July 12, 2012

McKnight Visual Artists Fellowship Exhibition

Minneapolis College of Art and Design
Left to right, clockwise: Christine Baeumler in collaboration with Barr Engineer, Vice President/ Principal Kurt Leuthold and Barr Ecologist Fred Rozumalski, Reconstituting the Landscape: A Tamarack Rooftop Restoration, 2012. Elizabeth Simonson, Instar (detail), 2011. Liz Miller, Preposterous Cavalcade, 2011. Marcus Young, Don’t you feel it too?, 2008–present.*

The Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) and the McKnight Foundation are proud to present an exhibition of new work by the recipients of the 2011/12 McKnight Artist Fellowships for Visual Artists: Christine Baeumler, Liz Miller, Elizabeth Simonson, and Marcus Young. A catalog with an essay written by Mary Jane Jacob accompanies the show and is available online and print-on-demand.

About the artists and exhibitions

Christine Baeumler, a public environmental artist, explores the power of art to increase awareness of environmental issues and to facilitate action. By portraying places remote from our daily experiences yet impacted ecologically by our actions, the work offers a glimpse into these compelling, fragile, and often invisible worlds. Her most recent project, Reconstituting the Landscape: A Tamarack Rooftop Restoration, has been a twelve-month collaboration with Kurt Leuthold, vice-president and principal, and Fred Rozumalski, ecologist, both of Barr Engineering. They have created a bog ecosystem above the entryway to MCAD that both calls attention to these unique ecosystems and presents an artistic re-imagining of green-roof infrastructure.

Liz Miller’s large-scale mixed-media installations are reaching new heights in her new work, Imperious Decorum. She will be creating a dramatic sculptural installation that occupies twenty-six vertical feet, allowing viewers to interact with the work from various vantage points of the multilevel gallery. Miller’s work references a diverse array of visual imagery, ranging from costumes, pageantry, patterns, and ornaments to weapons and military uniforms. Forging relationships between these benign and malignant forms confuses the original implications of each. In this manner, Miller highlights the precariousness of perception while creating a fascinating hybrid sculptural reality.

Elizabeth Simonson pushes the beauty of repetition and imperfection to material limits in her site-specific installations. She will engage the spacious, four-story light well in the MCAD Gallery by filling it with numerous pod-like units of wire and beads whose shapes and patterns are based on forms in sacred geometry. Acting like cells, they will be attached and suspended throughout the space to create an extremely complex yet symmetrical three-dimensional matrix. Within that matrix, another pattern of beads will follow an asymmetrical path, underscoring the flaws and randomness inherent in systems of all types.

Marcus Young, whose practice of behavioral art integrates personal and collective experience played out in social spaces, will be presenting I’m looking for love, so let’s fix the system. The work expresses his simple hope of improving his life through finding love and de-cluttering his home. He is parting with furniture and furnishings he has grown attached to but no longer needs. Through advertisements on Craigslist, he will invite interested buyers to view and purchase his belongings in the gallery, a hybrid marketplace. Young will also post excerpts of his personal ads on the gallery walls next to his Craigslist ads, in the hopes of finding Mr. Right. With this exhibition, he wonders about love and attachment to objects, loneliness, and home design, pricing and letting go, and the function of the gallery in contemporary art practice.

About the Mcknight Artist Fellowships
The McKnight Artist Fellowship program is one of the oldest and largest of its kind in the country. Established in 1981, the fellowship program provides annual, unrestricted cash awards of 25,000 USD to outstanding mid-career Minnesota artists in twelve areas, totaling nearly 1 million USD each year.

About the McKnight Foundation
The McKnight Foundation seeks to improve the quality of life for present and future generations through grant-making, coalition-building, and the encouragement of strategic policy reform. Founded in 1953 and independently endowed by William and Maude McKnight, the Minnesota-based foundation had assets of approximately 1.9 billion USD and granted about 91 million USD in 2011.

About the Minneapolis College of Art and Design
Recognized nationally and internationally for its innovative and interdisciplinary approaches to visual arts education, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design is home to more than 700 students and offers professional certificates, bachelor of fine arts and bachelor of science degrees, and graduate degrees.

*Images above:
From left to right, clockwise:
Christine Baeumler in collaboration with Barr Engineer, Vice President/ Principal Kurt Leuthold and Barr Ecologist Fred Rozumalski, Reconstituting the Landscape: A Tamarack Rooftop Restoration, 2012. Entranceway to the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Photo: Rik Sferra.

Elizabeth Simonson, Instar (detail), 2011. Beads, wire and fishing line, 25 x 11 x 15 feet (approx.). Commissioned by the Walker Art Center. Courtesy of the artist and Bockley Gallery. Photo: Gene Pittman, courtesy of Walker Art Center.

Liz Miller, Preposterous Cavalcade, 2011. Stiffened felt and other mixed media, dimensions variable. Installation view: Coe College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Photo: Courtesy of the artist.

Marcus Young, Don’t you feel it too?, 2008–present. It’s the practice of freeing your spirit through dancing your inner life in public places. This ongoing practice premiered on the streets of St. Paul during the 2008 Republican National Convention. Photo: Zoe Prinds-Flash.


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