Last weekend, the
Minnesota Museum of American Art
temporarily opened up its in-progress “Project Space” as a part of the Saint Paul Art Crawl.
MMAA Executive Director Kristin Makholm says it was an opportunity to “start letting people know where we’re going to be, and to do some creative placemaking."
The museum’s grand opening is planned for Nov. 16, with a show of landscape paintings called “Painting the Place Between.”
Right now, the 3,700-square-foot space in the vintage Pioneer-Endicott building, which will also offer high-end housing, is still under construction, she says.
Previously, the museum, which rented space from the Ramsey County Government Center, relied mainly on traveling exhibits.
Although MMAA still plans to do traditional exhibits, “We’re expanding on what an exhibit is,” she says. “It’s about events and programming,” which encourages participation and incubation.
The museum’s “Project Space” will feature experimental works.
Part of the idea of opening up the “Project Space” during the art crawl was to get feedback on “how we can engage people in different ways,” she says.
Curator Christina Chang is “coming up with intriguing ways to get feedback, to have people respond to things in the gallery,” she says.
Many people have said they want to see local artists showing at the MMAA, and they want to meet them, too. This seems to align with ‘eat local,’ ‘shop local’ trends. “People want to see more work that’s being created in the community,” she says. “It’s the power of local art.”
It’s a niche that MMAA hopes to respond to in creative ways. “We’re excited to start this new period of our resurgence back into the cultural life of St. Paul,” she says.
Source: Kristin Makholm, director, Minnesota Museum of American Art
Writer: Anna Pratt