When new residents rent an apartment at the new Huxley at 657 22nd Ave. (near Jefferson Street NE), they’ll get their choice of artwork to decorate their abodes, thanks to Art to Change the World (ACW). Twenty-five of the 112 units have already been rented.
When ACW director Barbara Bridges saw all the new construction of apartment buildings going up in her Northeast (Holland) neighborhood, she saw potential art buyers and collectors moving in. The Northeast Minneapolis Arts District has seen a lot of change in the ten years since she chose to buy a house and set up a studio there. Many artists were just like her, finding affordable space in a community where there were other artists all around to build a community. Gradually, more non-artists wanted to live in Northeast and many worried that this change would push the artists out.
Bridges connected with City Council Member Kevin Reich who in turn connected the organization to developer Rob Miller. Bridges’ vision was to see the new residents make a real connection with individual artists in the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District in order to foster a community of artists and art collectors and admirers. The Arts District Palette – Where Artists and Neighbors Mix – was developed.
Miller commissioned a total of 224 works from 20 artists who are either members of Art to Change the World or the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (NEMAA). Artists from these two organizations submitted samples of the works they would create and a panel of three jurors chose the artists.
The following artists have studios or live in Northeast or Southeast Minneapolis: Layl McDill, Anne Kleinhenz, Candy Kuehn, Barbara Bridges, Kelly Jean Ohl (represented by Kolman Pryor Gallery), Cory Favre, Ashtyn Sibinsk, Marko Fields, Hannah Foster, Laurie Salmela, Jodi Janz, Owen Brown, Alison Price, Mary Bacon, Jodi Reeb and Kathryn Flora.
Artists outside the area but working on the project include Scorpio Rising, Susan Gainen, Lucienne “Lucy” Schroepfer and Jo-Anne Reske Kirkman.
As the new residents move into the Huxley, they will choose two pieces of art each to own and receive a tote bag filled with coupons and items that welcome them to their new neighborhood. “It’s a way to introduce people to the artists and the neighborhood and say hi,” said Bridges. “Response has been very positive.”
Residents and the general public will also be invited to meet the artists in person on August 8, 12-8 p.m. at Sociable Cider Werks, 1500 Fillmore St. NE. Each artist will have work on display and for sale. They look forward to conversation with the residents who chose their work.
Below: Art by Owen Brown (left) and Kathryn Flora (right) with welcome tote bags waiting for new residents. (Photo by Margo Ashmore) The Huxley. (Photo by Cynthia Sowden)