July 30, 2019

Recap: Target Studio Collaboration Culmination & Performances

Wu lies on his back on stage, looking up to the ceiling; the frame includes two audience members watching him.

  On May 15, community members gathered alongside the Target Studio cohort and their UMN collaborators to celebrate the very first year of the Target Studio for Creative Collaboration program. The evening began with studio activations and performances from 2018–2019 artist-fellows Terry Hempfling and Rachel Jendrzejewski, Marcus Young and students at HECUA’s Art for Social Change…

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July 23, 2019

Become a Tour Guide!

Affectionately known as “Weisguides,” WAM’s volunteer tour guides complete extensive training and lead hundreds of museum tours each year. Discovering new works of art, connecting with artists, researchers, curators, visitors, and each other, and engaging in critical conversations with people in the community (from school children to elders) are only some of the ways our…

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June 13, 2019

Nova on “The Feminist Strip Club” (Post #3)

A photo from the perspective of a dancer with bare legs and large platform heels, hanging upside-down by their legs from a pole.

  I have personally always been interested in sex work. It is and has always been work. I think sex workers and erotic dancers specifically are very underappreciated. There are a lot of misconceptions about dancing that I would love to clarify for the public. One is the stereotypes about the kind of women who…

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June 7, 2019

Meet the Artists in State Your Intentions: New Works in the WAM Collection

The artist is in a gallery, working over a colorful canvas.

In expanding the permanent collection, WAM aims to accession new works wisely and with the utmost intention. To our Senior Curator Diane Mullin, this means attentively developing our collections of work by Black and women–identifying contemporary artists, and works considered international art, Minnesota art, and video and other moving-image art. Opening in mid-July, a number of…

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May 29, 2019

Q&A: Target Studio Curator Boris Oicherman

WAM’s Cindy and Jay Ihlenfeld Curator for Creative Collaboration, Boris Oicherman, reflects on the past year’s progression in working towards fulfilling the Target Studio for Creative Collaboration’s mission, as well as what the future of the studio has in store. Kate Drakulic: You began planning for this year’s studio cohort in the summer of 2017….

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May 28, 2019

Monica Sheets on “The Feminist Strip Club” (Post #2)

A diagram that lays out project goals and outcomes. The heading reads "Feminist Strip Club (Pilot Program)" and includes headings like "Participants," "Possible Activities," and "Outcomes" taking place over eight, two-hour workshops.

  When I am initiating participatory projects, I am engaged, of course, with the questions and issues specific to the context—in this case, the labor issues within and feminist potential of erotic dancing. But I am also thinking about overarching issues of participation and organizing. In my artist statement, I say that I am interested…

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May 28, 2019

Daniel McCarthy Clifford on the “Section of Disapproved Books”

The artist speaks into a microphone surrounded by audience members. Behind the artist is a shelf containing books banned in U.S. prisons.

  Over the last few years I have produced a body of work that focuses on social control. These conceptual art projects have been effective in teasing out and putting on display some of the unseen ways institutions exercise control. The zine project Inmate Activity Book is a perfect example: produced in collaboration with a…

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May 23, 2019

Why America Should Remember Rondo

Painting by artist Rose Smith. Mother and child sit on a bench with luggage at the mother's feet. Other figures wait in the transit hub in the background.

  Melvin R. and Rose J. Smith are proud Minnesota artists. Currently living in Eagan, Minnesota, they were residents of St. Paul’s Rondo neighborhood for many years—Rose for most of her life and Melvin from 1963 to 1968. The Smiths’ art consists of urban scenes and portraits that present realist, expressionist, and at times allegorical…

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May 22, 2019

Assembling the Disapproved Books Database

A view of Daniel's installation in the Target Studio, with a number of small shelves on wheels containing color-coordinated disapproved books.

  The Section of Disapproved Books is an art project and data compilation by the artist Daniel McCarthy Clifford in collaboration with the Director of Data Management & Access at the University of Minnesota Libraries Besty Friesen, and multiple other actors. The installation consisted of over 600 publications banned in Department of Correction (DOC) facilities…

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May 20, 2019

From the Curator: State Your Intentions

  This July in the Edith Carlson Gallery, WAM opens State Your Intentions: New Works in the WAM Collection. The exhibition showcases not only notable recent additions to the collection but also the intentionality of WAM’s collecting practice. In 1981 when Lyndel King became the director and chief curator, she openly asserted her resolve to…

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