Northern Newsletter – February


  • Northern Spark 2016 call for proposals
  • Announcing the winner of the Creative City Challenge
  • Prairie Grass Ballet at Jamestown Arts Park
  • Thanks for coming out to the ARTathlon
  • Climate Link of the Month
  • In the News
  • Projects we like Artist Talks

Wendy Red Star, Winter – Four Seasons
This spring brings the return of, our series of talks by artist working in deeply embedded ways in their communities to talk about the possible roles technology may play in their work, both in aesthetics and engagement.

Save the date for these talks:

Wendy Red Star, April 1-2, in collaboration with NACDI and Two Rivers Gallery

Leah Gilliam, April 8-9, in collaboration with Juxtaposition Arts


Northern Spark 2016 Call for Proposals

Luke Savisky, E/x MN, Northern Spark 2015. Photo: Ian Plant

Want to present your work at Northern Spark? We are seeking artist proposals for projects for Northern Spark: Climate Chaos | Climate Rising on June 11, 2016. We are looking for projects in 3 different categories: projection, artworks in any medium, and workshops.

Proposals are due Tuesday, March 1, 2016 at 9pm CST.
Read about the call and submission requirements here.

We will be holding optional office hours where you can ask questions and get feedback on your proposal on February 17, 5:00 – 6:30pm at 530 University Ave SE in Minneapolis. See the call for more details.

Wolf and Moose Wins 2016 Creative City Challenge

Artist rendering of Wolf and Moose. Original photo by Dan Anderson, courtesy of Meet Minneapolis.

We are pleased to announce the winner of the 2016 Creative City Challenge: Wolf and Moose (formerly Animalopolis Connectallus) by Christopher Lutter, Heid Erdrich, Kim Ford, Karl Stoerzinger, Coal Dorius and Missy Adzick consists of spectacle-scale animal sculptures of a wolf and moose that are interactive, animated, and illuminated, and are constructed using found and recycled materials. The sculptures include stationary bicycles which, when pedaled, provide animations inside the the bodies of the animals: breathing, heart beating, and an illuminated globe rotating. The pedaling also powers an onboard speaker that plays recorded works of poetry and story reflecting on our relationship with the animals and with the Earth. Wolf and Moose will be installed on the Minneapolis Convention Center Plaza and will be unveiled at Northern Spark on June 11, 2016.

The Creative City Challenge, a competition for Minnesota artists and architects to create a destination artwork which acts as a sociable and participatory platform for summer-long onsite activities, is presented by the Minneapolis Convention Center and the Arts, Culture and Creative Economy Program of the City of Minneapolis and Meet Minneapolis in collaboration with Northern

Prairie Grass Ballet at Jamestown Arts Park

Prairie Grass Ballet, computer rendering; courtesy the artist.

Prairie Grass Ballet by Owen William Fritts was recently selected as a permanent sculptural installation for Jamestown Arts Center’s innovative Arts Park, which Northern is helping to imagine.

Prairie Grass Ballet is a direct reference to the surrounding Jamestown grasslands and Northern Dakota prairies. The large array of approximately 100 blades has been modeled and scaled on the way wild grasses grow: in tufts. These tufts are groupings of individual grass blades that collectively cross-support each other and create strength through their groupings. There is a strong story to be taught in this biomimicry: strength in numbers while leaning a bit upon each other while also retaining a degree of flexibility, an ability to bend in the face of strong outer forces.

ARTathlon Recap

Robin Schwartzman, Arctic Golf. Photo: Bethany BirnieThanks to those of you who braved the single-digit temperatures in early January to come out to take on the ARTathlon at Winter 4Play!

Over 2,000 people attended the event at Fort Snelling State Park, and we distributed dozens of medals to winners who putted, texted,
ping-ponged, and drummed their way through the course.

A huge thank you to the participating artists: Alyssa Baguss, Jess Hirsch, Andrew Jansen, Niko Kubota, Meena Mangalvedhekar, Sam Mistry, Robin

Schwartzman, Monica Sheets, Moheb Soliman, Emily Stover, and Peter Haakon Thompson.Winter 4Play is a project of Make It. MSP. and is presented by Greater MSP, Mississippi Park Connection, National Park Service, Northern, REI, and Wilderness Inquiry, with the support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.See more ARTathlon photos here.Above photo: Niko Kubota and Sam Mistry, Tree Taiko Challenge. Photo: Bethany Birnie

Climate Link of the Month

Each month we bring you a piece of our climate research that we think you’ll find interesting.

This month read Ross Anderson’s interview with Duke professor of law Jedediah Purdy in The Atlantic.

“We’re still figuring out what it means to see ecologically. What does the food economy look like if we think hard about the kinds of landscapes we want it to form, the ways we want it to interact with waterways, long-term soil health, and the chemistry of the global atmosphere? What does it look like if we think also about the kind of work that we want people to be able to do in making food?

All of this is the next generation of ecological thinking: about all the systems at once, and seeing the links everywhere between their human and natural aspects. In some respects, Anthropocene thinking is ecological thinking turned up to eleven, with a keen awareness not just of the practical relations among human and natural systems, but also of the values at stake in those.”


In the News

  • We have some new faces in the Northern offices. Welcome to Festival Intern Michael Karadsheh and Communications Director Nickey Robare!
  • We’re hiring! Work with us as a Festival Outreach Intern. This position is open to all applicants, and funding is available through the Great Lakes Foundation for this internship for students of Augsburg College.

Projects we Like

  • Artist Jane Marsching and professor Joanne Lukitsh have launched the MassArt Sustainability Incubator, an interdisciplinary platform at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design for developing and cross-pollinating innovative curriculum and art/design projects at the intersection of social justice, health, and the environment. The Incubator brings together work by faculty, staff, and students from classes, studios, and offices in a hybrid studio classroom that produces, synthesizes, performs, and activates new ways of engaging the challenges we face in our global culture today.
  • Two of our friends have new websites for you to visit. Our friends at Fulton Beer, sponsors of Northern Spark, have recently released a new website. And Glitch, a Northern Spark partner, has launched its new website. Check them out!