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Artists in Storefronts: Call for artists, collaborators, and participants



Joan Vorderbruggen

Whittier Artists in Storefronts: Call for artists, collaborators, and participants

Whittier Artists in Storefronts launches second exhibit beginning July 21 and running through September 9.

June 13, 2012 (Minneapolis)—Fresh off a successful public art exhibit that included more than 25 spaces and nearly 100 collaborators, Whittier Artists in Storefronts is beginning a second run of exhibits utilizing the neighborhood’s vacant or underused storefronts and building facades.

Now through July 9th, artists, collaborators, store owners, and participants can apply to be a part of this exciting project that promises to alter the Twin Cities urban landscape and influence public art projects in the future.

The most recent Whittier Artists in Storefronts project was the first of its kind in the city, helping to propel local artists into the public sphere and engage the community in a unique, ongoing dialogue about space, art, and the future of the neighborhood.

"All pilot participants, artists, and property owners alike operated on the merit of the idea,” says project lead Joan Vorderbruggen. “Now that we have received a startling amount of press and both the arts community and the neighborhood have made it very clear this is a project they appreciate and want to continue, my focus is on growth and improvement.”

To that end, the second Whittier Artists in Storefronts project promises to host numerous participatory art workshops, including creating a mosaic mural with award-winning artist Angela Carlson Talle; hosting a community yarn bombing event in a public space; and organizing a closing-day street festival that will connect the Whittier and Phillips neighborhoods by engaging the community in animating the 24th Street Pedestrian Bridge.

Everyone is encouraged to apply to be a part of Whittier Artists in Storefronts, from mural artists to photographers to arts organizations who want to participate in hands-on public art workshops.

The project offers something unique for the community, storefront owners, arts organizations, and artists themselves. “The opportunity to participate in the Artists in Storefronts project opened up my art practice in significant ways,” says Twin Cities-based multi-media artist  Pritika Chowdhry. “AIS allowed me to tap into the potential of non-gallery spaces to create site-sensitive installations that not only imbued my work with with a unique feel, but also animated the space in unexpected ways.”

Adds Minneapolis photographer Steven Lang: “I’m not a street artist, so people seeing my work simply by being on the sidewalk was totally new for me.I was happy to be in the company of artists like Candy Chang who focus on community engagement. I learned a lot, and it has informed my practice outside the Storefronts project.”

Thousands of people were able to see the artists’ works showcased in a unique, public environment. Storefronts and facades that were once vacant or blighted became destination spots for people in the neighborhood and beyond. Local and national press took notice, too, with MinnPost art writer Andy Sturdevant calling it one of his favorite art projects in the Twin Cities.

“We are so thrilled with the success of it and that we have an opportunity to bring more artists in to be a part of it,” says Vorderbruggen. “My hope is that this will engage new audiences and help inform public art projects of the future throughout the Twin Cities. There is so much opportunity here to bring artists into the community in new ways. We can’t wait to see what comes next.”

About Whittier Artists in Storefronts:

Whittier Artists in Storefronts aims to promote neighborhood vitality by turning vacant Whittier storefronts into alternative exhibition spaces that showcase work by local artists. An ongoing project throughout the Twin Cities, Artists in Storefronts works with neighborhood organizations, artists, and local businesses in an effort to promote creativity, revitalize local economies, and provide everyone with equal, open access to art.

Participating artists will be announced July 11th.

For more information, check out

To learn more or schedule an interview, contact Joan Vorderbuggen at 612.205.8516 or at; or contact Molly Priesmeyer at
See what MPR, the Star Tribune, Vita.MN, MinnPost, and more are saying about Artists in Storefronts.

Artists can apply here:
Storefront owners can apply here:

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