UMN Students’ Choice

9 Jul

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The summer portion of WAM@20, the yearlong 20th anniversary exhibit that explores different methods of choice, is curated by Minnesotans. This includes input from Minnesota artists, Minnesota “notables,” Minnesota State Fair goers, and University of Minnesota students.

Students had the opportunity to vote for their favorite pieces at two events last winter. They scrolled through images on iPads set up at the Flashback party, and at one of WAM Collective’s study nights, and chose their favorite accession from each year since 1993.

 

The chosen works are currently on display in the gallery (and a few are shown below)!

2007.26

Mudman, Hidden Beach
Katherine Turczan
gelatin silver print
2007.26

Students that live on campus in the summer usually find their way to “Hidden Beach” on Cedar Lake near Uptown Minneapolis. The Mudman keeps an eye on the mud pits there. He picks up trash, counts mud pit attendees, and lets everyone know where the “good” mud is on any given day. He is even mentioned on Wikipedia!

 

Mentioned on the “UMN Students’ Choice” gallery plaque:

1999.4.804

Ex Libris Hedda Deutsch
Jaro Beran
bookplate print
1999.4.804

1997.40.4-1

Untitled
Red Grooms
offset lithograph
1997.40.4

2005.32_02

Untitled (music box)
Christian Marclay
wood, metal
2005.32

 

How to read an accession number: Accession numbers are used to catalogue objects in a museum. Each piece has its own unique number. Usually, part of the number refers to the year the object was acquired. The other numbers can indicate the order it was acquired that year or refer to different categories, such as period or geographical region, in the museum.

ELEMENTS: WAM Collective’s 3rd Annual Design Competition & Runway Show

29 Apr

Last Wednesday, April 23, WAM Collective hosted Elements, the third annual design competition and runway show featuring University of Minnesota student designers at the Weisman Art Museum. This year, 16 student designers were asked to take inspiration from the museum’s spring exhibition. “Siberia: Imagined and Reimagined.” Siberia is as much a mythic construct—associated with vastness, remoteness, and coldness—as it is a physical place that occupies more than 12 percent of the land on earth. Its rich natural resources have sustained indigenous populations for hundreds of thousands of years, but have come under threat over the course of imperial colonization, Soviet industrialization, and post-Soviet development. In response to this, students designing for the competition used non-traditional materials and sustainable best practices while creating their garments. Elements reimagined Siberia as both a place and a concept, drawing on traditional aspects of Siberian culture, such as chai tea from Verdant Tea House, and more conceptual design choices including vast, white, airy spaces juxtaposed against intense colors and rich textures. It was a rainy afternoon, but the mix of colorful lighting design by the University of Minnesota Theatre Arts and Dance department, the sharp white runway, and the textured tea lounge designed by Bungalow 6 turned the museum gallery into a high-fashion hang-out.

The event gathered about 250 guests who were lucky enough to snag tickets before they sold out. Local stylist, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Sarah Edwards, emceed the evening’s show. Hand-selected judges, Laura Joseph, Martha McQuade, Christopher Straub, Jahna Peloquin, and Lisa Hackwith drew on their personal experience and knowledge to pick out the best designs of the bunch. Models walked the runway to a playlist curated by the designers themselves, including tracks by Passion Pit and Bastille. Designs took inspiration from all aspects of Siberia. A popular topic was the vast Siberian forests, which translated into a full length fur coat, a dress made completely of newspaper, and headpiece made from deconstructed branches. Other designs took inspiration from the traditional textures and tribes of Siberia, using vegetable steamers as “beaded” decoration and blackberries to naturally dye different fabrics.

Prizes were generously provided by Treadle Yard Goods and Juut Salonspa – who also donated the time of their artists to style all of the models’ hair and makeup that night. Mill City Summer Opera  singer, Allison Schardin, performed during the intermission.

