MN Original

When you think of an art museum, what images come to mind? Exhibitions of paintings, prints or tapestries? Plexiglass-covered pedestals protecting ceramic sculptures? Docents recounting important facts and introducing at least two pieces named, “Untitled”?

What about performance artist Anat Shinar performing a Jane Fonda workout video or an invitation from 3rd Daughter, Restless Daughter to participate in a communal cross stitch project?

If you go to the Minnesota Museum of American Art (the M), you might discover both of those options just waiting to give you an unexpected artistic experience. As Curator of Learning and Engagement Courtney Gerber explains:

“In order to really broaden how we’re talking about, looking at, thinking about art and the world, you need to bring in more voices. You need to share in how art is interpreted.”

In an effort to put that philosophy into action, the museum staff created the “Artists in Action” program aimed at commissioning a diverse array of artists across different genres to respond to an aspect of the museum such as an exhibition on-view.

As Gerber states, “In working with living artists who bring another art form to the spaces, we are hearing from them in their chosen medium, we are bringing in another perspective. And the hope is that somebody who is here, whether from Saint Paul or an entirely different state, they’re going to see themselves potentially reflected in that artist’s perspective.”

Watch the video to learn how Minnesota-based artists have added their mediums, perspectives and voices to the museum.

Learn more about the history and comeback of Minnesota Museum of American Art and additional artists with whom the museum has worked.

Special Thanks:  Supergroup, McNally Smith College of Music
Additional Media: William G Franklin, Ryan Stopera, Sarah White, Chue Yang, Minnesota Museum of American Art Archives
Minnesota Music: Cloud Cult, Greycoats
Production Team: Jacob Kelso, Brittany Shrimpton, Brennan Vance
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This story is made possible by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and the citizens of Minnesota.