Here is a great article about the Forum from the Twin Cities Daily Planet.
(image of St. Paul artist-in-residence Marcus Young recording his reflections on the presentation of Theaster Gates. You can find Marcus' work here) photo by Brit Salmela
If you view the video recordings of the Bruner/Loeb Forum, be sure to watch the presentation of artist Theaster Gates. In addition to being a compelling visual artist, Theaster is a gifted lecturer, singer, and community builder.
In this video you can see him working with elementary school kids in St. Louis to identify the assets in their neighborhoods. You can also see some of his sculpture, and see him perform. Theaster is one of the most talented, committed, approachable, humble and sincere people you will ever meet. We talked about how when he started, noone wanted to give him any money to do his work and now its a completely different story. I'm particularly excited about a project he is starting in St. Louis that will combine artist housing with housing for families who have an interest in the arts. His goal is to house artists and families from the community where the housing units are placed - not to bring in artists from other parts of the city. Locally rooted art and design at its best. Theaster will be back in the Twin Cities this fall through the Walker Art Center. Hopefully we can entice him up to Juxtaposition for a presentation to our and Juxta's students.
As part of the Bruner/Loeb Forum, we hosted an exhibition of 6 years of collaborative work with Juxtaposition Arts. UMN/MLA alum Satoko Muratake developed the idea for the umbrella installation. At 4pm 120 umbrellas arrived, and by 8.30pm Erica Shearer, Kristen Murray, Tom Cambell, Kevin Clark, Miss Emily Lowry, Anna Lawrence and Lara Zador (we've claimed you Lara) and Emily Stover made it happen. Here is one piece of the sculpture...
Juxtaposition Arts and partners (UMN MLA) are excited to host this coming together of local and national designers, scholars, planners, artists, non-profit organizations, government officials, and others who are interested in exploring the possibilities of locally rooted art and engaged design as a tool to build stronger communities from the ground up. Some of the most respected practitioners from around the country will convene in Minneapolis to learn from each other and share best practices while dissecting the current conditions and opportunities for arts based development to bring about more equitable outcomes in cities like Minneapolis where there are persistent pockets of poverty and unequal outcomes for people and especially children and youth along race and class lines.
We have assembled a diverse group of speakers and presenters with experience in art-based development practices that are transforming the physical, economic and social landscape in communities across the country. In addition the conference will highlight the expertise of our local community.
Rick Lowe, Founder & Artistic Director, Project Row Houses in Houston whose work is an example of how artists can improve a neighborhood without displacing people.
Cynthia Harnisch, President & CEO Inner City Arts in Los Angeles a program that engages 30,000 youth from Los-Angeles public schools each year through art education in an award winning urbanist facility described as an oasis in the heart of skid-row.
Kate Barr, Executive Director, Nonprofits Assistance Fund, Minneapolis
Tom Borrup, Principal, Creative Community Builders, Minneapolis
Roger & DeAnna Cummings, Founders & Directors, Juxtaposition Arts, Minneapolis
Theaster Gates, performance artist, planner and Loeb Fellow 2011, Chicago
Ed Goetz, Director, U of MN Center for Urban and Regional Affairs
Seitu Jones, artist, St. Paul
Neeraj Mehta, Program Officer, Nexus Community Partners, Minneapolis
Kris Nelson, Director, Neighborhood Programs, University of MN, Center for Urban and Regional Affairs, Minneapolis
Dan Pitera, Associate Professor, Architecture University of Detroit Mercy; Director, Detroit Collaborative Design Center, Detroit
David Ralston, Redevelopment Project Manager, Oakland Community & Economic Development Agency, Oakland
Jason Schupbach, Director of Design, National Endowment for the Arts, Washington D.C.
Sheila Smith, Executive Director, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, Minnesota
Over the next few weeks we will be blogging here about the 2011 Bruner/Loeb Forum: Putting Creativity to Work. I want to thank the talented and inspiring UMN MLA students who helped make this event possible: Erica Sheaer, Tom Campbell, Kevin Clark, Brit Salmela, Emily Stover, Kristen Murray, Miss Emily Lowry, Anna Lawrence, and our resident medical student, Lara. I would also like to thank staff and faculty at the Department of Landscape Architecture: Vince deBritto, Sara Grothe, Amanda Smoot, Lance Neckar, and Dave Pitt.