Honorable mentions that evening were awarded to U of M sophomores Tabitha Andelin, who designed a two piece, highly versatile outfit based on the lives of nomadic people in Siberia; and Elizabeth Bischoff, who created a full-length fur coat inspired by the Taiga forest.

Third Place was awarded to Holly Welwood, who created a modern bib overall look incorporating some decorative beading and black leather, inspired by the documentary Happy People and the fur trappers of Siberia.

Second Place winner, Thanh Nguyen, created a full-length, mermaid-style dress completely from newspaper clippings that was inspired by the enormous amount of trees in Siberia and the dusty color of snowy tree tops during the winter months.

First Place was awarded to U of M Apparel Design senior, Paul Erling, who put together a four piece outfit inspired by the idea of survival in Siberia. His look was created entirely from deconstructed materials that were then woven on a self-invented loom. The final product’s details were inspiring and unique. Paul’s model even wore a fully constructed backpack which included a small pocket holding an original mixtape – because what else do you need to survive in our modern Siberia?

Check out the photos from the event, all courtesy of local photographer Erin Pederson.

FLASHBACK! RECAP

27 Feb

Last Wednesday, I stayed up late on a school night. It was the U Choose Student Voting Night Flashback Party at the Weisman! One of the selection methods used for assembling WAM@20, the museum’s special anniversary exhibition, involves students voting on their favorite pieces from all 20 years that we’ve called the Ghery building home. Naturally, we had to throw a party.

20 years ago was 1994. We all have fond memories of the 90s because it was our childhood. I remember riding around the old neighborhood in one of those Barbie Jeeps and writing in my Lisa Frank diary and spying on my neighbors with my composition notebook a la Harriet the Spy, like it was yesterday.

So on Wednesday night, I slipped into my Doc Martens, twisted my hair into two little buns on the top of my head and tied my cardigan around my waist. I felt a little bit like my cool teenage babysitter I used to adore, but mostly I just felt like I was 8 years old again.

Mean Girls was projected on the wall. Cubes, in the appropriate hues of fuchsia, teal, tangerine and lime, acted as seating. Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys serenaded everyone as we ate too many Gushers, Fruit Roll-Ups, and Pixie Sticks. We slurped down Capri Sun after Capri Sun in anticipation of the boy band.

To protect their identities, the mysterious boys of Hippo Campus each gave me an alias. Pepper, Brick, Falsmash and Beans were full of youthful energy and humor.  Pepper had a sweet, versatile voice. Falsmash kept us bopping along with him and his crazy dance moves. The skillful group answered our roaring encore with a sneak peek of their new song!

The last chords faded, the Plastics completed their rendition of Jingle Bell Rock, and I could feel my sugar crash coming on. It was time to let the 90s buns down.

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Written by: Hannah Germaine, WAM Collective member

 

Spring Semester Preview

30 Jan

What happened to January? If you’re a student on the University of Minnesota campus, welcome back and happy Spring semester. Winter break went by more quickly than usual here at the museum; but, we are excited to give you a peek at what we’ve been working on! Though we’ve been living through another Ice Age over the last couple of months, I hope you can look forward to celebrating spring fever with us by checking out these upcoming events around town:

WAM Warmer “Pops Up” on Northop’s Plaza beginning Thursday, January 23 and lasting through Thursday, January 30, 2014 before it moves over to the Weisman Art Museum. The pop-up is inspired by WAM’s spring exhibition, Siberia: Imagined and Reimagined, a collection of photographs spanning over 130 years by 50 Russian photographers exploring the depths of Siberia, never before showcased in the United States. While researching Siberia, WAM Collective and the Weisman Art Museum have made connections between the characteristics of the Siberian terrain, weather, urban and rural environments, and folk culture with that of our own home, Minnesota. To celebrate the exhibition, as well as to celebrate Minnesota, WAM Collective will be building a pop-up inspired by a traditional chum (pronounced “choom”), a temporary dwelling used by the nomadic Yamal-Nenets and Khanty reindeer herders of northwestern Siberia, Russia. A space for students to stop and warm up on their trek through the snowy campus, the “WAM warmer” will also incorporate an interactive tour of the U of M campus, highlighting the many under-explored gems of the University. This tour, inspired by the vastness of Siberia and the many unexplored areas it contains, leads students on an adventure including secret sledding behind Coffman union, star-gazing at the Tate Physics Lab, and, of course, a trip to the Weisman Art Museum.

