual learning. These<br />

collaborations had an element <strong>of</strong> risk taking,<br />

with a public exposition <strong>of</strong> work not readily<br />

couched in the artists’ usual studio practices.<br />

With team participants at differing points in<br />

their careers and having vastly different life<br />

experiences, each <strong>of</strong> them is a reminder and a<br />

projection in the continuum <strong>of</strong> what it means<br />

to be an artist. Talking and making, questioning<br />

and challenging are the essential elements<br />

common to all <strong>of</strong> the projects presented. The<br />

open exchange and shifting boundaries among<br />

those elements are also essential to leadership.<br />

It is my hope that <strong>Intersections</strong> is just the<br />

beginning <strong>of</strong> many more exchanges.<br />

to make this exhibition possible. The project<br />

is an extension <strong>of</strong> two leadership fellowships I<br />

was fortunate to receive during my sabbatical<br />

from the <strong>Minneapolis</strong> <strong>College</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Art</strong> and Design<br />

(MCAD): a Bush Leadership Fellowship and an<br />

American Council on Education Fellowship. I<br />

thank Kerry Morgan, director <strong>of</strong> MCAD Gallery,<br />

for her ability to envision this show long before<br />

the work was completed; Patricia Briggs<br />

for her essay that frames the ideas and the<br />

work in a larger context; Nicole Summers<br />

<strong>of</strong> MCAD DesignWorks for the smart and<br />

gorgeous design <strong>of</strong> this catalog; Kristine Wyant,<br />

director <strong>of</strong> corporate and foundation relations<br />

at MCAD, for her clarifying questions and<br />

assistance. I especially thank the artists/<br />

leaders/teachers/students—all one and the<br />

same—who participated in this project.<br />

Karen Wirth<br />

Interim Vice President <strong>of</strong> Academic Affairs<br />

<strong>Minneapolis</strong> <strong>College</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Art</strong> and Design<br />

For <strong>Intersections</strong>, each woman invited students<br />

or alumni to engage in a collaborative project that<br />

would include dialogue about art and process.<br />

Collaboration means “to work together,” and<br />

there were many institutions and individuals,<br />

beyond the studio artists, who worked together<br />


ESSAY<br />

CROSSINGS | <strong>Intersections</strong> presents aesthetic experiments in collaboration<br />

that suggest we revisit our basic assumptions about art making.<br />

Collaborative art practices are significant because they challenge the<br />

way that we define the artist as an individual in the modernist sense,<br />

a singular, self-contained, free agent. Philosophers call this framework for<br />

understanding identity the “autonomous subject.”<br />

Within critical debates inside and outside the<br />

art world, alternative models <strong>of</strong> subjectivity<br />

consider identity to be fragmentary, fluid,<br />

and collaborative have largely displaced the<br />

“autonomous subject.” In the world <strong>of</strong> the visual<br />

arts we still conceptualize the “artist” as<br />

essentially singular and autonomous: <strong>Art</strong>ists are<br />

loners, outsiders, expressionists, individualists.<br />

The truth is that although many <strong>of</strong> us intellectually<br />

accept the critical consensus that there is no<br />

such thing as an “autonomous subject,” we have<br />

not developed robust alternative collaborative<br />

models <strong>of</strong> art production to use in our studios<br />

and classrooms. <strong>Intersections</strong> mobilized fourteen<br />

teams <strong>of</strong> artists to experiment over the course<br />

<strong>of</strong> a year with collaborative practices. Their<br />

presentations and writing provide us with<br />

practical examples for developing art-making<br />

strategies that push beyond our usual default,<br />

the solitary individualist.<br />



VOICES CROSSING | <strong>Intersections</strong> demonstrates that<br />

collaborative artistic practices make participants<br />

engaged viewers. Aesthetic collaborators are not<br />

autonomous agents crafting objects alone in their<br />

studios, but rather are typically two or more people<br />

locked in intensive conversation about their own<br />

and each other’s work.<br />

One could say that the medium <strong>of</strong> collaboration<br />

is conversation. Dialogue is one <strong>of</strong> the most<br />

important products <strong>of</strong> collaboration. It was<br />

through discussion and writing, for example, that<br />

painters Alexis Kuhr and Stephanie Thompson<br />

developed a new understanding <strong>of</strong> their individual<br />

approaches to geometric abstraction as different<br />

“ways <strong>of</strong> knowing the world.” Their collaboration<br />

spurred in each a sense <strong>of</strong> urgency to become<br />

more actively engaged in the larger contemporary<br />

discussion about abstraction as an important<br />

vehicle for thinking and communicating. Stevie<br />

Rexroth and S. Catrin Magnusson also used<br />

collaboration as a framework for intensive<br />

analysis. For this team, discussion yielded a<br />

descriptive architectural vocabulary linked to<br />

digital technology that captures more precisely<br />

the shared qualities in their work than the<br />

formalist language they inherited from the fine<br />

arts tradition.<br />

The benefits <strong>of</strong> this kind <strong>of</strong> dialogue are difficult<br />

to quantify and therefore <strong>of</strong>ten go unrecognized.<br />

Yet, we know that a perfectly chosen reading<br />

recommendation made by an artist with insight<br />

into one’s work can change the course <strong>of</strong><br />

an entire project. Last summer, Hannah Geil-<br />

Neufeld suggested that her teacher Chris Willcox<br />

read Italo Calvino’s Cosmicomics, featuring<br />

fisherman climbing ladders from their boats<br />

to the moon and drinking ”moon milk.” Geil-<br />

Neufeld’s fantastic landscape subjects culled<br />

from childhood memories, together with Calvino’s<br />

imagery, encouraged Willcox to see new ways<br />

<strong>of</strong> overlapping the real with the imaginary in<br />

her own Arctic landscapes.<br />

Another benefit <strong>of</strong> aesthetic collaboration is that<br />

an artist can simply relax and be inspired by her<br />

collaborator(s). A painter, Kim Benson focuses on<br />

the subject <strong>of</strong> human suffering and consistently<br />

holds images <strong>of</strong> the body in pain within her<br />

frame. Inspired by Benson’s treatment <strong>of</strong> the<br />

disturbing subject <strong>of</strong> the war injured, Jenkins<br />

recommitted to a series <strong>of</strong> drawings devoted to<br />

prisoner torture at Abu Ghraib, a project she had<br />

earlier abandoned in frustration. Triangulating<br />

one’s work with similar work by other artists is<br />

not encouraged in the pr<strong>of</strong>essional art world,<br />

where artists are likely to see each other as<br />

competitors rather than collaborators or allies.<br />

As we have seen, support and encouragement<br />

<strong>of</strong>ten come with collaboration, but actually making<br />

artwork with another person or other people<br />

is quite difficult. How does a team produce an<br />

object for display when they don’t share a studio<br />

or live near one another? Nobody wants to turn art<br />

making into one more thing done by scheduling<br />

a “meeting.”<br />

Fear <strong>of</strong> losing control <strong>of</strong> the quality and form<br />

that the final work will take is another obstacle<br />

coauthors <strong>of</strong> works <strong>of</strong>ten face. Letting go and<br />

trusting in the process took some getting used to<br />

for Alyssa Baguss and Lynda Monick-Isenberg,<br />

who developed a strategy <strong>of</strong> “joined authorship”<br />

by alternately working on a single drawing that was<br />

handed back and forth between them every two<br />

weeks. Incorporating discussion <strong>of</strong> their drawing into<br />

the process by “uploading questions, research, and<br />

reactions” onto a shared website, this collaboration<br />

yielded so many new ideas, techniques, and subjects<br />

that Baguss and Monick-Isenberg are planning an<br />

ongoing aesthetic partnership. After a rocky start,<br />

Mary Griep and Adelyn Rosenwinkel imposed a<br />

few controls—working with aerial photography, for<br />

example, and using the same type <strong>of</strong> paper to draw<br />

on—to be assured that the final piece would hold<br />

together. They then found themselves freed to<br />

focus on the exploration <strong>of</strong> the landscape around<br />

Northfield, which is their shared interest.<br />



TEMPORAL CROSSINGS | Painters love to look back in time. Patricia Olson and Roxi Swanson<br />

used <strong>Intersections</strong> to deepen their engagement with art <strong>of</strong> the past. These figurative<br />

