Contemporary art is increasingly “untethered” and moves from the white cube of the gallery to any site – including the virtual – to engage the public in its own realm. Public art is an ever-expanding field of inquiry, with artists of all stripes exploring the public realm. Beyond murals, monuments, memorials (and the occasional mime) public art has become a vibrant and engaging practice. From the spectacular to the quotidian, permanent to ephemeral, sited to virtual, material to performative, conceptual to cinematic, we believe there are unprecedented opportunities for new art practices in our shared environment. This is the critical focus of Public Address.
Art(ists) On The Verge 10 Show on view now through February
Thank you to everyone who attended our artist talks & panel for the AOV10 show at Rochester Art Center! We had a great audience show up to meet the artists and see their work. Didn’t get to attend? No problem! The show is still on view now from February 8, 2020. Find more information at Rochester […]
Northern Spark Community Survey
“[Northern Spark] exposes me and the community to a variety of art forms we wouldn’t otherwise see – in a space that creates a shared experience and brings people together.” –Northern Spark Community Survey Respondent As we reflect and plan for the future of Northern Spark, we want to hear from you! Please tell us why […]
Announcing our 2019-2020 Program Council!
Our Program Council members are hard at work! These seven artists are working to review, plan, and envision strategies for the future of the Northern Spark festival. This strategic focus will culminate in a Strategic Framework for Community Engagement at Northern Spark that will inform planning processes for the festival in 2021 and beyond. Each member of 2019-2020 Council […]
Co-Director’s Column November 21, 2019 The unseen work of taking a pause. A little over a month ago we made the announcement that we’re taking a strategic hiatus from producing Northern Spark this summer, 2020. A lot of preparation when into that communique; with what feels like a degree of instability in certain sectors of […]
Press Release: Northern Lights.mn to Take a Year Off from the Northern Spark Festival in 2020 to Plan for the Future
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 22nd, 2019 Northern Lights.mn to Take a Year Off from the Northern Spark Festival in 2020 to Plan for the Future The free public art festival will return to the Twin Cities in June 2021 after a year of strategic planning and leadership transition (Minneapolis, MN) October 22, 2019 — Northern […]
Frequently Asked Questions – Northern Spark Hiatus
FAQs Northern Lights.mn has announced a one year hiatus from our flagship program, Northern Spark, while the organization undergoes a leadership transition in 2020. (Read the full announcement here: http://northern.lights.mn/2019/10/important-news/ ) We are doing so in order to reflect on the previous nine years of dynamic and ever-changing Northern Spark festivals and plan for the […]
Important News about Northern Spark
Northern Lights.mn to Take a Year Off from the Northern Spark Festival in 2020 to Plan for the Future The free public art festival will return to the Twin Cities in June 2021 after a year of strategic planning and leadership transition. (Minneapolis, MN) October 22, 2019 — Northern Lights.mn is announcing a one year hiatus […]
Art(ists) on the Verge 11: Artists announced!
Northern Lights.mn announces the recipients of the 11th round of Art(ists) on the Verge commissions (AOV11). AOV11 is an intensive, mentor-based fellowship program for 4 Minnesota-based, emerging artists or artist groups working experimentally at the intersection of art, technology, and digital culture with a focus on network-based practices that are interactive and/or participatory. New this year, the AOV11 cohort […]
Be an Art(ist) on the Verge!
Got an idea for site-specific art installation in the public realm? Want to work on interactivity or participation in your art work? Do you crave a community of artists for conversation and critique? Are you an emerging artist with an experimental practice? You may be an Art(ist) on the Verge! Art(ists) on the Verge is an intensive, mentor-based […]
Northern Spark by the numbers
45,398 visits to the Northern Spark 2019 website 11,808 steps walked by a NS volunteer in the Commons 4,500 printed maps 3,442 free Metro Transit rides 600 Americans for the Arts conference attendees 297 Poetry People / People Poetry photos taken 240 sandbags deployed 60 walkie talkies used 55 Production team members 46 volunteers 31 artist projects […]
Staff Highlights from Northern Spark 2019
Staff Highlights from Northern Spark 2019 Northern Spark is as fun for the Northern Lights.mn team as it is for the artists and audience members. Here are our highlights from the weekend: Steve Dietz, Co-Director “There is something amazing about closing down a city street no matter what, but make it nighttime and […]
We Are the Artists of AICC
We Are the Artists of AICC Sketch of Northern Spark installation of Manifest’o, courtesy of Jonathan Thunder. The following projects by Minnesota-based Indigenous and Latinx artists were curated in partnership with Native American Community Development Institute, Northern Lights.mn and the Program Council, to be presented on June 14 & 15 at Northern Spark in […]
Relationships and Reciprocity
Relationships and Reciprocity When we sat down with the staff at Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI) in spring of 2018 to talk about working together on a node of Northern Spark along Franklin Avenue for 2019, NACDI’s COO Ed Minnema spoke about living by the value of reciprocity. He asked us an important question: […]
The next ten years
The next ten years Life at Northern Lights.mn is never static. We like to try new things – sometimes seemingly impossible things – and to learn from them, iterate, converse, revise, try it again, adjust, repeat. Change has always been part of our DNA. In this spirit, we are excited and humbled to announce a […]