Exhibition Preview Party for Siberia: Imagined and Reimagined at the Weisman Art Museum on Friday, January 31, 2014. 7:00pm. FREESiberia: Imagined and Reimagined, organized by the Foundation for International Arts and Education, brings photographs of Siberia by Russian photographers to the American public for the first time. The photographs chronicle the reality and myths of Siberia and allow viewers to discover surprising parallels between the landscape, weather patterns and culture of Siberia and our own home, Minnesota. So, what exactly is Siberia? This collection of over 100 photographs spanning from the 1870s to the present engages viewers in answering this deceptively simple question. Come find out for yourself with an exhibition preview party! Grab your puffy coat and fur hat and celebrate your inner Siberian with an indoor/outdoor preview party. Outdoors, check out our Russian inspired specialty drinks at the ice bar, slip into the WAM warmer (traditional chum) to defrost your feet, and don’t forget to Instagram that picture you take with the real, live reindeer that will be there! Back indoors, hang out with  DJ Jonathan Ackerman while you nosh on small bites from D’Amico in the Riverview Gallery and sip on a drink from the hot cocoa bar. WAM members get 2 free drink tickets at check in. After-party at Icehouse with music by Red Daughters and the James Apollo Five. $8 includes your cover charge + one specialty drink ticket (enter code: wamsiberia).

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Siberia: Imagined and Reimagined Exhibition Preview Party takes place January 31, 2014

Made in Minnesota is a group exhibition taking place at the Katherine E. Nash Gallery and the Regis Center for Art at the University of Minnesota between January 21 and February15, 2014. Some say that even if you didn’t grow up in Minnesota, you can still become a true “Minnesotan.” This exhibition, curated by Wayne E. Potratz, Professor of Sculpture and Howard Oransky, Director of the Katherine E. Nash Gallery, features over 20 local artists all exploring and celebrating the diverse practices of sculpture across Minnesota. While we are disappointed to hear that the exhibition does not include an example of sculpture made in butter (first presented at the Minnesota State Fair in 1898), many other materials and methods are represented, including acrylic, bone, canvas, clay, concrete, diamonds, enamel, gelatin, gold, granite, motorcycle parts, mousetraps, nylon, plastic, silver, steel, stone, wood, etc. Find more information on the event and its artists here.

Study Night @ WAM begins its monthly residency at the museum beginning Wednesday, February 5, from 5:00-8:00pm. Sometimes all you need to focus is a little change of scenery. Get out of that dreary dorm room and come study in the most interesting building on campus – the Weisman Art Museum! Surrounded by art, and a perfectly curated playlist, you will feel inspired and enlivened by that once daunting textbook sitting in front of you. Necessary studying provisions will be provided, including coffee, tea, and all-natural snack bars from KIND. Feel like taking a study break? Take a tour with WAM’s own student tour guides. Study Night @ WAM will be held once a month until the end of the school year, but the galleries are always open for your studying, writing, creative pleasures…

The Art Shanty Projects is an artist driven temporary community exploring the ways in which relatively unregulated public spaces can e used as new and challenging artistic environments. The project expands notions of what art can be and offers projects that both push the artist and engage the audience. These special projects take place once a year and add a bit of fun to winter in February (a time of year that can seem incredibly daunting). This year, the projects will take place on White Bear Lake, weekends only, from February 1-23, 2014. Read up on the artists and plan your visit by checking out the Art Shanty Project website.