painters switched places with models featured in famous portraits from art history as<br />

a way <strong>of</strong> metaphorically getting inside the skin <strong>of</strong> inspirational masters, as when Olson<br />

represented herself as Max Beckmann in his 1907 Self-Portrait in Tuxedo.<br />

This dialogue with the past becomes denser<br />

yet when Swanson represented Olson in Egon<br />

Schiele’s Portrait <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Art</strong>ist’s Wife Standing,<br />

and Olson placed Swanson—tattooed arms and<br />

all—in Jean-Auguste Dominique Ingres’s 1851<br />

portrait <strong>of</strong> Madame Moitessier. Paying homage<br />

to tradition in such a literal way, without irony,<br />

is risky in an art world that values individuality<br />

and singularity above most things. <strong>Intersections</strong><br />

<strong>of</strong>fered Olson and Swanson the perfect opportunity<br />

to challenge these unwritten assumptions with<br />

a game <strong>of</strong> art historical time travel.<br />

A number <strong>of</strong> the teams address, either directly<br />

or indirectly, the issue <strong>of</strong> temporality in their<br />

projects for <strong>Intersections</strong>. For example, Elaine<br />

Rutherford, Steven Lemke, Nate Burbeck, and<br />

Chloe Briggs developed an installation about<br />

their shared interest in remembering, which<br />

explores the relationship <strong>of</strong> memory to souvenirs<br />

and mementos. Projecting images <strong>of</strong> their own<br />

vacation snapshots onto a wall dotted with<br />

blank wax tiles and gilded frames ready<br />

to “receive” memories, this group presents a<br />

network <strong>of</strong> object-containers meant to trigger<br />

viewers’ memories. Any object, it seems, can<br />

serve as a container for an entirely different set <strong>of</strong><br />

memories or associations. But why do this? This<br />

group surmises that the past is forever gone,<br />

yet human consciousness projects its experiences<br />

<strong>of</strong> the past, its memories, onto objects in the<br />

world, and thereby these things become “home.”<br />

Similar insights about temporality and experience<br />

are illuminated by the project <strong>of</strong> printmakers<br />

Sara Downing, Stephanie Hunder, and Elizabeth<br />

Sunita Jacobson. This group devised a method <strong>of</strong><br />

working independently to coauthor a set <strong>of</strong> large<br />

prints that are palimpsests. Each artist worked<br />

alone printing images, then left the prints for the<br />

next artist to pick up, consider, and respond to.<br />

Each session <strong>of</strong> printing yielded a visual message<br />

<strong>of</strong> sorts sent forward to the future.<br />

By turning the creative process into a series<br />

<strong>of</strong> relays played out across time, this team’s<br />

process reveals one <strong>of</strong> our most repressed<br />

phenomenological senses, consciousness <strong>of</strong> the<br />

temporal axis. So caught up are we in the present<br />

moment, we forget the uncanny truth that every<br />

image we make, every text we write, functions as a<br />

message from the past sent to the future.<br />

Time is not linear. The installation by Linda Rossi<br />

and Alec Soth maps points <strong>of</strong> intersection in the<br />

paths <strong>of</strong> these artists’ lives over the course <strong>of</strong><br />

twenty years—first as teacher and student, then<br />

as pr<strong>of</strong>essionals working in their field. We tend to<br />

conceptualize history as an arrow; our individual<br />

trajectories progress along its line forward in time.<br />

By calling attention to the illusive intersections<br />

<strong>of</strong> time, space, and human consciousness, Rossi<br />

and Soth’s installation about Carleton <strong>College</strong>’s<br />

Goodsell Observatory charts points <strong>of</strong> convergence<br />

that reveal wildly eccentric trajectories that<br />

crisscross in uncanny ways and make it<br />

impossible to conceptualize time as a forward<br />

linear movement. In this installation, we see<br />

that time is not a line, but rather a cluster<br />

<strong>of</strong> fragmentary events that mingle and flow in<br />

innumerable directions.<br />



CULTURES CROSSINGS | Whereas much contemporary art concerning identity and<br />

ethnicity — African American art, Latino art, lesbian art, etc. is devoted to the<br />

differences between cultural groups or within specific ethnic traditions, Italian<br />

American artist Laura E. Migliorino worked with Japanese sisters Yumi and Mayu<br />

Nagaoka on a photography project that explores the unlikely intersection <strong>of</strong> Italian<br />

and Japanese heritage in Madame Butterfly, an opera about a Japanese woman<br />

written at the turn <strong>of</strong> the twentieth century by Italian composer Giacomo Puccini.<br />

Similarly, Priscilla Briggs and Hmong artist<br />

Blong Lor spent months photographing the<br />

rich environments <strong>of</strong> local Hmong markets. For<br />

their installation they created a grid <strong>of</strong> images<br />

that “emphasizes a merging <strong>of</strong> Hmong and<br />

American culture.” These projects demonstrate<br />

that when artists work collaboratively, cultural<br />

difference <strong>of</strong>ten serves to structure intersections<br />

and convergences rather than separation<br />

and divergence.<br />

The idea that identity is shaped at the juncture <strong>of</strong><br />

the individual and community, at the intersection<br />

<strong>of</strong> interior voice and the exterior voice, is the<br />

subject <strong>of</strong> the video installation by GraceMarie<br />

Keaton and Katherine Turczan about the<br />

awkwardness <strong>of</strong> adolescence. A boy is shown<br />

practicing the task <strong>of</strong> tying a knot, one <strong>of</strong> the<br />

skills encouraged by Boys Scouts survival<br />

guides to ready boys for their masculine roles<br />

in the world. He recites a poem as he works,<br />

reminding us <strong>of</strong> the inner voice <strong>of</strong> adolescence,<br />

which is <strong>of</strong>ten both vulnerable and cocky at this<br />

stage <strong>of</strong> ego development. Far from autonomous,<br />

subjectivity is represented here as a receptive<br />

field that is responsive to a range <strong>of</strong> exterior<br />

voices and pressures.<br />

It is fitting to conclude this essay that pits<br />

collaboration, intersections, and multiplicity<br />

against singularity and autonomy by turning to<br />

Virginia Woolf, whose 1931 novel The Waves is<br />

the source <strong>of</strong> inspiration for Isa Gagarin and<br />

Karen Wirth’s installation. Considered Woolf’s<br />

most experimental book, The Waves presents<br />

an abstracted voice that does not correlate with<br />

the “autonomous subject” and aims instead to<br />

simulate human consciousness unfolding within<br />

a buzz <strong>of</strong> undirected perception. The reader is not<br />

<strong>of</strong>fered a point <strong>of</strong> view or singular perspective(s),<br />

but rather is presented with constantly shifting<br />

points <strong>of</strong> view that intersect and meld one<br />

into another.<br />

Narrating multiple streams <strong>of</strong> consciousness<br />

rather than a plot, Woolf <strong>of</strong>fers the reader no<br />

“I” to attach to in the text. Inspired by Woolf’s<br />

example, Gagarin and Wirth present moving video<br />

footage, written text, sounds, and pictures as<br />

a web <strong>of</strong> crossing perceptual waves intended to<br />

unmoor the viewer’s rootedness in their sense<br />

<strong>of</strong> the “I,” their perception <strong>of</strong> themselves as<br />

separate and autonomous in the world.<br />

Patricia Briggs is director and curator <strong>of</strong> the galleries<br />

at the University <strong>of</strong> Wisconsin-Parkside. Her writing<br />

appears in <strong>Art</strong>forum and many other print and online<br />

journals. She writes the blog Scene Unseen: Viewing<br />

Notes about visual arts in her community.<br />


LAURA E.<br />


MAYU<br />


YUMI<br />


MN Butterfly Series, inkjet on paper, installation dimensions variable (grid <strong>of</strong> 12 images, each 16" x 10"), 2011.<br />


