MINNEAPOLIS — AiR TOUR — Issue 9
“Irises” by Ava Lambert
sM | How does this exhibit fit into the artist community in Minneapolis?
AL ── This exhibit was very in tune with its surroundings and really utilized the creative potential of the local artistic community. It provided opportunities to local artists not only through the residency program, but in many other ways. Inside the venue, a large mural of Starry Night over the Mississippi (inspired by van Gogh’s Starry Night over the Rhone) was painted by local artists. Many of the exhibit employees, whom I met during my residency, were also artists or involved in other art exhibits. So much of the life and design of Minneapolis originates from its local artists, and this exhibit was no exception.
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sM | What have you accomplished in your residency?
AL ── My main goal going into this residency was to expand upon the exhibit’s purpose and spread van Gogh’s art and an awareness of his life in a unique and accessible way. I decided to do this by recreating his artwork on weatherproofed outdoor garden rocks. This way, van Gogh’s artwork could live outdoors — somewhere it’s not typically seen and in a fashion it’s not typically experienced. The outdoor aspect also tied into van Gogh’s and many Minnesotans’ love of nature. It was great to have so many people learn about and take home his works through these rocks.
sM | How has the pandemic transformed your mission as an artist and priorities as a creative?
AL ── The pandemic has made me realize just how much of my love for art is the act of sharing it with others. During the first lockdown, I began to test my ability to engage an audience. I began a project series called #WalkArt, where I created and placed detailed fine art paintings on rocks and logs alongside walking paths. Many would find the tagged art and send a message, or even leave notes by the paintings. I have continued to push myself creatively since then by joining an artist studio, leaving sketches for others to find, or painting on other non-traditional materials, like snowboards. This time has proven to me that creativity can come from, and is often needed most in, even the darkest moments.