For the last two years Minnesota has been exploding with arts. This includes  living galleries as well as experimental projects and festivals. To support Minnesota artists Minneapolis’s Walker Art Center and the McKnight Foundation launched a special social media platform Mn Artists.

 

What is it all about?

It is a website, like Facebook or MySpace, but created especially for visual and media artists, writers, craftsmen, architectors and performers. Mn Artists has an extensive curated section offering job and grant opportunities in an arts field. The site also has a section where art critics and journalist can freely post their articles on the topic.In short, Mn Artists is all about arts. As its Editor-in-Chief Susannah Schouweiler puts it: “The site has always been home to a vast database of artist-generated content—a huge array of personalized portfolio pages showcasing individual artists’ range of practice and a statewide user-populated arts events calendar.”

Mn Artists Platform

The website is ran by only two managers, who are also creative ladies.  Schouweiler is a writer and editor and Emily Gastineau, is a choreographer, performer, and writer. “Mn Artists has always been managed by a small, scrappy team. Our ranks have included sculptorsinstallation artists, and painters… hoping to entice arts-interested patrons to come out to shows by making more visible the dizzying range of good work going on here [and] issues surrounding artists’ everyday practice in and beyond their studios,”  – says Schouweiler.

It seems that Mn Artists` mission is to gather creatives and support conversations about art and culture beyond galleries and stages. It also gives an opportunity to share and find like-minded people, as well as to promote  their work on the website.

Mn Artists Platform

No statics

Schouweiler states that, as changing artistic trend and needs, the website also shifts. “People use the internet so differently now than they did when the website was founded,” she says. “We’ve begun to present more topical live programming, at the Walker and in partnership with other area arts organizations, in response to artists’ demonstrated interest in talking through issues around their practice offline as well.”

One of the perceptible changes was sites`s redesign in 2014 to support regional journalists and enhance a program to mentor new arts writers and commission work. Further actions concerned connections promotion of Minnesota`s artists nationwide. For instant, editorial coverage and art events are aimed to connect and find new opputunities across country. And the first fruits are ripe now: Mn Artists partners with Luminary and Temporary Art Review in St. Louis; the new consortium of independent arts organizations, Common Field; the Brooklyn-based visual art blog, Hyperallergic, and others.

Mn Artists Platform

As internet is volatile and lively, it is important for the Website to keep up. Thus, as Gastineau says: “We’ve been hosting discussions that explore different aspects of artists’ digital practice, and how our notions of entrepreneurship, criticism, discipline, engagement, and curation have changed along with the internet. In 2017, we’ll be elevating the voices of local artists through our platform, by working with guest curators to activate the museum with temporary installations, performances, discussions, skill-shares, and more.”

 

 

Trends in artistic community

Futhermore, the website supports going beyond not only the state, but also beyond common perception of art.  Traditional galleries and performance venues are not sufficient for rapidly evolving culture. The state-funded arts support ang philanthropic environment maintains partnership with civic organizations and foundations to “do the work of creative placemaking,” as Schouweiler says. “St. Paul, for example, has City Artists in Residence, who partner with various city departments to embed work by local artists, from sidewalks to stop signs and vacant storefronts, ‘upstream’ in public works efforts.”

Mn Artists Platform

 

There is also an interest in interdisciplinarity and social life. For example, local artists show more and more interest in social justice and political change. As Schouweiler says, there has been “an uptick in cross-discipline collaboration and creative cross-pollination. Visual artists and jazz musicians are writers, too; artists step up to curate shows and set up pop-up galleries and turn their studios into occasional performance spaces. I see poets taking their work beyond the page and online in new ways.”

“There is surprising work that pops up on the site all the time,” adds Gastineau. “It really runs the gamut, from large institutions to grassroots, artist-organized projects, all kinds of disciplines and artistic concerns. I am constantly learning about new and emerging artists, and pockets of our arts community that I wasn’t aware of before.”

Mn Artists Platform

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