LAURA E.<br />


MAYU<br />


YUMI<br />


Shooting the project.<br />


LAURA E.<br />


MAYU<br />


YUMI<br />



MN Butterfly is a series <strong>of</strong> photographs illustrating<br />

the metamorphosis <strong>of</strong> a traditional Japanese woman<br />

into a young man.<br />

Inspired by the opera Madame Butterfly and<br />

the play M Butterfly, the project explores the<br />

Japanese response to an opera written by an<br />

Italian where the person lacking a moral<br />

conscience is American.<br />

The collaborating artists are Japanese and Italian<br />

American. The fluid gender identity in the play M<br />

Butterfly adds another layer to the project and<br />

reflects the experience <strong>of</strong> a generation that is<br />

more comfortable with nuanced gender roles.<br />


LAURA E.<br />


MAYU<br />


YUMI<br />



The relationship between student and teacher<br />

is one <strong>of</strong> the most intimate and pr<strong>of</strong>ound<br />

relationships between two people. From<br />

Socrates to the film Dead Poets Society, the<br />

bond has been analyzed and romanticized. It<br />

can be a beacon <strong>of</strong> hope for a young person<br />

who is seeking direction. When the balance<br />

between teacher and student shifts, however,<br />

challenges arise for both people and require<br />

special navigational skill.<br />

Laura collaborated with two former students,<br />

sisters Yumi and Mayu. We began our project by<br />

discussing topics <strong>of</strong> interest to us. We were drawn<br />

to Madame Butterfly because the opera concerns<br />

Japanese culture but was written by an Italian and<br />

addresses women’s issues. We are all interested<br />

in issues regarding gender norms and identity.<br />

Laura suggested we merge the two subjects, and<br />

we then explored the M Butterfly story.<br />

Laura’s challenge was to step back and not steer<br />

the project. Yumi and Mayu did a lot <strong>of</strong> checking in,<br />

and Laura tossed control back to them. Eventually<br />

we settled into our roles but remained aware <strong>of</strong><br />

how easily Laura could dominate the team. During<br />

our shoots Laura would work and then step away,<br />

encouraging Yumi and Mayu to take risks and<br />

be confident.<br />


LINDA<br />

ROSSI<br />

ALEC<br />

SOTH<br />

FAR LEFT Linda Rossi, Optic Nerve (poster representing Goodsell Observatory installation) with details, inkjet print, 24" x 18", 2006. LEFT Linda Rossi, The Moon and the Sea <strong>of</strong><br />

Crisis, inkjet print, 24" x 18", 2006. TOP CENTER Linda Rossi, Camouflage, transparency on Plexiglas, 8" x 10", 2006. BOTTOM CENTER Linda Rossi, Luminos, transparency<br />

on Plexiglas, 8" x 10", 2006. RIGHT Alec Soth, Fly and Comet, color coupler print, 16" x 20", 2001. FAR RIGHT Alec Soth, Observatory, color coupler print, 16" x 20", 2001.<br />


LINDA<br />

ROSSI<br />

ALEC<br />

SOTH<br />

LEFT Linda Rossi, Luminos, transparency on Plexiglas, 8" x 10", 2006. RIGHT Linda Rossi, Camouflage, transparency on<br />

Plexiglas, 8" x 10", 2006.<br />


LINDA<br />

ROSSI<br />

ALEC<br />

SOTH<br />

LEFT Alec Soth, Fly and Comet, color coupler print, 16" x 20", 2001. RIGHT Alec Soth, Observatory, color coupler print, 16" x 20", 2001.<br />


LINDA<br />

ROSSI<br />

ALEC<br />

SOTH<br />


We met in Linda’s Introductory through Advanced<br />

Photography class twenty years ago. Linda still<br />

remembers Alec’s images, which quietly asked<br />

the viewer to reflect on the specific detail within<br />

a larger ambiguous space, <strong>of</strong>ten resulting in an<br />

unexpectedly rich experience.<br />

Today, we both engage with photography as<br />

a journey, teetering with our cameras between<br />

control and wondrous discovery. This method <strong>of</strong><br />

walking the edge between the known and unknown<br />

becomes a “field guide” for both teaching and<br />

artistic work.<br />

Carleton <strong>College</strong>’s Goodsell Observatory, dedicated<br />

over a hundred years ago to the quest for celestial<br />

knowledge, provides a fertile meeting ground for<br />

our parallel visions.<br />


LINDA<br />

ROSSI<br />

ALEC<br />

SOTH<br />


The Observatory is less a conventional collaboration than<br />

a conversation across time.<br />

Alec visited the Goodsell Observatory at Carleton<br />

<strong>College</strong> in 2001 for the project Vantage Points. He<br />

used the frame <strong>of</strong> the window to articulate the<br />

relationships between inside and outside and<br />

between constructed and natural environments.<br />

“I don’t know a lot about life at Carleton. I’m a<br />

tourist. Maybe that makes the beauty more<br />

apparent. From my first day on campus, I<br />

found a distinct and consistent beauty. This<br />

beauty has something to do with the mix<br />

<strong>of</strong> rural serenity and intense scholarship.”<br />

Linda created the installation Optic Nerve in<br />

Goodsell in 2006, an intervention into the space<br />

that dramatized artifacts and intensified the<br />

sense <strong>of</strong> history. “In the illuminated display case<br />

surrounding the base <strong>of</strong> the large telescope, I<br />

replaced the old glass plate images <strong>of</strong> stars and<br />

galaxies (see an example in Alec’s photograph Fly<br />

and Comet) with my own pictures, printed on glass,<br />

<strong>of</strong> science experiments and objects.” Visitors pass<br />

through the lobby to the window-lined room<br />

above (Alec’s photograph Observatory), where<br />

the reflecting telescope reaches for the stars and<br />

The Moon and the Sea <strong>of</strong> Crisis was shot.<br />

In 2011 we talked about the provocative<br />

intersection <strong>of</strong> our work within Goodsell<br />

Observatory and read Rebecca Solnit’s A Field<br />

Guide to Getting Lost. We selected particular<br />

images (Rossi’s Luminos and Soth’s Fly and<br />

Comet) based on Solnit’s concept <strong>of</strong> the Blue<br />

<strong>of</strong> Distance. Blue Distance is both optical and<br />

emotional; blue defines the edge <strong>of</strong> vision and<br />

embodies the longing for a distance we never<br />

arrive at.<br />


CHLOE<br />

BRIGGS<br />

STEVEN<br />

LEMKE<br />

NATE<br />


ELAINE<br />


Re-collections (full view), handmade, found, and altered objects on the wall overlaid with<br />

projections <strong>of</strong> photos from personal archives, variable dimensions, 2011. Photo credit:<br />

Alex Johnson, Alex Johnson Photography, alexjohnsonphoto.com.<br />


CHLOE<br />

BRIGGS<br />

STEVEN<br />

LEMKE<br />

NATE<br />


ELAINE<br />


LEFT TO RIGHT Re-collections (details), handmade, found, and altered objects on the wall overlaid with<br />

projections <strong>of</strong> photos from personal archives, variable dimensions, 2011. Photo credit: Alex Johnson,<br />

Alex Johnson Photography, alexjohnsonphoto.com.<br />


CHLOE<br />

BRIGGS<br />

STEVEN<br />

LEMKE<br />

NATE<br />


ELAINE<br />


Re-collections (group image), handmade, found, and altered objects on the wall overlaid with projections <strong>of</strong> photos from<br />

personal archives, variable dimensions, 2011. Photo credit: Alex Johnson, Alex Johnson Photography, alexjohnsonphoto.com.<br />


CHLOE<br />

BRIGGS<br />

STEVEN<br />

LEMKE<br />

NATE<br />


ELAINE<br />



Re-collections considers the idea <strong>of</strong> the souvenir, or any<br />

object used to store and express memory or personalized<br />

experience. These items are not the commodified kind,<br />

nor do they belong in the sentimental realm <strong>of</strong> kitsch.<br />

Rather, Re-collections is meant to investigate a kind <strong>of</strong><br />

cultural geography through the use <strong>of</strong> the souvenir.<br />

These objects explore the souvenir as a means <strong>of</strong><br />

materializing experience and engage a dialogue<br />

between “the miniature and the gigantic.”<br />

Re-collections is an installation in which projections<br />

<strong>of</strong> photographs excavated from both personal and<br />

imaginary archives depict an idealized vision <strong>of</strong><br />

utopian landscapes. Wax tiles and house forms,<br />

gilded picture frame shrines, and small paintings<br />

on the interiors <strong>of</strong> discarded lids dot this<br />

landscape <strong>of</strong> projected slide imagery. “The<br />

souvenir may be seen as emblematic <strong>of</strong> the<br />

nostalgia that all narrative reveals—the longing<br />

for its place <strong>of</strong> origin.”*<br />

*Quotations from Susan Stewart, On Longing: Narratives <strong>of</strong> the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection<br />

(Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1993).<br />


CHLOE<br />

BRIGGS<br />

STEVEN<br />

LEMKE<br />

NATE<br />


ELAINE<br />



How do we cultivate a true collaboration where there is no understood<br />

or assumed hierarchy? What occurs in the process when we test our<br />

assumptions, work outside our comfort zone, and make ourselves<br />

vulnerable? In our case, the collaboration itself defined the outcome.<br />

For us, this process was more about the<br />

opportunity to explore what evolved as we<br />

stepped back and relinquished control, thus<br />

creating the space for a shared conceptual and<br />

formal vision.<br />

During our first meeting we drew a diagram that<br />

identified ideas <strong>of</strong> remembering, collecting,<br />

landscape, and the seductiveness found in the<br />

sparse or the bleak as points <strong>of</strong> intersection.<br />

From this, we developed a working sentence,<br />

which would become the springboard for our ideas:<br />

exploring the souvenir as a means <strong>of</strong> materializing<br />

experience. In our attempt to achieve a genuine<br />

collaboration, we have discovered the value in<br />

the act <strong>of</strong> letting go. Our shared authorship has<br />

provided us with a framework for determining<br />

what to keep and what to discard.<br />

Our formal and conceptual process is documented in our blog: materializations.tumblr.com<br />


ALYSSA<br />

BAGUSS<br />

LYNDA<br />


LEFT Untitled, graphite and white pencil on paper, 30" x 22", 2011. CENTER & RIGHT Untitled (details),<br />

graphite and white pencil on paper, 2011. Photo credit: Jerry Mathiason.<br />


ALYSSA<br />

BAGUSS<br />

LYNDA<br />


LEFT Alyssa Baguss, 7, 8, 9, graphite on paper, 6.5" x 6", 2011. CENTER Alyssa Baguss, Bulb, graphite<br />

on paper, 6" x 4.5", 2011. RIGHT Alyssa Baguss, Forward Slash?, graphite on paper, 11" x 18", 2011.<br />

Photo credit: Jerry Mathiason.<br />


ALYSSA<br />

BAGUSS<br />

LYNDA<br />


LEFT Lynda Monick-Isenberg, Indigo Resistor, graphite on paper, 6.5" x 5.5", 2011. CENTER Lynda Monick-Isenberg, Cable<br />

Twist, graphite on paper, 6.5" x 5", 2011. RIGHT Lynda Monick-Isenberg, Electrical Resistor, graphite on paper, 5.5" x 7.5",<br />

2011. Photo credit: Jerry Mathiason.<br />


ALYSSA<br />

BAGUSS<br />

LYNDA<br />



Our work focuses on the process and intuition <strong>of</strong> drawing.<br />

We both draw with precision, intention, and curiosity,<br />

systematically drawing three dimensions as illusion on a<br />

two-dimensional plane, investigating insignificant items<br />

that have lost their value to society, recalling their<br />

onetime significance.<br />

Research is at the core <strong>of</strong> both <strong>of</strong> our individual<br />

practices. Questions drive dedication to the<br />

work. Through our collaborative process forgoing<br />

authorship, our work moves into the world <strong>of</strong> the<br />

uncertain, precarious, and unpredictable with<br />

personally delightful and indeterminate results.<br />

This process—akin to automatic drawing—allows<br />

the work to move from precise, representational<br />

forms to suggestions <strong>of</strong> unexpected abstract<br />

ideas. Content is expressed unconsciously by the<br />

unplanned, but suggestive, placement <strong>of</strong> images.<br />

Meaning develops as diverse concepts are freed<br />

from our rational control.<br />

Join the discussion at: drawing-as-language@googlegroups.com<br />


ALYSSA<br />

BAGUSS<br />

LYNDA<br />



Our collaboration began by creating paired lists <strong>of</strong> shared values.<br />

From there we designed a project, trusting that it would develop<br />

intuitively and that we would gain individually from the collaboration.<br />

Questions about the partnered relationship—how and what we would<br />

learn from this relationship—were at the core <strong>of</strong> the collaboration. A<br />

sense <strong>of</strong> joined authorship was intriguing.<br />

We decided to collaborate on a drawing. The<br />

drawing traveled between us every two weeks.<br />

As it changed hands, we uploaded questions,<br />

research, and reactions to our Drawing-as-<br />

Language Google group to record our process.<br />

When we met to exchange the work, we discussed<br />

our weekly experience, reflecting on product,<br />

process, and partnership, and examined perceived<br />

problems and next steps. These conversations<br />

led to a rich discourse about contemporary arts’<br />

relationship to religion, science, and technology;<br />

drawing process and intention; and teaching,<br />

parenting, partnership, animals, food, kindness,<br />

trust, and time.<br />

In addition to the “traveling” drawing, we worked<br />

on small, individual “practice” drawings using<br />

shared subject matter. These elicited surprise,<br />

beauty, fear, and worry, but overall they created<br />

excitement and allowed each <strong>of</strong> us to explore new<br />

ways <strong>of</strong> working as we drew from one another’s<br />

expertise, ideas, knowledge, and experience.<br />


KIM<br />

BENSON<br />

VAL<br />


LEFT Kim Benson, Coming Spring, oil on canvas, 36" x 36", 2011. CENTER Kim Benson,The Three Wise Triptych<br />

(1 <strong>of</strong> 3), oil on panel, 23" x 21", 2011. RIGHT Kim Benson, untitled, oil on panel, 25" x 25", 2011.<br />


KIM<br />

BENSON<br />

VAL<br />


LEFT Val Jenkins, Harbinger 1, digital print on rag paper, 45" x 24", 2011. CENTER Val Jenkins, Harbinger 2,<br />

digital print on rag paper, 24" x 49", 2011. RIGHT Val Jenkins, Harbinger 3, digital print on rag paper,<br />

38" x 24", 2011.<br />


KIM<br />

BENSON<br />

VAL<br />



Kim’s recent paintings inspired Val to revisit a previous body <strong>of</strong><br />

work. We drew intersections between our artistic practices based on<br />

our desire to respond to issues <strong>of</strong> war, human suffering, and the<br />

body in pain.<br />

Kim explores the dichotomy between beauty,<br />

inherent in the seductive qualities <strong>of</strong> oil paint,<br />

and violence, endemic to human nature. The<br />

transformative power <strong>of</strong> life found in the cycle<br />

<strong>of</strong> death, rebirth, and regeneration informs her<br />

painting process and subject matter.<br />

Val’s images were culled from the mass media<br />

from 2001 to 2003. In her drawings, subjects <strong>of</strong><br />

physical abuse and torture take on a new presence<br />

as fluid forms—thick pools <strong>of</strong> ink—settle<br />

according to the physical/geographic conditions<br />

that surround them. Ridges within the figures<br />

and tonal values, for example, are created entirely<br />

based on the rate <strong>of</strong> drying time, the angle <strong>of</strong> the<br />

table, and the vibrations in the room. Enlarged<br />

into abstractions, they become monstrous yet<br />

banal—rooted in the familiar gestures <strong>of</strong> the<br />

human body while implying something unfamiliar,<br />

mysterious, or ominous.<br />

As artists we desire to place our work in the<br />

service <strong>of</strong> posing questions about the expressive<br />

capability <strong>of</strong> art, the cultural value <strong>of</strong> a studio<br />

practice, and the need to transform despair,<br />

loss, and suffering into physical forms with<br />

positive meanings.<br />


KIM<br />

BENSON<br />

VAL<br />



What brought us together was a shared belief in a studio practice that<br />

is based on an ongoing engagement with the world. This engagement<br />

manifests itself as part <strong>of</strong> a daily regimen; it is as much a part <strong>of</strong> our<br />

lives as eating.<br />

We are also committed to a creative practice<br />

that is cultivated with great attentiveness, free<br />

from the demands we place on our social and<br />

pr<strong>of</strong>essional lives, and that relies upon a rigorous<br />

interplay between autonomy and mutuality.<br />

Respond is a salient word that characterizes both<br />

<strong>of</strong> our processes; we respond to the intrinsic<br />

qualities <strong>of</strong> the media with which we work and to<br />

the conditions in society that induce us to create.<br />

We do not make work to illustrate ideas or develop<br />

narratives; rather, we are both interested in how<br />

our work embodies meaning, incites reflection,<br />

and situates the viewer in a liminal space that<br />

embraces uncertainty as a precondition to growth<br />

and new experience.<br />

Our intersection was structured around the<br />

dialogue we had while present in each other’s<br />

studios: meaningful and lasting conversations<br />

about making art and living life.<br />


SARA<br />



HUNDER<br />



Slag and Bloom, serigraph and collage on panel, 57" x 128" (each panel 57" x 24"), 2011.<br />


