When The M on Hennepin tackled blending together old and new buildings at what once was (and is again) the site of Nye’s Bar, they engaged Art Force to put art in their public spaces. Art Force also worked with Nordhaus and is negotiating with other developers.
Leslie Palmer-Ross, Director of Art Services, said “Artists connect with us in a couple different ways. We have both general and project- specific calls but I am also out in the community attending shows, visiting studios, and enjoying exhibits. We don’t represent artists in the traditional gallery sense.” She estimates she’s worked with about 100 Northeast artists.
Art Force, 1400 Van Buren St. NE, Minneapolis moved to Northeast Minneapolis almost ten years ago. “It was the ideal community for our business because the Arts District is THE district of visual art makers. We connect clients with art to enhance their spaces. It is wonderful (and efficient) to have artists as neighbors,” Palmer-Ross said.
Palmer-Ross and her colleagues, “many of whom wear multiple hats” provide services range from “inspiration to installation; we have printing, framing, and installation specialists on staff.”
They work with companies and organizations in health care and other sectors to exhibit art on a
rotating subscription basis, and helps purchase appropriate permanent art. They might advise and facilitate selling off or otherwise changing out items that no longer serve their original purpose, such as what happens in downsizing, moving or merging companies. The resources from that process help fund and place new purchases.
Palmer-Ross recently worked with East Side Neighborhood Services (ESNS) to try out art in their common areas. In December, Art Force held a sale of gently used and new art, much of it in serviceable frames, with the proceeds going to the buyers’ choice of 10 charities (ESNS included) or Art Force’s general community giving fund.
Palmer-Ross has served as a member of the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District Board and its HATCH committee, providing a meeting space at Art Force for both groups. She will host the January 20 Pecha Kucha night, featuring artists who teach. (Free, open to public.)
“I believe that it is important to contribute to and nurture our community. The artists and arts in the District have a significant impact both economically and culturally in the city and the region. The vibrancy created needs to be supported, celebrated, and protected.”
Below: a bike rack at NordHaus created by Kristen Arden, whose space is at the Northrup King Building.