This blog exists to inspire people to seek out all the great art that lives in and around the Minneapolis skyway.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Paper cuts, spiderwebs and commentary - Sonja Peterson at the Burnet Gallery

The Artist Conversation series at the Burnet Gallery featured Minnesota native Sonja Peterson presenting her first major solo show, Second Nature on June 23. Her collection of layered paper cuts, laser etched glass and spiderweb wall installations looked fantastic, and having her there to give context made the experience even better.

Sonja Peterson's show runs through July 11, 2010 at the gallery inside the Chambers Hotel. The intricacy of her pieces deserves a personal visit, so that the underlying tension of the work is visible. Her monochromatic style belies the violence of of the forms and images that appear to the viewer upon closer inspection. Inspired by the book The Age of Wonder, Peterson is intrigued by the definition of what is wild and uncontrolled both in that time and now.

These pictures represent the tip of the iceberg as far as this exhibit is concerned. Plan a visit to the Burnet Gallery, which is free and open to the public, and allow extra time to see all the contemporary art displayed in the Chambers Hotel itself.

Keep an eye on Sonja Peterson's career, as this is just the beginning for the MCAD and University of Minnesota grad. There's a great 3 Minute Egg piece on this show and I wrote a small Examiners story announcing the Artists Conversation that has more details. Both 3 Minute Egg and the Artists Conversation series at the Burnet Gallery are great ways to stay involved with champagne art on a beer budget in Minneapolis.
(The pictured works - Money Never Sleeps - full and partial, The Day That Cracked - partial only, The World Is Too Much With Us, Reinvention)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

John Maday - Rivergate's finest recommends the Soo Line Building and Hotel Minneapolis

John Maday, intrepid assistant manager of the Rivergate Apartments, and longtime Minneapolis resident, has some favorite downtown spots of beauty. His picks are (drum roll please):

The Soo Line Building
Built in 1914-15 in the Renaissance Revival style, it once housed the Soo Line Railroad. This clock was affixed on the outside of the building in 2006 to remind us of it's impressive beginnings.

The facade is brick, terra cotta and this gorgeous granite, and some have been lured in by its beaux arts beauty, while others have found the bowels of the structure compelling (this has some strong language).
The staircase, elevators and ceiling reveal the Soo Line's former glory. Talk of a hotel renovation in 2007 came to nothing, but the building has maintained it's structural integrity and visitors can enjoy all the old details.

John's number two pick?

The Hotel Minneapolis aka the Midland Building

Built in 1905-6, it was formerly the Security Bank Building. The original architects were Franklin and Louis Long, who designed many Richardson Romanesque structures in downtown Minneapolis. Opening in 2008, the Hotel Minneapolis renovations preserved the original Carrera marble as seen above in the lobby.

Even the bank vaults were included in the decor to great effect. Everything has been redone with great care and the mix of modern and old features is seamless. Visit the hotel or restaurant Max to see the light fixtures, decor and have a bit of fun. More pics are at my Facebook page, but the details look best in person. Thanks John - awesome choices!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Thrivent Stained Glass for Lutherans and Everyone

The Reformation Window by the late Conrad Pickel of Pickel Studios was originally commissioned by the Lutheran Brotherhood and installed in their Minneapolis headquarters in 1956. This three panel stained glass window depicts the life of Martin Luther, in the interest of furthering discussion and study about the Protestant Reformation. Now it lives in the downtown headquarters of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.

The insets show the amazing detail and color of this piece, made of European hand-blown glass. Pickel learned his trade at the famed Mayer Studios in Munich before opening his own company here in the states.

This is just one example of the gorgeous Christian art that the Thrivent Building has displayed in and around its lobby. There are examples of weaving, sculpture, woodwork and mosaic in their reception area, not to mention that they have their own FREE Gallery of Religious Art open to the public Monday through Friday, 9:30am - 4:30pm. It's definitely worth a trip!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Navigating the Skyways - Midwest Plaza

This multi-faceted sculpture, Navigating the Skyways by Darcy Ferrill is on the street level of the Midwest Plaza. It combines a bit of the lake culture of the cities with the urban worker's daily journey through the skyways.

Ferrill, a principal at Trellage-Ferrill, the Minneapolis-based design firm, has art exhibited all over the Twin Cities and the country. They provide architectual and design services as well as creating sculptures and custom lighting systems. Check out some cool work they've done at Zelo and the Cambria Club at the Target Center.

The home of this piece of public art is the Midwest Plaza which was the supposed home of the fictional television station, WJM-TV on the Mary Tyler Moore show. They filmed the opening sequence (where she famously throws her hat) nearby on the Nicollet Mall.