SARA<br />



HUNDER<br />




Ours is a collaboration <strong>of</strong> printmakers. In this medium, much <strong>of</strong> the<br />

content is created by the doing: how carving a line changes it, how<br />

layering affects subject matter, how transparency or opacity <strong>of</strong> ink<br />

creates a metaphor.<br />

Each artist brought her own interests in the form<br />

<strong>of</strong> images to share and combine with others. In<br />

the fusion, themes begin to develop. The work<br />

is necessarily about process, about the coming<br />

together <strong>of</strong> different forms and the clashes and<br />

unexpected harmonies that occur.<br />

Sara's images address her spine—the surgeries,<br />

pain, and disabilities following an injury. Elements<br />

stack up, float in graceful columns, or are shattered<br />

and screwed together with hardware.<br />

birth, growth, and aging find form in a scatter <strong>of</strong><br />

leaves, the curl <strong>of</strong> an embryo, or a folding <strong>of</strong> wings.<br />

Elizabeth explores concepts ranging from<br />

horoscopes to laws <strong>of</strong> physics as metaphors<br />

for personal concerns. Her current work <strong>of</strong>ten<br />

requires the viewer to interact with the print or<br />

manipulate some part. The body, time, structure,<br />

and decay emerge as themes <strong>of</strong> our collaboration.<br />

Stephanie’s recent work examines the ambiguities<br />

<strong>of</strong> life through natural allegories. Questions about<br />


SARA<br />



HUNDER<br />




We met together several times to talk about<br />

ideas and what kind <strong>of</strong> pieces we wanted<br />

to make. However, maybe because we are<br />

printmakers and used to working out ideas<br />

during the creation <strong>of</strong> the work, the discussions<br />

seemed vague and unresolved. Eventually we<br />

decided to quit talking and start printing—only<br />

then did interesting things start happening.<br />

At the beginning <strong>of</strong> the project, Stephanie felt it<br />

was easy for her to dominate the group and set<br />

the direction. Though she worried a little about<br />

that, she soon lost sway over the others. In the<br />

end, the three <strong>of</strong> us seemed like equal—yet very<br />

different—partners. We had hoped we would<br />

meet together for studio sessions, but that turned<br />

out to be impractical, and instead we <strong>of</strong>ten printed<br />

alone, responding to what had been left behind<br />

by the last artist.<br />

When Stephanie worked in this style before (for a<br />

project called Semographics), it was with a larger<br />

team, a crew <strong>of</strong> assistants, and a structured<br />

schedule. The printing proceeded rapidly amid<br />

lively conversation, building many layers and<br />

dense imagery. This time the process was much<br />

quieter, slower, and thoughtful, and the images<br />

reflect that.<br />



BRIGGS<br />

BLONG<br />

LOR<br />

Hmong Village, St. Paul, archival pigment prints, 40" x 78" (grid <strong>of</strong> 12 images, each image 12" x 18"), 2011.<br />



BRIGGS<br />

BLONG<br />

LOR<br />


As the economy struggles to regain momentum,<br />

people are reconsidering priorities and values.<br />

Last year, the <strong>Minneapolis</strong> Institute <strong>of</strong> <strong>Art</strong>s<br />

mounted an exhibition titled Embarrassment<br />

<strong>of</strong> Riches: Picturing Global Wealth. The didactic<br />

from the exhibition stated, “The question this<br />

exhibition seeks to explore is: How have<br />

photographers pictured and examined the<br />

new economy? This leads to other provocative<br />

questions for audiences to consider, such<br />

as, what does wealth look like in different<br />

cultural situations and, more generally, in our age?”<br />

Embarrassment <strong>of</strong> Riches is one example <strong>of</strong> the<br />

current dialogue in the arts surrounding the<br />

global economy as it relates to culture. We add<br />

to this dialogue by looking at the opposite end <strong>of</strong><br />

the economic spectrum, at what immigrants (who<br />

leave one country for another with little more<br />

than their values and sense <strong>of</strong> identity) and their<br />

children consider to be precious.<br />

In Hmong Village, St. Paul, we focus on objects in<br />

the marketplace as artifacts or embodiments <strong>of</strong><br />

culture that symbolize or reflect ideas about love,<br />

memory, tradition, and identity within Hmong<br />

American culture.<br />



BRIGGS<br />

BLONG<br />

LOR<br />


We began our collaboration with an intention to create a series<br />

<strong>of</strong> photo and video artworks based on the idea that the things<br />

people value reflect their individual and cultural identities<br />

and perspectives.<br />

Initially, we planned to compare and contrast<br />

various ethnic markets in the Twin Cities<br />

as mirrors <strong>of</strong> cultural values. However, after<br />

beginning to photograph and discuss the images,<br />

we decided to focus specifically on Hmong culture<br />

for two reasons: the Hmong culture in Minnesota<br />

is a large and rich territory; and as a young<br />

Hmong American navigating two cultures, Blong<br />

is in the process <strong>of</strong> questioning and defining his<br />

own values.<br />

Our collaboration revolved around a process <strong>of</strong><br />

exchange and integration as a verbal and visual<br />

dialogue. Initially, we photographed on our own at<br />

various Hmong markets in St. Paul. After pooling<br />

our photos to explore our ideas, we decided to<br />

focus on the Hmong Village shopping complex<br />

on Johnson Parkway for this suite <strong>of</strong> images and<br />

made many trips there together.<br />


HANNAH<br />


CHRIS<br />


LEFT Hannah Geil-Neufeld, Styromoon, ink, watercolor, and colored pencil on paper, 12" x 24", 2011. RIGHT Hannah Geil-Neufeld,<br />

Styromoon (detail), ink, watercolor, and colored pencil on paper, 2011.<br />


HANNAH<br />


CHRIS<br />


LEFT Chris Willcox, As We Left It, ink and acrylic on paper, 30" x 44", 2011. RIGHT Chris Willcox,<br />

As We Left It (detail), ink and acrylic on paper, 2011.<br />


HANNAH<br />


CHRIS<br />



Our work shares a fascination with what has been (and what<br />

surely will be) left behind as a result <strong>of</strong> human exploration<br />

and striving.<br />

Chris has studied the artifacts that were left<br />

behind from the British Franklin Arctic Expedition<br />

<strong>of</strong> 1848, such as rusted tin cans, pocket watches,<br />

boot heels, and grave markers. Relics from<br />

this time litter parts <strong>of</strong> the frozen wasteland <strong>of</strong><br />

