We will be posting photos of our shows up here for all the artists of MS. Our Reception last week had Brian Sanderson, Deputy Director for the Committee on Rebuilding for Governor Barbour Friday evening August 18th. He attended our event in furtherance of our efforts to help so many who have lost so much in MS.Stay tuned to MinnesotaHelpers' website for further information about our event.Also visit: www.TheArtoftheStorm.com for more information.
Mary Gray, CEO
MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 22, 2006—A unique exhibition is taking a Minneapolis art space by storm—literally.
Shards of broken glass, a chandelier, a computer hard drive, a blade from a ceiling fan, cement, bricks, slabs of concrete and other hurricane debris are all part of “The Art of the Storm: Nothing Can Destroy Passion,” on display at the Hennepin County Government Center Lower Level Art Gallery through Aug. 30, reports the Sun-Herald (Mississippi).
The debris—and the 30 artists—all hail from Hancock County, Miss, which suffered massive damage when Katrina swept through last year.
Exhibition organizer Mary Gray said the purpose is to help people realize the extent of Katrina’s destruction and assist artists who are striving to get back on their feet after the storm.
Gray, the CEO of MinnesotaHelpers.org, formed the “Mississippi Art Share” as a program of Minnesota Helpers to help artists affected by the storm. She said she visited Hancock County as a volunteer after the hurricane and saw the struggles they faced.
“This is about so much more than art,” Gray told the Minnesota Sun. “It needs to be kept in people’s minds that the Gulf Coast still needs help.”
The gallery where the work is displayed is very long, narrow, heavily trafficked indoor corridor, across from a popular restaurant; it serves as the underground walkway to the Minneapolis City Hall.
An exhibit of Mississippi art that is stopping people in their tracks in Minneapolis has quite a twist.
Hurricane debris brought from Hancock County is incorporated into its gallery design, which showcases about 140 pieces of work by 30 Coast artists.
Broken glass, a chandelier, a computer hard drive, one blade from a ceiling fan and shreds of material hanging in trees are some of what's there that used to be here. Plus, artists who arranged the display threw in some heavier things that would have been hard to haul, like chunks of concrete and bricks.
"You're trying to haul it away, and we're using it," said exhibit organizer Mary Gray of Wayzata, Minn.
The debris is there to make Katrina's destruction more real to people who have not seen it firsthand, said Gray, who is CEO of MinnesotaHelpers.org.
She formed Mississippi Art Share as a program of Minnesota Helpers in order to help the artists she saw struggling against all odds when she came to Hancock County as a volunteer after the storm.
"The Art of the Storm: Nothing Can Destroy Passion" is on display through Aug. 30 at Hennepin County Government Center Lower Level Art Gallery in Minneapolis, with a public reception set for 5-8 p.m. Friday.
The exhibit has a twofold intent.
One is to provide a selling opportunity for artists who are creating their work in Katrina's aftermath but now lack their once plentiful hometown venues and audiences. All of the show's proceeds from sales go to the artists.
The second is to rev up awareness of the Coast's continuing needs.
"This is about so much more than art," Gray said in a story published Aug. 2 in the Minnesota Sun. "It needs to be kept in people's minds that the Gulf Coast still needs help."
Earlier this year, Gray arranged exhibits for Mississippi Coast artists at three Minnesota-area galleries and coordinated transport of their artwork to Minnesota at no cost to them.
The art now on exhibit has both new work and work that remains from the earlier shows.
Even without piles of debris at each end, the gallery is uncommon looking.
It is a very long, very narrow glass showcase, 113 feet by about 4 feet, that meanders along a heavily traveled indoor walkway. It's across from a popular restaurant and is the underground walkway to the Minneapolis City Hall.
"It's really interesting how people respond," said LuAnn Schmaus, public affairs officer for Hennepin County.
"Some people are walking briskly, obviously on their way to something. Suddenly they stop. The exhibit speaks loudly: that art doesn't die; that passion still lives."
It's a welcome opportunity for artists.
For Mark Buszkiewicz, who lives in the Fenton community near Kiln and does sculptural ceramics, "It was a good thing," he said of his sales at the earlier exhibits.
He's been unable to work since six weeks after Katrina when he fell through his roof trying to fix it and broke six ribs and his collarbone, but he expects his doctors to let him resume throwing clay by Aug. 29.
"I didn't even care if it was a pity sale," he said. "Being broke, it really helped to have any money that comes in."
And he said he's excited about the chance to sell more at the exhibit.
Making it real
These items of storm debris from Hancock County accent the Minneapolis gallery where South Mississippi art is on exhibit.
Broken framing materials from art gallery in Bay St. Louis
Pipe fittings from sink
Shreds of material hanging in trees
Ceiling fan, one blade
Broken leg from table
Broken water pipe with patina effect
Computer hard drive
Old vinyl 33 record
FAT CAT ART STUDIO,
Find out more
What: "The Art of the Storm: Nothing Can Destroy Passion" exhibit of works by South Mississippi visual artists through August.
Where: Hennepin County Government Center Lower Level Art Gallery, 300 S. Sixth St., Minneapolis, Minn.; reception 5-8 p.m. Friday; guest speakers Brian W. Sanderson from Gov. Barbour's Office of Recovery and Renewal. Exhibit is free and open to the public 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
How: Organized by Mary Gray with MinnesotaHelpers.org, which volunteered in Hancock County after Katrina; design concept of incorporating hurricane debris into the display was the idea of Adam J. Gray; the creative director was Lisa Marek, all of Minnesota.
Who: Participating artists are Michelle Ailee, Vicki Niolet, Regan Carney, Julia Nelson, Mary Benton Shaw, Kathryn Taylor Gray, Mary and Ken Davidson, Rhonda Blasingame, Lori Gordon, Elizabeth Shafer, Bill Myers, Patt Odom, Joe Tomasovsky, Joe Key, Hamilton Guenard, Robert A. Brooks, Judy MacInnis, Mary Hardy, Don Beckmeyer, Ruth Thompson, David Wheeler, Brenda Randolph, Marcel Anderson, Mark Buszkiewicz, Carol Marie Stuart, Mary Pat Forrest, Joey Rice, Kathe Calhoun and Pamela Tripp.
Details: (763) 208-9920; email@example.com; http://www.co.hennepin.mn.us/ or minnesotahelpers.org