In Our Minds

August 1–October 16, 2022

The M and Interact Center for the Visual and Performing Arts present In Our Minds, an exhibition celebrating art making as a form of research, improvisation, and play. In Our Minds features recent works by Beatrix*Jar, Bill Crane, Kramer Hagenbarth, HML, Mary Johnson, Ashlea Karkula, Don Porcella, Mark Schoening, Andrew Seymour, Briana Shelstad, Dietrich Sieling, and Victor Van—artists who revel in the process of creation as an opportunity to test ideas and see how they will play out in material form.  

Trusting their intuition to make material and aesthetic decisions on the fly, these artists transform and enliven everyday materials and themes into prompts for curiosity, enjoyment, and an occasional bit of humor. In Kramer Hagenbarth’s hands, functional ceramics solidify into monster mouths. HML sews together humble scraps of fabric to create a one-of-a-kind muscle suit. In Mary Johnson’s Nightingale Rug, an assemblage of squeaky dog toys forms a vibrant, playful abstraction. Don Porcella uses humble pipe cleaners to create whimsical, immersive landscapes. Andrew Seymour’s brightly colored parades of circular forms exude the warm, sunny, invincible spirit of summer.  

Balms for anxious and uncertain times, the artworks represent the self-trust and resourcefulness of their makers, along with their openness to different artistic outcomes and to having fun along the way. In Our Minds extends visitors an invitation to engage in multisensory play from the sidewalks and skyways of downtown St. Paul. These are serious reflections on the human condition, to be sure, but they also ask if art needs to be “serious” to be important. 

In Our Minds is organized in collaboration with Interact Center for the Visual and Performing Arts, a progressive visual arts studio and theater company committed to artistic excellence and radical inclusion. At Interact, artists with and without disabilities work side by side every day as peer creators to challenge perceptions of disability as an experience of profound fullness rather than lack. In Our Minds features artists with and without disabilities, from inside and outside the Interact studio community. Taking cues from Interact, In Our Minds seeks to advance frameworks for understanding creativity that move away from myths of independence towards recognition and celebration of interdependence. 

 

Ashlea Karkula
Shark Bite, 2018
Acrylic on canvas
Image courtesy of the artist