Beechey Island in northern Canada. It does not<br />

require a leap <strong>of</strong> imagination to wonder what<br />

sorts <strong>of</strong> objects have been left on the moon by our<br />

contemporary explorers, astronauts.<br />

was unlikely to decompose, and so she thought<br />

that her castle was going to last forever. Questions<br />

emerge from this line <strong>of</strong> thinking, such as, would<br />

such an object travel, and how would it change<br />

over time? What might a Styr<strong>of</strong>oam artifact look<br />

like covered with organic debris (like mussels<br />

and barnacles) in some future scene? Could her<br />

artifact ever end up on the moon?<br />

Hannah remembers that when she was a child,<br />

she made a castle out <strong>of</strong> Styr<strong>of</strong>oam egg cartons<br />

with her father. She was aware that Styr<strong>of</strong>oam<br />


HANNAH<br />


CHRIS<br />



This past summer, Hannah suggested that Chris read Italo Calvino’s<br />

short story collection Cosmicomics. In particular, the story “The<br />

Distance <strong>of</strong> the Moon” interested us, as Calvino tells a fantastical<br />

tale about an earlier time when the narrator and his companions<br />

rowed out to sea and climbed up to the moon.<br />

These events occurred near the beginning <strong>of</strong><br />

time as humans know it, when the moon orbited<br />

so close to the earth that it scraped against the<br />

earth with each orbit, collecting artifacts from the<br />

land and sea.<br />

The story sparked our discussion about human<br />

exploration <strong>of</strong> the moon, and we wonder about<br />

the environmental implications <strong>of</strong> exploration<br />

to other celestial realms. In short, what will we<br />

continue to leave behind as we move forward?<br />

This fantastical story resonated well with<br />

Hannah’s interest in otherworldly scenes and<br />

the possibility <strong>of</strong> earthly artifacts ending up in<br />

other settings. Chris’s interests in “otherworldly”<br />

earth geographies, like the polar regions, were<br />

the foundation for her image, although she also<br />

imagines it as an abandoned moonscape <strong>of</strong><br />

the future.<br />


ISA<br />


KAREN<br />

WIRTH<br />

Nothing Staid, single channel video, copier printed bound book, 20" x 30" x 10", 2011.<br />

Photo credit: Rik Sferra.<br />


ISA<br />


KAREN<br />

WIRTH<br />

Nothing Staid, 47-second video loop, Cape <strong>of</strong> Good Hope / Park Avenue Armory, NY: Ryoji Ikeda, 2011.<br />


ISA<br />


KAREN<br />

WIRTH<br />

Nothing Staid, sequence repeated for 100 pages, 2011. Text from Virginia Woolf, The Waves, 1931.<br />


ISA<br />


KAREN<br />

WIRTH<br />


Based on Virginia Woolf’s The Waves, Nothing Staid articulates<br />

the repetition <strong>of</strong> life experience. The Waves delves into individual<br />

consciousness over the course <strong>of</strong> life; it is internal, reflective.<br />

The novel’s structure couples long narrative with<br />

short interruptions full <strong>of</strong> simile and description.<br />

We followed that rhythm in editing the video,<br />

while in the accompanying book we provide<br />

a continuous, contemplative commentary. The<br />

meditative quality <strong>of</strong> repetition is a form <strong>of</strong><br />

emptying out; nothingness can be meaningful.<br />

The forty-seven-second video loop cycles through<br />

footage that is quiet and repetitive, interrupted<br />

abruptly by patterns. A black book sits just below,<br />

with a hundred pages <strong>of</strong> sparse white handtraced<br />

text. Repeated lines from The Waves cause<br />

a rhythmic loss <strong>of</strong> self, while creating a chant-like<br />

poem that is both Woolf’s and the artists’.<br />

Collapsing our personal identities with Woolf’s<br />

writing and the figures in the video is a way to<br />

saturate the “I” referred to in the text with multiple<br />

points <strong>of</strong> experience. Who is the speaker? Is it the<br />

reader <strong>of</strong> the text? Where is the “I”? Is it in the<br />

handwritten type, or is it the occasional figure in<br />

the video?<br />

The lull <strong>of</strong> the wave gives way to moments <strong>of</strong><br />

sharp recognition. The piece invites immersion<br />

at the same time that it positions the viewer as<br />

an observer.<br />


ISA<br />


KAREN<br />

WIRTH<br />


The process <strong>of</strong> developing this project began with expanding<br />

from a central notion <strong>of</strong> waves and contracting back to a<br />

focused concept. We collected visual and written sources,<br />

accumulating a constellation <strong>of</strong> interests related to all<br />

things “wave.”<br />

Reading Virginia Woolf’s The Waves led to homing<br />

in on forms and ideas in our collection that related<br />

to the text. Similar to the way the novel quietly<br />

advances through the lives <strong>of</strong> its subjects, our<br />

discussions <strong>of</strong> our own life stages helped us identify<br />

common ground.<br />

The novel also formed underlying structures for<br />

Nothing Staid. The first-person voice in The Waves<br />

becomes subjective in Nothing Staid—who is the<br />

“I”? The artist? The reader? Similarly, the cadence<br />

<strong>of</strong> the novel informed the editing <strong>of</strong> the video.<br />

Nothing Staid replaces linear narrative with<br />

rhythmic sequences.<br />

We developed a collaborative process to cultivate<br />

the vast range <strong>of</strong> information we accumulated into<br />

a refined, concerted piece. Taking away information<br />

proved to be a more challenging and stimulating<br />

process than the initial activity <strong>of</strong> collecting.<br />

Learning from each other’s life perspectives and<br />

aesthetics, we developed a project that does not<br />

reflect one individual more than the other, but<br />

bears a quality that is both shared and personal.<br />



KEATON<br />



Where the Bee Sucks There Suck I, video installation, 3 monitors, looped, 2011.<br />



KEATON<br />




Where the Bee Sucks There Suck I is a video installation<br />

that allows the audience to observe an adolescent boy as<br />

he recites a poem and ties knots.<br />

Inspired by Boy Scouts’ survival methods, the act<br />

<strong>of</strong> tying knots references skills gained by physical<br />

practice and mental focus used to master a task.<br />

The poem, made up <strong>of</strong> coming-<strong>of</strong>-age poems, is<br />

structured to reflect both the interior and exterior<br />

voices <strong>of</strong> a young adolescent boy. The poem shows<br />

a developing ego that is cocky and insecure.<br />

The title <strong>of</strong> the piece is taken from Shakespeare’s<br />

The Tempest. In the play Ariel is an airy spirit who is<br />

imprisoned in a tree by the witch Sycorax. When Ariel<br />

is released, he sings a song to celebrate his freedom:<br />

Where the bee sucks, there suck I.<br />



KEATON<br />




Our project began as something physical and about the body’s<br />

restraint but morphed into a nonobject and about repeated words<br />

and a young adolescent boy’s internal and external struggles.<br />

We both had previously made work about young girls and were<br />

interested in the differences between the sexes at this place<br />

in development.<br />

We struggled with a form for this project until we<br />

came upon Boy Scouts manuals and poems about<br />

adolescence. Then the structure <strong>of</strong> the piece fell<br />

into place. Katherine has a thirteen-year-old son<br />

with braces. It was evident that he should be used<br />

for the video.<br />

Some notes on the itinerary and geography <strong>of</strong> our collaboration:<br />

Student Teacher Student Friends Collaborators.<br />

Twenty-five years age difference insignificant.<br />

<strong>Minneapolis</strong>, United States Dneprodzerzhinsk, Ukraine.<br />

Thirty e-mails two days shooting in <strong>Minneapolis</strong> together.<br />

New York City <strong>Minneapolis</strong> via e-mail next three months.<br />

Shared readings shared poems shared writing.<br />


S.CATRIN<br />


STEVIE<br />


S. Catrin Magnusson, 1", felt, wood, 52" x 48" x 1", 2011.<br />


S.CATRIN<br />


STEVIE<br />


Stevie Rexroth, untitled from New Forms, photography mounted on Sintra, 50" x 40", 2011.<br />


