Category Archives: Resources

Artist Story — Janet Johnson of River’s Edge Studio

This blog post about Artist and NWMAC Board Member Janet Johnson is written by Sarah Meisinger, Owner of En Liten Svensk (A Little Swedish) Shoppe in Roseau. You can read this and other blog entries at https://www.alittleswedishshoppe.com/blog.

Artist Story – Janet Johnson of River’s Edge Studio

July 1, 2018

Janet was one of the first artists I met when the new Shoppe was beginning to take shape.  She is the kind of woman that when she speaks, I listen.  She emits wisdom, warmth and kindness and her eyes brighten when she talks about her art and her love of creating.  

I asked Janet several questions to help me kick off the Artist Story Series on the Blog.  Here’s Janet’s story, in her own words.

Little did I know as a child growing up in Williams, Minnesota, that I would one day have my own studio and would be selling my art and showing it in a gallery!  After all, our little school which didn’t even offer kindergarten back in the day, and never had an art teacher.  I had no idea I was interested in or had any talents in art until I took my first art class in college as a general ed credit, and just kept going.  I was determined to teach English at the time, but earned my teaching certificate in both English and Art.  Teaching English at a high school level and raising three daughters left little time for me to pursue my art interests, but in the middle of my career, a year after a life changing event, I was asked to teach middle school art.  I said no several times because I felt that I had nothing left to give. I finally took that chance, and that has made all the difference in my life!

Doors opened for opportunities that helped me grow as a person and as an artist.  People on a statewide level actually valued my input and it amazed me.  My confidence grew.  My connections with other artists developed.

Because I had left my art in the shadow for so long, I had to scramble to catch up in order to teach middle school students.  I hit the books and the internet and talked to other artists and art teachers.  I found that giving kids basic skills and then stepping back to let them develop their own artistic voice was very successful—and joyful!  By the time I retired in 2013, my high school students were winning awards and being showcased at the state level and in regional competitions. My own art was improving as well, because I was constantly studying and practicing and exploring different methods and mediums in order to pique the interest of my students.

My art studio, which I developed after my husband and I built a new house shows evidence of my zest to learn as much as possible in as many mediums as possible.  Uff da!  My studio is FULL!  However, it has become apparent that I need to focus on just a few mediums, primarily pottery.  Why?  There are only 24 hours in a day, and I have gardens, a husband, and a family who also need my time.  I decided to focus more on pottery because it is beautiful and utilitarian.  In economic terms, pottery sells better.  If I want to continue to create art, I need to sell some of it too.

I still do some painting, mixed media, and print making, as well as teaching a variety of art classes, and mentoring other artists, but most of my time is spent on the potters wheel.  I have shown my work in a number of art shows sponsored by the Region 1 Arts Council, as well as at the Riverwalk Gallery in East Grand Forks.  When Keith and Tom Pringle began planning to open a coffee shop in Roseau, they asked me to show and sell my paintings and pottery there.  What a wonderful opportunity!  Then when Sarah Meisinger decided to open her En Liten Svensk Shoppe on Main Street, I was again asked to bring in my pottery.  For a time I also had my work at The Plaid Walleye in Warroad.  These wonderful opportunities keep me producing work, which is a good thing.

Never one to be satisfied with a little knowledge, I constantly challenge myself to learn new techniques and work with different clays or glazes.

I am somewhat self-taught, but that is because I constantly observe and talk to other artists, and I am an avid fan of Pinterest!   I don’t like to copy what other artists have done, but rather use what I see and learn in order to recharge my own creative juices and practice basic skills.  When I took a pottery class in college many moons ago, I never really learned how to consistently center clay on the wheel.  My on-going research and many attempts now help me to help others who are struggling with centering clay.

Problem solving is one of the prompts that gets me out of a “good enough” rut.  When I didn’t like how pocket mugs felt at the tips of my fingers, I designed a different type of handle that would snuggle the hand, but not crowd my fingertips.  Thus, the Snuggle Mug was born.  When a thin spot developed in a cylinder I was throwing, I learned how to control the way the clay fell instead of  just taking the clay off the wheel and throwing it in the recycle bucket.  These pieces become my “soggy bottom pottery”—truly one of a kind pieces!

