I was about 20 years old the first time I entered a painting into the Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts Competition. It didn’t get accepted. Fair enough (pun), the painting sucked. In fact, the oil paint might have still been wet when I dropped it off and nails poked through the back of my shoddy makeshift frame, that can’t help ones chances… I then entered numerous more times only to have my ego repeatedly dashed against the jagged rocks of the unrelenting shores that is the Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts Competition. Continue reading “fair enough”
Over the past two months literally almost everyone I know has asked if I have been to the Guillermo del Toro exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts to which I calmly replied that I had not yet partaken. I was met with an equal measure of astonishment and encouragement. “You simply must go and the sooner the better” seemed to be the consensus of the day. Never afraid of being late to the party or more accurately, being culturally out of touch, I would ask, “What’s the rush?” Besides, I rather enjoyed the various faces people would make when learning I hadn’t yet visited the exhibit of the year. Continue reading “at home with monsters – guillermo del toro”
Holy hell, it’s that time of year again, time for the annual NE Open Studio Tour! What is it exactly? It’s the largest open studio tour in America! Now in its 22nd year, it takes place in Northeast Minneapolis which houses the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District, which was, might I add, voted the Numero Uno arts district in the country!
Hundreds of artists will open their studio doors this weekend allowing the public to enter their sacred space. And tens of thousands of people will flood the neighborhood gladly taking them up on the offer. The atmosphere is frantic and festive, celebratory and at times chaotic, and always memorable.
With literally hundreds of studios to peruse, galleries to explore and various venues from gift shops to individual homes all offering original art peppered throughout the neighborhood, it can be a bit daunting, especially for the first timer.
Allow me to share 10 tips for getting the most out of the weekend that I think even the most seasoned tour goers might find useful. Continue reading “open studio tour tips by Nicholas Harper”
In the heart of the Seven Corners neighborhood on the West Bank of the U of M campus sat an art supply store called Pad-N-Pallet. With a dilapidated sign that matched its dingy and oft neglected windows, it opened into a cramped and dusty store that smelled like linseed oil, varnish and the early 1900’s. Packed floor to ceiling with art supplies: paper, brushes, rolls of canvas… from the beginner brand of Windsor Newton’s to the more refined and pricey Rembrandt oils, she was idyllic in every way, especially to a newly minted art student such as myself. Continue reading “drawing 101”
My mom is, well, my mom. She has been many things over the course of her life, a choir director and church cantor, a master gardener, a cellist in the St Anthony community orchestra, a ceramists, a china painter, a writer, a crazed knitter and for the last 6 years an obsessed–beyond–reason crossword doerer. While she has been all of those things, the thing that she has been the most, and she will be the first to say it, is still a mom. The second thing she has been the most, although it isn’t listed as one of her roles above, but more so because of them, is an inspiration. Continue reading “32,850”
My toilet has been running for about three months. Although I’ve been to Home Depot multiple times during those three months, I have yet to purchase the requisite replacement tank innards, even though it is a simple job. At first it was out of pure laziness. Then after thinking about it for a while it was more out of stubbornness, like I was thinking to myself, “I replaced those innards only 15 years ago… they should still be good for another 15 to 20 years. They sure don’t make toilet innards like they used to.” Then I thought to myself, “Holy crap I’m starting to sound like my mom. I gotta stop thinking this type of stuff to myself. I should just fix the dang thing and forget I ever even had those thoughts… and who says tank innards anyways?” Continue reading “zen (part two)”
I often hear people reference and quote Martin Luther King Jr. using his name as I just wrote it. I also hear people use the variations MLK and Dr. Martin Luther King or just Dr. King. I rarely see the use of his other title whether spoken or written, the more formal title of The Reverend Doctor. I find this curious as King was by his own accounts, as I have come to understand it, first and foremost a Christian minister and considered his civil rights work to be largely the result of his larger Christian ministry, influenced first and foremost by the Biblical teachings of Jesus. This aspect of King is often omitted or downplayed when discussing him as a civil rights leader. Perhaps the exclusion or overshadowing of his title as Reverend and as such, his faith, shouldn’t shock me as there seems to be a deliberate push away from all that religious “gobbly gook” in favor for a more “logical” and “reasoned” scientific approach to the universe around us. While I won’t tell anyone else how to think or what to believe by way of faith and spirituality, this tendency to stray away from the religious “hocus pocus” does bother me a wee bit. Continue reading “april 4th (short version)”
Sitting in a gallery, alone, at night, takes on an air of solemnity. The last vestiges of incense burnt earlier during gallery hours seeps into the stillness of the moment as the eye meanders from one painting to another. There’s no rush. The softly falling rain outside adds to the calmness, even the word Zen feels too harsh to describe the mood. Continue reading “zen”
If you’re anything like me, you most likely take a lot of things in this world for granted; the sky is blue, gravity is real, the new Viking’s stadium is the ugliest building ever constructed in all of human history. Wait a minute… gravity is real?
Without getting into the technical gobbily gook and saying something that will undoubtedly illicit technical reactions from those of the pocket protector ilk (no offense intended, I happen to love pocket protectors and the ilk that use them), let me say that I am speaking in generalities as an uninitiated novice in the religion of science. I may also just be speaking total gibberish for what its worth. Continue reading “everything is theory”