S.CATRIN<br />


STEVIE<br />



S. Catrin Magnusson<br />

My work explores in-between areas <strong>of</strong> physical<br />

and psychological landscapes that move<br />

back and forth between inclusion and<br />

exclusion, connection and disconnection,<br />

the material and immaterial.<br />

I am interested in the concepts <strong>of</strong> displacement<br />

and impermanence and how they are represented<br />

in geology, namely the boundaries <strong>of</strong> tectonic<br />

plates where subduction, divergence, or grinding<br />

occurs. The work focuses on the Mid-Atlantic<br />

Ridge, a deep rift whose force pushes North<br />

and South America apart from Europe and<br />

Africa by an inch every year. The rift functions<br />

as a metaphor for the increasing distance<br />

and tension between countries and cultures,<br />

and speaks as well to a personal narrative <strong>of</strong><br />

coexisting between two cultures, two ideologies,<br />

and two landscapes.<br />

Stevie Rexroth<br />

This work continues an investigation <strong>of</strong><br />

the nature <strong>of</strong> subjecthood in photography<br />

through the use <strong>of</strong> simple materials<br />

and means.<br />

I create small sculptural forms from white<br />

drawing paper and photograph them against<br />

a white background. The sculptural forms<br />

have no direct referent in the world. They are<br />

created purely from a sense <strong>of</strong> play—cutting,<br />

moving, gluing shapes around. It is organic<br />

and meditative. The outcome <strong>of</strong> this process<br />

is a quiet, almost nonpresent image, white on<br />

white, sitting somewhere between a two-and<br />

three-dimensional experience. A photographic<br />

image becomes a work on paper, a drawing, and<br />

perhaps returns in a cycle to the early definition<br />

<strong>of</strong> photography as drawing with light.<br />


S.CATRIN<br />


STEVIE<br />



We came together as mentor/mentee in the MCAD MFA program.<br />

Although we came to art from different backgrounds, Stevie from<br />

literary theory and Catrin from filmmaking, from the beginning we<br />

had an easy, thoughtful, and engaged relationship.<br />

Researchers at heart, we <strong>of</strong>ten bring an artist’s<br />

work, a reading, or magazine tear-out to each<br />

other only to realize that we have been looking/<br />

thinking/exploring similar territories.<br />

We share common aesthetic and stylistic<br />

interests, from midcentury modern architectural<br />

forms and Scandinavian design to topographical<br />

maps. Both <strong>of</strong> our work investigates repeated<br />

or layered forms, <strong>of</strong>ten in a monochromatic<br />

palette, as conversations spin around ideas <strong>of</strong><br />

expansion/compaction, space/nonspace, and<br />

the solid/ephemeral.<br />

A bit stubborn and perhaps private, neither <strong>of</strong> us<br />

was interested in creating a singular work from<br />

a traditional collaborative process. Yet having<br />

recognized from our initial meeting that our work<br />

seemed to already be in conversation, we wanted<br />

to <strong>of</strong>fer distinct works side by side.<br />

Ironically, out <strong>of</strong> our many conversations surrounding<br />

the <strong>Intersections</strong> exhibition, we have begun to plan<br />

for future collaborative making.<br />

Perhaps we have grown out <strong>of</strong> the mentor/mentee model<br />

that initially brought us together and are ready to explore<br />

how a collaborative investigation can nurture our ongoing<br />

bond and our individual practices. This is where we begin<br />

to intersect.<br />



OLSON<br />

ROXI<br />


LEFT Patricia Olson, Self-Portrait at 60 (after Beckmann), oil on board, 55" x 37 ", 2011.<br />

RIGHT Patricia Olson, Roxi Swanson (after Ingres), oil on board, 55" x 37", 2011. Photo<br />

credit: Petronella Ytsma.<br />



OLSON<br />

ROXI<br />


LEFT Roxi Swanson, Just Breathe, oil on canvas, 40" x 30", 2011. RIGHT Roxi Swanson,<br />

The Pr<strong>of</strong>essor, oil on canvas, 60" x 36", 2011. Photo credit: Petronella Ytsma.<br />



OLSON<br />

ROXI<br />



As figurative painters, we are drawn to the emotional, expressive<br />

possibilities <strong>of</strong> the human figure, and in our collaborative<br />

conversation we have extended our dialogue to include other<br />

painters from art history.<br />

We began by studying specific self-portraits,<br />

Patricia choosing Max Beckmann’s Self-Portrait in<br />

Tuxedo, and Roxi choosing Jenny Saville’s Knead.<br />

Roxi was interested in Saville’s mark-making<br />

technique and the sickly quality <strong>of</strong> the color, while<br />

Patricia was taken with Beckmann’s posture, at<br />

once confident and guarded, and wanted to bring<br />

a feminist update to this very male presentation<br />

<strong>of</strong> self.<br />

precedents from which to work. Roxi looked<br />

to Egon Schiele’s Portrait <strong>of</strong> the <strong>Art</strong>ist’s Wife<br />

Standing to paint Patricia’s portrait, her interest<br />

being in conveying the innocent quality <strong>of</strong> the<br />

figure. Patricia selected Jean-Auguste-Dominique<br />

Ingres’s Madame Moitessier, again interested in<br />

translating this nineteenth-century presentation<br />

<strong>of</strong> femininity into a twenty-first century sensibility.<br />

After painting self-portraits in the manner <strong>of</strong><br />

these two artists, we then painted portraits<br />

<strong>of</strong> one another, again choosing art historical<br />



OLSON<br />

ROXI<br />



We find intense connection when painting alone in our studios,<br />

almost like having a dialogue with our subjects, so it was important<br />

to both <strong>of</strong> us to continue working in this way.<br />

Our collaborative process involved each making<br />

two paintings that referenced other painters<br />

from art history, thereby expanding the nature<br />

<strong>of</strong> our collaboration. We shared studio visits and<br />

e-mailed images <strong>of</strong> our progress to each other.<br />

The kind <strong>of</strong> solitary studio work that is our normal<br />

lot was enriched by the camaraderie that came<br />

from knowing that another artist across town was<br />

struggling with the same problems and responding to<br />

the presences that emerged from the painted surface.<br />

While we sometimes ventured encouragement<br />

and suggestions, our primary feelings were<br />

amazement and pleasure in the other’s work.<br />


MARY<br />

GRIEP<br />

ADELYN<br />


LEFT <strong>Intersections</strong> (text panel), mixed media, 30" x 30", 2011. RIGHT <strong>Intersections</strong> (full view), mixed media,<br />

132" x 90" (each row 30" x 90"), 2011.<br />


MARY<br />

GRIEP<br />

ADELYN<br />


<strong>Intersections</strong> (row 1), mixed media, 30" x 90", 2011.<br />


MARY<br />

GRIEP<br />

ADELYN<br />


<strong>Intersections</strong> (row 4), mixed media, 30" x 90", 2011.<br />


MARY<br />

GRIEP<br />

ADELYN<br />



<strong>Intersections</strong> is a mixed-media exploration <strong>of</strong> the rich nature<br />

<strong>of</strong> the St. Olaf Natural Lands.<br />

Rooted in late-nineteenth-century descriptions,<br />

aerial photographs, writings on landscape, and<br />

biological data, this drawing uses layers to chart<br />

the progression <strong>of</strong> this particular landscape from<br />

the “Big Woods,” to agriculture, to its current life as<br />

a “demonstration” <strong>of</strong> Minnesota’s various biomes.<br />

Reaping the reward <strong>of</strong> looking carefully, we can<br />

read this landscape as a palimpsest that retains<br />

traces <strong>of</strong> all that has come before and hints <strong>of</strong><br />

what might yet be.<br />

The ubiquitous division <strong>of</strong> the midwestern<br />

landscape into a grid informs the format <strong>of</strong> the<br />

final piece. Prairie blooms over reclaimed farm<br />

fields that settlers and farmers had earlier carved<br />

out from mature forests.<br />

Learn more about St. Olaf Natural Lands at: stolaf.edu/academics/naturallands<br />


