Friday, October 17, 2014

LoLa and Becketwood Team Up for an Autumn Art Fair

Another chance to see several of our Lola artists awaits you on Saturday, Oct. 25, when Becketwood Cooperative hosts an art fair featuring LoLa artists as well as many of their own resident artists. Becketwood is a 55+ residential cooperative on West River Parkway in Longfellow, Minneapolis; its beautiful building and grounds are worth visiting at any time, so why not seize the opportunity to have a look around and enjoy an indoor art fair at the same time?

And you can even enjoy a fine meal while you're there. Check out the menu offerings for the day:

See you at Becketwood!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Come to Longfellow for the LoLa Art Crawl, Stay for the Sites, Shops, and Cafés

You might not think of Longfellow as a tourist destination, but consider all that this unassuming corner of  South Minneapolis has to offer: the Mississippi River and Minnehaha Falls, Lakes Hiawatha and Nokomis, charming 1920s-era bungalows, quirky history, a growing collection of stylish bistros, cafés and shops—and, this weekend, the LoLa art crawl, August 23 & 24, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Look for maps around the neighborhood or download a PDF on the art crawl website. 
Garden House, by Kat Corrigan (site No. 43)

Each summer since 2009, the League of Longfellow Artists (LoLa) has invited the public into artists’ homes and studios around greater Longfellow (which includes Nokomis East and Standish Ericsson neighborhooods), as well as independent cafés, bars, and shops, to celebrate the treasures of artistic expression in our community. 

Minnehaha Falls, by Jymme Golden (site No. 39)

This year’s crawl features 114 artists, who must be the makers of the items they are selling, and must live or work in greater Longfellow to participate. 

Storm Clouds Break Over Mississippi River Gorge, by Kim Gordon (site No. 13)

They will be exhibiting at 60 sites that offer plenty of opportunities for visitors to eat, drink, shop and relax throughout the day.

Minnehaha Falls, by Angie Runnels (site No. 16)

Another recent trend in Longfellow, and an added reason to visit at any time, is the emergence of arty vintage shops all along Minnehaha Avenue.These are not just antique or secondhand shops, but are also repositories of unusual craft supplies and original artwork and crafts made from repurposed materials. Three of these shops, Paris Antiques (site No. 35), E’s Emporium (site No. 38), and Junket: Tossed and Found (site No. 40), are also stops on the art crawl.   

Lock and Dam No. 1, by John NotBatman (site No. 7)

Need a little refreshment and a light meal? You can see LoLa art and artists at these coffee shops and cafés: Peace Coffee Wonderland Park (site No. 27), Blue Moon Coffee Cafe (Site. No. 12), Fireroast Café (site No. 41), and the Riverview Cafe and Wine Bar (site No. 43).

Bicycle by Meg Erke (site No. 30)

For heartier fare and fortification, consider a full English Breakfast or, later, fish and chips, at Merlin’s Rest Pub (site No. 16), or check out the food truck offerings at Harriet Brewing (site No. 8)

Harriet Brewing, by Jesse Brödd (site No. 8)

Getting here: Longfellow is easily accessed from downtown by way of the Blue Line (Hiawatha) LRT, with stops at Lake Street, 38th Street, and 46th Street taking visitors into the heart of this bucolic urban neighborhood. From there you can connect with bus routes that take you to corners where there are clusters of LoLa sites.There are also many Nice Ride bike stations, including at both the 38th Street and 46th Street LRT stations, for exploring the neighborhood on two wheels.  (Short-term passes are available.) 

Bicycle necklace by Jean Bushey (site No. 32)

For a self-guided tour of historic sites along East Lake Street in Longfellow, visit the Lake Street Council website.  
Longfellow Garden, by Anita White, Amaranth Art Studio (site No. 51)

To read about the history behind Longfellow Gardens, located on the Minnehaha Parkway land bridge going over Hiawatha on your way to sites No. 52 to 60, click here (see page 127).

Minnehaha Falls by Bob Schmitt, Laughing Waters Studio (site No. 52)

The League of Longfellow Artists is an artist-organized, all-volunteer association dedicated to raising the visibility of local artists, and building a sense of community through art in greater Longfellow, which is the area defined by Cedar Avenue to the Mississippi River and East 28th Street to the Crosstown (Hwy 62).

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Bruce Nygren Paints Toys on Books and Other Fanciful Scenes

Bruce Nygren’s large oil painting depicting a meeting of pears hangs on the wall of the Riverview Wine Bar, just a few blocks from his home studio. His paintings frequently feature arranged scenes of vintage toys (sometimes with fruit) and have an air of nostalgia about them. He describes these fanciful paintings as “still lifes that resemble puppet shows and whimsical dreamscapes.”

He’s also a musician, with a blues band called the Mumblebugs, whose album, Falling in Blues, features one of Bruce’s iconic floating house paintings on its cover. (See the linked page to view the album cover and listen to samples.

The Mumblebugs will be performing at Harriet Brewing on Saturday evening during LoLa weekend, August 23, at 6:30 p.m.

He’s joining LoLa for the first time this year and will be showing at his house on East 38th Street and 37th Avenue South (site No. 42) , across the street from another LoLa site, Fireroast Cafe (site No. 41), and just a few blocks west of the Riverview Cafe (Site No. 43). He says he’ll have the coffee pot on for his visitors.

