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October 11, 2008

9th Annual Seward Arts Festival

As a Seward resident for 10 years, I was a little disappointed with the three-minute egg review of the Ivy and Bottle Rocket Buildings. I would have approached the story with a few stats: how many artists rent studios in the two buildings, how much it costs, the length of the typical lease. I would preface the story with these facts to position the dedication of the artists who have rented throughout the years and address the turn-over.

A few of the artists exhibiting over the last couple years weren’t exhibiting this year, and I know they are still making art. One studio that was an artist space is now a lawyer’s office-hmmm. Some of the artwork has lost its grittiness. What I like about the Seward Art Fest is that I get an opportunity to meet artists in my neighborhood but this year it felt as though artist didn’t open their home studios as they usually do and we only saw the studio artists who don’t live in the neighborhood. The festival is changing; hopefully next year it will have a grass roots feel.

October 1, 2008

miniStories

Flash fiction, a story with a word count ranging from 40-2,000, has roots extending to Ancient Greece (620–560 BC). The medium is perfect for the internet and has been experiencing a rise in interest the last few years. Geoff Herbach coordinated miniStories, a flash competition that attracted established and emerging writers to submit stories that were 500 words or less. The selected pieces were read by the authors on October 27, 2008 at the Ritz Theater in NE Minneapolis. The immediacy of plot and the high level of engagement are the best part of flash fiction-you get pulled in and under like a shark attack.

September 1, 2008

Between roots and branches

To broaden the scope and entertainment value of art, Alison Morse, a Minneapolis writer, brought together six writers and a furniture designer to create an event that bridges spoken word and sculpture. Alison Morse said this was the most successful event so far because the writers and the artist worked together since day one of the project. For nine months, Seth Keller, a designer, entered the world of art. He set aside the structure of furniture making and explored the expressive world of sculpture. The pieces in the exhibition are sprawling, climbing mixed media yet all contain parts of trees: branches, limbs, bare wood, bark.

The culmination of this project spanned one evening of readings and a weekend-long exhibition at Gallery 332 in the Northrup King Building. The writers read their poetry in the gallery around the Seth Keller’s’ sculptures. Writers included are: Alison Morse, Emily August, Jean Larson, Jen March, Mark Rapacz, Michelle Janssens Keller