When I don’t like the direction a painting is going, I might mask off an area and cover up the rest of what I had started, and then go from there.  In a nutshell, the art work itself is not sacred, but the process of discovery is.  Much of what I start, especially with painting and drawing, follows a path different from what I first intended.

Those usually are the most successful works—when I just dive in fearlessly and let the work develop itself.

This attitude toward working creatively and letting go of my ego spawned a collaboration with another artist friend of mine.  We decided to work together on creating a dozen mixed media works of art, agreed on some simple rules, and pinky swore that we would still be friends when we were done.  The result was a body of work that still amazes me.  One of those pieces is perhaps my favorite.  It incorporated my “long distance” relationship with my mother whom we buried on my 22nd birthday, as well as some of my grandmother’s hand crocheted lace.  Everything wove together with vines from a plant my mother gave to me, and which I gave to my friend who drew it into our composition along with a gate from her childhood.  Both of our lives touched the lines and colors and patterns to create a piece that is poignant and timeless.

Where does my creative process end?  At my end I guess.  I cannot imagine a day without being creative in some way, whether I am planting flowers, adding personal touches to our home, singing to the birds, helping another emerging artist along the way, or going out to my studio to see what delicious mischief I can create out there.  Every day I work at becoming the person and the artist I was always meant to be.

  Janet’s goofy side as she plays the “poetress” in the community production of “My Name is Alice.”

Janet’s art can be found at the En Liten Svensk (A Little Swedish) Shoppe in Roseau  alittleswedishshoppe.com and via the River’s Edge Studio Facebook page – link here.

Job Openings at MCA: Applications Due Soon!

Job Openings at MCA:
Applications Due Soon
MCA is staffing up for the coming year. There are big challenges ahead, including:

  • keeping the arts in front of candidates during the election with candidate questionnaires, educational events, and other projects
  • preparing for the next appropriations session that will determine the next two years of arts funding, and
  • producing the 2019 Creative Minnesota report.

Two positions are open (and note that the Field Worker posting ends in just a few days).

MCA GRASSROOTS FIELD WORKER

The deadline for applications is due soon!

The position is full time (40hrs.wk) and will begin in July and last for 11 months. Salary $2500/month for 11 months.

Minnesota Citizens for the Arts (MCA) is a statewide arts advocacy organization that organizes the arts community to lobby the Minnesota State Legislature and Congress. Our mission is to ensure opportunity for all people to have access to and involvement in the arts.

Working closely with staff and board, the Field Worker will be a part of organizing the arts community for the 2019 legislative session. The Field Worker’s duties include, but are not limited to, compiling legislative surveys, organizing legislative coffee parties, mass mailings, candidate forums, moderating public meetings, arts all-star award events and drumming up calls and letters at pivotal moments. The Field Worker will also participate in the day-to-day workings of the office and will assist the Executive Director as needed.

This person must be alert, flexible, and willing to work on changing projects that become identified during the year to reach our goals at the Legislature. Applicants must have access to a vehicle and be able to travel to greater Minnesota, although the majority of time will be spent at the office.

The Field Worker will have exposure to and opportunities to interact with some of the movers and shakers in the arts community, as well as gain a working knowledge of the legislative process, arts funding structures in Minnesota and the basic functions of running a nonprofit.

A qualified applicant would possess the following skills:

  • Interest in, experience with, and an understanding of the state legislature and Minnesota’s political process and experience in community organizing.
  • Good communication skills, especially when speaking to crowds or with people on the phone.
  • Experience and interest in working with a non-profit board and the arts community.
  • College degree preferred, but not required if experienced.
  • An organized, self-starting, positive personality with a sense of humor.
  • Filemaker and database system Powerpoint preferably experience with Apple Computers, Microsoft Word, Excel, Computer literacy.

CREATIVE MINNESOTA INTERNSHIP

Applications Due July 20

Minnesota Citizens for the Arts (MCA), a nationally renowned arts advocacy organization that lobbies for state arts funding, seeks a Creative Minnesota intern to begin in July, 2018. The position is part-time and flexible (approximately 20 hours per week) and the compensation is $9.00/hr.

MCA represents the arts community of Minnesota at the state legislature and lobbies for state funding of the arts, as well as other issues of concern to the non-profit arts community. MCA also  advocates for the National Endowment for the Arts. To lobby effectively, MCA organizes grassroots advocacy around the state and keeps constituents educated and informed about the political process and the current state of arts funding throughout the year.