MARY<br />

GRIEP<br />

ADELYN<br />



This collaboration began with our joint interest<br />

in the passage <strong>of</strong> time and its traces on a place.<br />

We chose the St. Olaf Natural Lands as a place<br />

<strong>of</strong> study and reflection that we could both<br />

experience and research.<br />

We divided the lands into twelve segments<br />

based on historical aerial photographs, and we<br />

each took responsibility for six. Through weekly<br />

check-ins, we took time over several months to<br />

rearrange, revise, refocus, and react to what we<br />

had each accomplished on our assigned sections.<br />

True collaboration, in contrast to parallel work,<br />

began when all base drawings were done and<br />

decisions needed to be made about the piece<br />

as a whole.<br />

The process was truly one <strong>of</strong> intersections: between<br />

student and teacher, nature and human intervention,<br />

memory and time, and process and product.<br />


ALEXIS<br />

KUHR<br />



Alexis Kuhr, untitled, acrylic, graphite on panel, 6' x 6' x 2", 2011.<br />

Photo credit: Patrick Kelley Worldwide Photography.<br />


ALEXIS<br />

KUHR<br />



Stephanie Thompson, Crossing, acrylic on panel, 6' x 6' x 2", 2011.<br />

Photo credit: Patrick Kelley Worldwide Photography.<br />


ALEXIS<br />

KUHR<br />




Alexis Kuhr<br />

In a series <strong>of</strong> large-scale, mixed-media works<br />

on canvas, I explore the possibilities <strong>of</strong> mark,<br />

space, and surface.<br />

Beginning with the basic elements <strong>of</strong> introductory<br />

perspective, I intuitively realign planes, arriving at<br />

spaces that both advance and retreat to produce<br />

a realm <strong>of</strong> disquieting spatial ambiguity.<br />

Through my process I produce new structures<br />

that create visual interest through slight<br />

visual disruptions that emerge out <strong>of</strong> irregular<br />

geometries. The overall impact is one <strong>of</strong><br />

contemplative, measured activity.<br />

Stephanie Thompson<br />

Influenced by a recent investigation into my<br />

family’s ancestry, I create acrylic paintings<br />

that explore my ability to establish a<br />

genuine relationship with the past.<br />

By carefully selecting shapes derived from<br />

historical photographs, I create structures that<br />

hover between existence and intangibility.<br />

A neutralized color palette combined with planned<br />

gestural mark-making contributes to a fleeting<br />

sense <strong>of</strong> time and place.<br />


ALEXIS<br />

KUHR<br />




At the core <strong>of</strong> our collaborative project is the use <strong>of</strong> painting as a vehicle<br />

to present layered ideas, emotions, and sensations that can be read and<br />

known simultaneously. While the “how” <strong>of</strong> this communication remains to<br />

be discovered, we believe it to be informed by the experience <strong>of</strong> the body in<br />

movement and through cultural memory.<br />

We have worked together since 2007 in various<br />

roles, first as student and teacher, and now in<br />

arts administration. It has grown clearer over<br />

time that although our interests, temperaments,<br />

and working styles align, we adopt divergent<br />

formal languages to explore the broader category<br />

<strong>of</strong> geometric abstraction.<br />

While we employ similar visual structures and<br />

vocabularies, we use these basic elements to<br />

create work with very different personal meaning.<br />

that is influenced by childhood experience <strong>of</strong><br />

the landscape, our unique psychologies, and<br />

generational difference.<br />

The paintings created during this collaboration<br />

hung side-by-side in process in the studio<br />

and inspired, challenged, and enhanced our<br />

independent work. This opportunity proved so<br />

helpful to the development <strong>of</strong> our thinking that<br />

we continued working, allowing the paintings to<br />

evolve and change, until the exhibition opening.<br />

For each <strong>of</strong> us, abstraction encapsulates a<br />

relationship with color, form, scale, and pacing<br />






St. Paul, Minnesota | cva.edu<br />


St. Paul, Minnesota | macalester.edu<br />


St. Paul, Minnesota | stkate.edu<br />

Coon Rapids, Minnesota | anokaramsey.edu<br />

Laura E. Migliorino<br />

Former Division Coordinator, Fine <strong>Art</strong>s<br />

Alyssa Baguss<br />

Class <strong>of</strong> 2007<br />

mnartists.org<br />

Hannah Geil-Neufeld<br />

Class <strong>of</strong> 2013<br />

hannahgeilneufeld.com<br />

Patricia Olson<br />

Former Chair, <strong>Art</strong> and <strong>Art</strong> History<br />

patriciaolsonart.com<br />

lauramigliorinoart.com<br />

Mayu Nagaoka<br />

Class <strong>of</strong> 2006, 2009<br />

Yumi Nagaoka<br />

Class <strong>of</strong> 2007, 2010<br />


Northfield, Minnesota | carleton.edu<br />

Linda Rossi<br />

Chair, <strong>Art</strong> and <strong>Art</strong> History<br />

Alec Soth<br />

Student, 1991<br />

alecsoth.com<br />



St. Joseph/<strong>College</strong>ville, Minnesota | csbsju.edu<br />

Chloe Briggs<br />

Class <strong>of</strong> 2011<br />

Nate Burbeck<br />

Class <strong>of</strong> 2009<br />

nateburbeck.com<br />

Steven Lemke<br />

Class <strong>of</strong> 2008<br />

Elaine Rutherford<br />

Chair, Studio <strong>Art</strong><br />

Kim Benson<br />

Class <strong>of</strong> 2008<br />

Val Jenkins<br />

Chair, Fine <strong>Art</strong>s<br />

Lynda Monick-Isenberg<br />

Chair, Foundation Studies<br />

mnartists.org<br />

formandcontent.org<br />


St. Paul, Minnesota | csp.edu<br />

Sara Downing<br />

Class <strong>of</strong> 2012<br />

Stephanie Hunder<br />

Chair, <strong>Art</strong> Department<br />

Elizabeth Sunita Jacobson<br />

Class <strong>of</strong> 2007<br />


St. Peter, Minnesota | gustavus.edu<br />

Priscilla Briggs<br />

Chair, <strong>Art</strong> and <strong>Art</strong> History<br />

priscillabriggs.com<br />

Blong Lor<br />

Class <strong>of</strong> 2012<br />

Chris Willcox<br />

Chair, <strong>Art</strong> and <strong>Art</strong> History<br />

chriswillcoxart.com<br />



<strong>Minneapolis</strong>, Minnesota | mcad.edu<br />

Isa Gagarin<br />

Class <strong>of</strong> 2008<br />

isagagarin.com<br />

GraceMarie Keaton<br />

Class <strong>of</strong> 2013<br />

cargocollective.com/gracekeaton<br />

S. Catrin Magnusson<br />

Class <strong>of</strong> 2009<br />

Stevie Rexroth<br />

Chair, Media <strong>Art</strong>s<br />

Katherine Turczan<br />

Former Chair, Media <strong>Art</strong>s<br />

Karen Wirth<br />

Interim Vice President, Academic Affairs<br />

Former Chair, Fine <strong>Art</strong>s<br />

karenwirth.com<br />

Roxi Swanson<br />

Class <strong>of</strong> 2010<br />

mnartists.org<br />


Northfield, Minnesota | stolaf.edu<br />

Mary Griep<br />

Former Chair, <strong>Art</strong> and <strong>Art</strong> History<br />

marygriep.com<br />

mnoriginal.org<br />

Adelyn Rosenwinkel<br />

Class <strong>of</strong> 2013<br />


Twin Cities Campus | umn.edu<br />

Alexis Kuhr<br />

Chair, <strong>Art</strong> Department<br />

mnartists.org<br />

Stephanie Thompson<br />

Class <strong>of</strong> 2008<br />

mnartists.org<br />

mnartists.org<br />

rosaluxgallery.com<br />




The <strong>Minneapolis</strong> <strong>College</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Art</strong> and Design educates individuals<br />

to be pr<strong>of</strong>essional artists and designers, pioneering thinkers,<br />

creative leaders, and engaged global citizens.<br />


Bruce Bean, Chair<br />

Mary Lazarus, Vice Chair<br />

Leslie Berkshire<br />

Uri Camarena<br />

Nathan Davis<br />

Andrew Dayton<br />

Miles Fiterman<br />

Monica Little, ’78<br />

Betsy Massie<br />

Clinton H. Morrison<br />

Julie Snow<br />

D. Robert Teslow II<br />

Bill Thorburn, ’84<br />


Bruce Bean<br />

Cy DeCosse, ’52<br />

Clinton Morrison<br />



Jay Coogan, President<br />

Janet Groenert, ’79, President,<br />

Alumni Association Board<br />

<strong>of</strong> Directors<br />


<strong>Intersections</strong> is made possible through the generous support <strong>of</strong> the<br />

Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation and Larkin H<strong>of</strong>fman, with<br />

additional funding from Anoka-Ramsey Community <strong>College</strong>, Carleton<br />

<strong>College</strong>, <strong>Minneapolis</strong> <strong>College</strong> <strong>of</strong> <strong>Art</strong> and Design, and St. Olaf <strong>College</strong>.<br />


All images used courtesy <strong>of</strong> the artists unless otherwise noted.<br />

<strong>Catalog</strong> design by Nicole Summers, PSB ’10, MCAD DesignWorks.<br />

Copyediting by Mary Keirstead.<br />


2501 Stevens Avenue<br />

<strong>Minneapolis</strong>, MN 55404<br />


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