The NEMAA blog is a platform for us to share our members work and their stories, and a hub for information about the NEMAA community.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Wintertide Bienneial: An Interview with Tricia Khutoretsky of Public Functionary

It's just over a month until the Wintertide Biennial Juried Art Exhibition opens, this January 24th at Public Functionary. We've received lots of great submissions from NEMAA artists and are excited to have our jury start the competition.

The show dates are: January 24 through February 7, 2015.

Mark your calendar today!

What is Public Functionary?

Public Functionary is a two year old art gallery right on the edge of the Northeast Minneapolis arts district. They've been making waves for some time, trying to push the local art scene in some intriguing new directions. (For example, check out the recent story on the gallery in the Star Tribune.) NEMAA is thrilled to be partnering with them for the Wintertide Biennial.

If you haven't visited the gallery space and are not familiar with Public Functionary, here are excerpts from our chat with Tricia Khutoretsky, the co-director and curator.

NEMAA: Tell me about Public Functionary. You call yourselves a "contemporary art exhibition and social space." What is that all about?

[The Public Functionary team.]

Tricia Khutoretsky: Well the main thing is just that we’re looking at encouraging art buying in the Twin Cities. There's been a lot of controversy over the past few years about how much artists rely on grant funding, and how people feel about government and grant funding for the arts.
Well, one way to supplement that is to have a better art market. Everything that we do at PF is an effort to make people comfortable with art, and to try to encourage new people to get into art buying.
NEMAA: How does the Wintertide Bienneial fit into that mission?
TK: Well the Cedarwoods Foundation generously donated sponsorship money to put toward prizes, which means the jury exhibit will be highly competitive. That  hopefully encouraged artists to put their best work forward. Basically it all comes back to the fact that we're trying to support the idea to try to help people find purchasable art in the area
NEMAA: That's interesting. For someone like me, new to the Twin Cities art market, what do you mean by "purchasable art?"
[The opening of a Buy Now Cry Later Takeover show. Img Public Functionary.]

TK: Some people don’t buy art because they're not comfortable with the purchase. My theory at least, is they feel like if they buy a piece of art…and can’t explain why they bought it, it’s questionable. You have questions like, "Where’d you get it?" or "Why would you do that?" Some people have difficulty talking about it because they might feel intimidated about their purchase being validated.

That might be one theory. Sure a lot of the problem is that people can’t afford art, and there might be a million reasons. But one barrier I’m working on is to eliminate that feeling of intimidation.

Why is it so easy to buy something that is mass produced? For example, pieces from Ikea that are just printed; there's something about buying at Ikea that is not intimidating. So we have these really great jurors that are known for understanding the art market. For example, Peter Remes puts collections in all the buildings that he's developed…and Leslie Hammons from the Weinsetin Gallery of Fine Art Photography. And we have professors that are respected in the academic art world who understand a lot about art history.

Knowing that these art works have been vetted and suggested by these really great minds in the art world, it’s kind of a little bit of a suggestion by people that know what they’re talking about.

NEMAA: So it'll be a different experience coming in than many of the other shows in Northeast.

TK: Right.  There’s no juried show in Northeast Minneapolis. The Wintertide Biennial will filter…and find a way to showcase the best of the best. Not every single artist in NE is applying, but there were a lot submissions and they were good so far!

NEMAA: Best of luck with the show and all your other work at the gallery.

TK: Thanks.

[The gallery space awaits.]

1 comment:

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