Creative Minnesota, a consortium of more than a dozen arts and culture nonprofits and funders, is about to conduct the 2019 Creative Minnesota Study. In addition to updates from previous studies about the size and impact of the state’s nonprofit arts and culture organizations, their audiences and artists and creative workers, the team will be working on a new report on the availability of arts education in Minnesota’s schools. Previous Creative Minnesota reports, published in 2015 and 2017, documented the arts sector in Minnesota. The new study will also begin to look at the impact of the arts in Minnesota over time. It will be added to the growing body of 59 Creative Minnesota statewide, regional and local studies available for free to the public at CreativeMN.org.

Interns will have exposure to and opportunities to interact with some of the movers and shakers in the arts community, as well as gain a working knowledge of the legislative process, arts funding structures in Minnesota and the basic functions of running a nonprofit.

Duties and projects included in the internship:

  • Assist staff in producing the 2019 Creative Minnesota Study, to be released in March of 2019.
  • Clean data, do other tasks as needed as Creative Minnesota study is put together.
  • Call arts organizations to fill in gaps in data.
  • Assist in organizing Creative Minnesota team meetings.
  • Work with staff on current projects if needed including, board meeting preparation, filing and data entry.

Qualified applicants would possess the following skills:


  •  Absolute accuracy in working with numbers and other information
  •  Basic knowledge of press releases and some work contacting press
  •  Interest in working with the arts community.
  •  Good communication skills, especially speaking with people on the phone.
  •  A self-starting, positive, self-motivated personality and a sense of humor.
  •  Good organizational skills and the ability to perform many tasks simultaneously.
  •  Computer literacy; preferably experience with Macintosh, Microsoft Word & Excel
  •  Independent and creative work habits.

APPLY NOW. For both positions, please mail or email résumé and cover letter to:

Mark Albers, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts
661 LaSalle Street #220

St. Paul, MN 55114
Mark@artsMN.org


Applications Now Open for Groundwork

APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN FOR GROUNDWORK

Do you want to build the skills needed to become a public art consultant?

Apply for Groundwork, a four-day intensive offered by Forecast for IBPOC (Indigenous and/or Black, and/or Persons of Color) who are collaborative, innovative leaders interested in the arts, artists, and playing a role in making positive change in communities.

Public art consultants help connect the ideas, energies, and talents of artists with the needs and opportunities of communities and client groups. They facilitate the commissioning of new artwork, identify and curate public artists, produce and manage public events, design and implement community engagement efforts, develop public art plans for public and private developers, and more.

Public agencies and private entities rely increasingly on public art consultants to help guide and facilitate projects and processes to ensure successful public art and placemaking outcomes. Investment in arts and cultural initiatives continue to grow throughout the country, especially in cities and towns addressing arts and place-based development.

Nationally there is a lack of IBPOC in the public art consulting field. Forecast seeks to fill existing gaps in the field of public art consulting through Groundwork, providing opportunities in consulting work and preparing a more diverse network of consultants to help shape the future of public art and place-based work in cities and communities.

This intensive will offer an overview of the public art consulting world, including: types of work available in this field, the broad range of projects Forecast engages, an understanding of how your strengths, perspectives, and skills can be maximized
within the field.

Groundwork is designed for IBPOC with experience in the arts and/or related sectors of the community, including but not limited to: public art, design and architecture, planning, community-engaged arts, community organizing, creative placemaking, economic development, education, environmental justice, health care, housing, native nations, public policy, public systems, youth development.

Following this intensive, participants will have the opportunity to apply to gain paid on-the-ground experience, working on current Forecast projects in 2019. Number of hours will vary by project and participant availability.