What inspires/informs your art?
My imagination.

Why did you join LoLa?
I thought it might be fun and that I’d make some money.

See more of Bruce’s paintings on his website, Houses Can Fly, and at his show next month at the Fox Tax Gallery, 503 First Ave. NE, Minneapolis, which opens on September 20, from 6 to 9 p.m.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Lee Love Makes Pottery for You to Enjoy With Your Tea

Minneapolis potter Lee Love makes functional stoneware inspired by the traditions of the Japanese and Korean tea ceremony. While his pottery isn’t only for taking tea, he does like to emphasize that purpose, “to help people who use my work to slow down and enjoy their lives.”

His art business name is Ikiru Pottery. His pieces are finished with reduction, wood and soda firing techniques.

Together with his wife, printmaker Jean Shannon, he has been a part of LoLa from the beginning. They will be showing their work in their home on 36th Ave. just three blocks south of Lake Street, along with book artist Theresa Harsma.

What inspires/informs your art?
Korean and Japanese tea ceremony.

How long have you been involved with LoLa?
I am a founding member and attended LoLa's very first meeting.

What do you like about LoLa?
Seeing my neighbors and friends.  Talking about art, philosophy and beauty.

Are you doing anything special for LoLa?
We will raffle a piece of functional pottery and a woodblock print.  All who come to our site are eligible for free!

Follow Ikiru Pottery on Facebook to see more of Lee’s pottery and keep apprised of art events and galleries where he shows his work.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Jean Shannon Makes Colorful Japanese Style Woodblock Prints

Printmaker Jean Shannon and her husband, potter Lee Love, have been participating in LoLa from the beginning. “My husband Lee Love and I were among the first dozen people who organized the first crawl, and we have joined every year since,” she says.

Jean's colorful Japanese-style prints and drawings feature playful and cheerful imagery and reflect the aesthetic influence of her ten years living in Japan. She works in woodblock, stencil and screen printing.

What inspires/informs your art?
I saw my first Japanese woodblock prints when I was five years old. They were Hiroshige woodblock prints given by Frank Lloyd Wright to the Unitarian Society of Madison when the building he designed for them was completed. It's a lasting memory, and I bet they're still there!

When I lived in Japan, I went to the monthly flea market looking for old folk toys, kimonos, and ceramics. I'm interested in Asian art and iconography in general.

Where will you be showing for LoLa?
At our air-conditioned home!  3223 36th Avenue South — two blocks from Merlin's and White Castle on 36th Avenue.

What do you like about Lola? Why did you join?
I like meeting other artists and having an activity that brings my neighbors over "to see what we've been up to."

Are you planning to do anything special for Lola?
Sure!  We have a raffle for a print and a piece of Lee's functional pottery.  Also, we serve wine, lemonade, and iced tea, along with sweet treats made by Sue, our kind neighbor who loves to bake!

You can see other works by Jean on her blog, Jean Prints.

Look for our feature on Jean's husband, Lee Love, coming up soon!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Monica Rudquist Throws and Assembles Porcelain to Make Both Functional and Sculptural Pieces

Monica Rudquist is a potter and sculptor working in porcelain to make functional pieces and also sculptural works formed by cutting and assembling objects originally shaped on the wheel.

She is returning for her second LoLa art crawl and will be showing her work in her home, 3101 36th Ave. S., on her front porch. (Site no. 19 on the art crawl map. Pick up a map this evening at the Longfellow Corn Feed, or look for them at area businesses. Click here for a printable alphabetical list of all artists with their site numbers.)

Please tell us more about your process.
I work with clay. Specifically I work with porcelain on a potter's wheel.The potter’s wheel has captivated me as a tool ever since I learned how to throw. The wide variety of ways to form a simple bowl or cylinder has always amazed me. I use porcelain because of its fluidity and responsiveness. 

My bowls and cylinders retain the movement of my hands even as they become building blocks for larger pieces. My love of the wheel has led me to use the thrown form as a starting point for both my functional and sculptural work.  The process of cutting and assembling these thrown pieces allows me to continue the dialogue with the clay and the wheel. This process spurs more questions and responses to the developing forms by creating new juxtapositions in surprising places.

What inspires/informs your art?
I strive to create work that explores the space between function and sculpture, while remaining connected to the tradition of the wheel.

What do you like about LoLa? Why did you join?
Longfellow is a great neighborhood and is the home of many  artists. I like the fact that LoLa does not jury the artists who want to participate. LoLa offers an opportunity to see a wide variety of work created here in our own neighborhood. I joined LoLa because I live and work in this neighborhood.

Are you doing anything special for the art crawl?
We are planning on having refreshments and lots of great conversation!

Monica’s functional work can be found at Northern Clay Center, the Guthrie Shop, the Weisman Museum Shop and the Grand Hand Gallery in St. Paul. She also has an installation as part of Made Here MN in a storefront in City Center, downtown Minneapolis. An upcoming exhibition, Constructed Visions, is scheduled for next winter at the Katherine G. Murphy Gallery at St. Catherine University.

See more of her work at Monica Rudquist’s website.