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.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Behind the WintertIde Biennial: An Interview with Jim Gerlich of the Cedarwoods Foundation

Jim Gerlich is a NEMAA member and portrait photographer who works with Hasselblad cameras. He also runs the Cedarwoods Foundation, which specializes in funding youth programming, arts organizations and animal welfare centers in the Twin Cities.

Thanks to the Cedarwoods Foundation, NEMAA is proud to be launching the first ever Wintertide Biennial Arts Exhibition, which will open January 24th at Public Functionary.

Click here for all the info about Wintertide!

In anticipation of this weekend's kickoff, we gave Jim Gerlich a call to talk about how the idea for Wintertide came about.

[transcript follows]

NEMAA: How are you today, and how did you get involved with NEMAA?

Jim Gerlich (JG): Just fine... Well, I shared a studio in Northeast Minneapolis with Patricia Punykova, and when the Solar Arts Building opened we got a studio over there.  She spent her time doing her artwork, which is glass work, and it kind of took over the space as the things I was doing got completed. I had been doing portraits with the Hasselblad setup, and everything got stolen!

NEMAA: Oh no! So what is the Cedarwoods foundation? What do you work on?

JG: The foundation is a family foundation established in 2011. We have three areas of funding: we do projects with youth in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, we support the arts, and we work on supporting animal welfare and well-being.

NEMAA: Well that’s an interesting list… Tell me about the Wintertide show. How does it fit into the picture, and how did it come about?
JG: I guess the genesis of Wintertide show came about last year at the NEMAA Fall Fine Arts show. It's great that everyone should be able to show their work. But I know quite a few artists in the Twin Cities, and I noticed that some of the very best artists didn’t seem like they were submitting their work. I hit on the idea of a show for top-tier artists, representative of the very best artists and art that the Twin Cities area has to display.

So I approached NEMAA with the idea of bringing those people out of the woodwork, and enticing them to show the best that Twin Cities’ art has to offer.  NEMAA said "yes," and that they’d been thinking of doing something along similar lines.
NEMAA: Did you have a particular model in mind? Why the biennial format?

JG: Well, we had several conversations, but I pretty much put it in NEMAA’s hands. They took the lead, and I supported their lead. Then we selected Public Functionary to have the show, and so here we are. It turns out that we’ve had more than double the submissions we’d expected! So my only regret is that we’re not going to be able to show more work. I know there will be some very good works that are not going to be shown because of the limitations of the gallery space.

NEMAA: Have you seen the work yet? Do you know who is going to be included?

JG: No, I haven’t seen anything. I’m going to see everything when everyone else does, on opening night.

NEMAA: How are you hoping that the Wintertide show might change the landscape of the Twin Cities’ art scene?

JG: I think we might give more recognition of the quality of Twin Cities artists. We’ll have to debrief when the show is completed and see what worked and what didn’t work and go on from there. I guess my advice is to go to the opening and see what you think!

1 comment:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.