Facilitators
Groundwork will be facilitated by Forecast staff in partnership with the following, and others:
  • Sandy Agustin, Creative Facilitator
  • Nicole Crutchfield, Planning Director, City of Fargo
  • Kersten Elverum, City Planner, City of Hopkins
  • James Garrett, Architect and Founder, 4RM+ULA
  • John Gebratetose, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, HUGE Theater
  • Mike Hoyt, Creative Community Liaison, Pillsbury House + Theatre
  • A. Rafael Johnson, Arts-based Evaluator, TerraLuna Collaborative
  • Nathan Johnson, Architect, 4RM+ULA
  • Tisidra Jones, Founder & CEO, Strong & Starlike Consulting, Inc.
  • Pam Korza, Co-Director, Animating Democracy
  • Neeraj Mehta, Director of Learning, McKnight Foundation
  • Satoko Muratake, Landscape Designer and Associate, TEN x TEN
  • Julia Nekessa Opoti, Multi-Media Storyteller and Research Consultant
  • Vidhya Shanker, Research and Evaluation Consultant, Rainbow Research
  • Deanna Rae StandingCloud, Program and Community Network Director, Tiwahe Foundation
  • Caroline Taiwo, Economic Opportunity Program Director, Springboard for the Arts
  • Karis Thompson, Consultant, Community Development + Community Engagement
  • Dudley Voigt, FLOW Artistic Director
  • Harry Waters Jr., Professor of Theatre, Artist, Consultant
  • Eleonore Wesserle, Director of Narrative Strategy, Line Break Media
  • Julio Zelaya, GMRJP Coordinator, ACLU Minnesota
Timeline
This intensive will take place over two weekends in the fall of 2018, in the Twin Cities. Participants are expected to attend all four days (times are approximate):
  • Friday, September 14, 1 – 7 pm
  • Saturday, September 15, 9 am – 3 pm
  • Friday October 5, 1 – 7 pm
  • Saturday October 6, 9 am – 3 pm
Selection Process
Interviews of selected applicants will take place the week of August 6. Notification of the final selection of Groundwork participants will be made by Thursday, August 16.

The application deadline is Monday, July 30 at 4:30 pm CST. To apply click here.

This professional level training is provided free of cost to all participants thanks to a generous Arts Access grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. 

Please contact Forecast if you have any questions about
eligibility, application, or participation at 
consulting@forecastpublicart.org or 651-641-1128.
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. 

Kiln for Sale

Used Kiln for Sale

Evenheat Studio Pro 24 Glass Kiln
Rampmaster RM3 Controller
Quiet Drive Solid State Relay Style
240V
Perfect for home or business.
Excellent condition with very few hours.

Price new: $2,167.00 Asking: $1,850.00

The Pro 24 means it is a 24″.  It easily holds a 20″ shelf. It is a 240 Volt so will not run on regular home wiring. Venting may be necessary depending on the size of the location in which it is housed. It is a dual access. It opens from the top and also from the bottom making access to the bottom shelf very convenient. The manual contains complete firing schedules and suggestions.

For more information contact Gloria Steinhauer at 218-386-3168 or northernborders@hotmail.com.

CAMP ART 2018 in Hallock Starts June 25

CAMP ART 2018

Kittson Central School

Hallock MN

June 25-28

CAMP ART classes will again be offered at Kittson Central School this summer.  Campers will attend classes with three Minnesota artists who each specialize in a specific area of art. The campers, divided by grade level, will spend one hour with each of the artists engaging in kid-friendly art projects. Once again, COMPAS Artists will be teaching these classes. This year the focus will be on laughter and whimsy. Anne Reid will teach sculpture, Ben Domask will lead juggling, mime and other circus arts and Levi Wienhagen will teach comedy writing. For more information on each artist, please go to www.compas.org.

CAMP ART will be in session daily beginning Monday, June 25th and ending Thursday, June 28thClasses for grades 4 through 8, will begin at 9:00 am and end at 12:00 pm.  For campers in grades K through 3, classes will start at 1:00 pm and end at 4:00 pm. There will be an art show that is open to the public on Thursday evening at 7:00.

This year the campers in grades 4 through 8 will have a chance to specialize in two areas of art allowing them a very focused time to learn and create. If your child is in this age group, please indicate their top two preferences on the registration page.

The cost of CAMP ART is $20.00 per student.  There is a $40.00 family maximum fee. Make checks out to Kittson Central School.

Transportation is the responsibility of each family.

Classes are open to all students enrolled in kindergarten through grade 8 during the 2017-2018 school year.

If you have questions regarding CAMP ART, please call Shannon Christenson (612-210-1159) or call the school office (218-843-3682, ext. 221) and leave your name and number.

CAMP ART is made possible by an Arts and Cultural Heritage Grant provided by the Northwest Minnesota Art Council.