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Art Shanty Projects on White Bear Lake

U Choose: Student Voting Party What does it mean to be a curator in the 21st century? The traditional notion of the term meant a specialist who had extensive training in a specific area – an expert on the quality of objects, who thoughtfully presented them with regard to their social, historical and material character. Today, the term isn’t so clear. We are living in an information and visual rich society with “iphone photography curators” and “pinterest curators” and “netflix queue curators”. But what is the difference between curating and choosing? Nothing? Everything? You decide. Join the conversation on February 19 with WAM Collective for U Choose: Students Night, an event that invites all University of Minnesota students to discuss and deconstruct the curatorial process. Students will have the opportunity to survey 60 pieces of art from the Weisman’s permanent collection and vote, in a variety of ways, for their top 20. As a part of the celebration of 20 years in our iconic home, students will be voting on pieces organized by the year of their accession into the museum. The highest ranked choices will be exhibited in a special section of the summer 2014 exhibit “WAM@20:MN”. The evening will include light refreshments, snacks, and music. U card required for admittance. Free. More information on the year-long celebration, WAM@20, can be found here.

Elements: a Design Competition & Runway Show This April, as the ice shrouding Minnesota thaws, WAM will host its third annual design competition, in collaboration with University of Minnesota’s College of Design. Participating designers are asked to create a ready-for-the-runway garment inspired by the Weisman’s exhibition of Siberia: Imagined and Reimagined, a collection of photographs that offers glimpses into Russia’s far eastern territories from the late nineteenth century up to present. Garments must include non-traditional materials, innovative textures, and/or structural shaping with an emphasis on sustainable best practices. The runway show will take place at the Weisman Art Museum on Wednesday, April 23, 2014. Think you’ve got what it takes? The most effective and compelling designs will draw upon the landscapes, materials, textures, and traditions of Siberia, while also responding to the environmental questions the region raises. Over the course of their design process, contestants should consider questions such as: What is sustainable design? What environmental, ecological, and laboring support structures have enabled my garment’s production? How might garment producers rely upon such systems of support without exploiting or depleting them? What elements, both ecological and emotional, can influence sustainable design? Reserve your tickets here. For more information, visit wam.umn.edu or email wamcoll@umn.edu.

Calling all designers… WE WANT YOU!

29 Jan

Email-Photo

OPEN CALL: Elements, a Design Competition & Runway Show

This April, as the ice shrouding Minnesota thaws, WAM will host its third annual design competition, in collaboration with University of Minnesota’s College of Design. Participating designers are asked to create a ready-for-the-runway garment inspired by the Weisman’s exhibition of Siberia: Imagined and Reimagined, a collection of photographs that offers glimpses into Russia’s far eastern territories from the late nineteenth century up to present. Garments must include non-traditional materials, innovative textures, and/or structural shaping with an emphasis on sustainable best practices.

Siberia is as much a mythic construct—associated with vastness, remoteness, and coldness—as it is a physical place that occupies more than 12 percent of the land on earth. Its rich natural resources have sustained indigenous populations for hundreds of thousands of years, but have come under threat over the course of imperial colonization, Soviet industrialization, and post-Soviet development. These political, social, and economic processes inaugurated rail construction, fur trapping, forest logging, mineral and precious metal prospecting, and oil and gas drilling, which have made Siberia famous for large-scale environmental damage.

The depth, range, and accomplishment of Siberian photography is impressive. Siberia: Imagined and Reimagined presents the work of fifty Russian photographers over a span of 130 years and is a geographical portrait that has the potential to alter stereotypes and challenge the simplicity of long held beliefs. Pictures covering rural and urban scenes and landscapes, native peoples, agriculture and industry, Russian frontier settlements, the Gulag, religion, and just plain everyday life will allow for a wide range of interpretations by University of Minnesota student designers. Interested students are encouraged to view the exhibition at the Weisman Art Museum, beginning at the show’s preview party on Friday, January 31 at 7:00pm.

Think you’ve got what it takes? The most effective and compelling designs will draw upon the landscapes, materials, textures, and traditions of Siberia, while also responding to the environmental questions the region raises. Over the course of their design process, contestants should consider questions such as: What is sustainable design? What environmental, ecological, and laboring support structures have enabled my garment’s production? How might garment producers rely upon such systems of support without exploiting or depleting them? What elements, both ecological and emotional, can influence sustainable design?

Submission Guidelines: The competition is open to all full-time U of M undergraduate students. In keeping with the student budget, designers are encouraged to reuse and upcycle materials with a focus on sustainable practices and materials. Along with four sketches, or photographs, that visually communicate the design and a list of proposed materials, applicants are required to submit a written statement that describes the sustainable practices used and adds psychological context to their work (500 words maximum); and a short biography (100 words maximum). Fifteen finalists will be chosen for the competition and their submissions will be judged not just on aesthetic merit, but on a more comprehensive and holistic approach to design. The applicant’s design concept must be original in its rendering and must be exclusively his or her own work. Only one entry is permitted per person. Submissions are due by Friday, February 28, 2014 at 12:00 PM to wamcoll@umn.edu. Please submit materials together in a PDF format if possible.

 Important Dates:

Call for submissions opens Tuesday January 21, 2014

Siberia: Imagined & Reimagined opens at WAM, Friday, January 31, 2014 7:00 PM. FREE

Submissions are due Friday, February 28, 2014 at 12:00 PM to wamcoll@umn.edu

Finalists will be announced Friday, March 7, 2014

The runway show and competition will be held on Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Questions? Contact WAM Collective at wamcoll@umn.edu or Katie Covey at covey013@umn.edu

Wednesday Night is Study Night at the Weisman Art Museum

11 Oct

As students, we know the drudgery of studying. We also know that sometimes all you need to focus is a little change of scenery. So, starting next Wednesday, October 16, and following once per month after, WAM Collective is pulling you out of your dreary dorm room and into the most interesting building on the University of Minnesota campus – the Weisman Art Museum. Surrounded by art, and a perfectly curated playlist, you will feel inspired and enlivened by that once daunting textbook sitting in front of you. Necessary studying provisions will be provided, including organic coffee and tea from Common Roots Cafe, and all-natural snack bars from KIND. Come and join us for this night in the museum – now a perfect study spot.

Wednesday, October 16, 5:00 – 8:00pm

Weisman Art Museum

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WAM is Buzzing…

13 Sep

I’m standing on the roof of WAM. In front of me the Coffman Memorial Union and the Minneapolis skyline at my back. Aside from the exclusive view, I am actually up here to look at something else: the two honey bee colonies thriving on the Eastern edge of the roof.

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To clarify, the honey bee colonies did not find their way to the rooftop. They are part of a project led by the University of Minnesota’s Bee Squad, inspired by Dr. Marla Spivak, Professor of Entomology. The group conducts honey bee research on the St. Paul campus. Other efforts are now being made to educate the community about the importance of honey bees and their contribution to the environment. With a significant drop in honey bee populations throughout the world during the last decade, the Bee Squad’s work is truly critical.

In an urban location like the Twin Cities, colonies on the ground are forced to navigate through the city and the people, making the rooftop location an ideal spot for the bees. They are able to find paths to flowers (where they obtain nectar and unknowingly pick up pollen) in the open air above the urban bustle of ground level. Because of its close proximity to the Mississippi River, a natural hotspot in the metropolitan area, the roof of the Weisman is a particularly ideal location. The Bee Squad also has colonies located on the roofs of the MIA and the Bell Museum of Natural History. The Weisman bees have officially produced 80 pounds of honey to date. Soon, you’ll be able to buy some of the sweet stuff for yourself in the WAM shop!

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Hoping to learn more about the bees at WAM? The Bee Squad will be at the Weisman on Sunday October 27th from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Come meet the Squad, observe the colonies, make beeswax candles, and more. It’s free, so bring your honey and enjoy.
 
-Sam Lindsay 
 
 
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