Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Slight Pause...

The gallery will be on PAUSE until February 14. I will be away from the building, making art. If you are desperate, please email me. I may be able to arrange for a friend to let you in to see Karen Hanmer's show.

The participants have been chosen for Reader's Art 8. I will post the names here at a later time.

Meanwhile, stay warm!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Reader's Art 8 selection begins

Reader's Art 8: handmade with care
Nearly 200 images have arrived in my mailbox this year. Beautiful books of all sorts from all over the country. The postcard has been ordered and preliminary sorting has begun. It will be a hard decision this year because all the work is topnotch.

The primary decision to be made right now is How large will the emphasis on handmade paper be? I always jury the show as a single entity. That means that I look at how the work goes together and how it will flow in the space. Will the show, in total, make sense? While this has always been a survey show, the pieces are chosen for their place in the gestalt as well as for their intrinsic quality.

It is an interesting process. I put out the call for art with a vague idea in mind...with some expectations of how a show might look. But all shows, and this one in particular, seem to tell me what is going on out there. The entries dictate the show by demonstrating what artists are concerned about right now. There is one more day to receive entries and then official results will go out .

Monday, January 28, 2008

The gallery curates a show for MNARTISTS.ORG

Zach Pearl, the gallery intern/assistant and I installed At Play in a Field Of Books: altered books in Minnesota in Space 144 at the Minneapolis Central Library. The participating artists are:
Tom Cassidy, Curt Lund, Jeremy Lundquist, Ellen Nagle & Laura Evans, Laura Olson, Pamela Paulsrud,Laura Pereira,Giselle Restrepo & Zach Pearl.

At Play in a Field Of Books: altered books in Minnesota
opens officially Thursday, February 7, with a reception and a panel discussion:
The People’s University presents
Inside Altered Books: Unbinding the Book
Presented by Dr. Betty Bright, book arts historian, and Chip Schilling, book artist and printmaker
February 7
6:30 – 8 PM
Doty Board Room Lecture

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Gazing at Stars

It's a bit hard to gaze at stars tonight. The clouds have moved in bringing warmer temperatures with them: sweatshirt weather in the middle of the day.

Neighbors and a class of teens came in from Minnesota Center for Books Arts to see the show today. Karen's tour de force was, as always, apparent. Standing among the stars on a gray day is an uplifting experience.

Even as I write this, TalkingImageConnection, a group of writers, is busily at work, writing original prose and poetry in response to Karen's installation. Her installation is "site-specific" meaning it was conceived of and designed for this space. So too is their work. Most of the poets were able to come in for the opening, soak up the experience and talk with Karen. On Saturday, February 23, 7 pm, Jean Larsen, Ace Moore, Alison Morse, Jeff Skemp and Charlotte Sullivan will reveal their "site specific" writing in a lively reading.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Cold Temperatures, Warm showings

Celestial Navigation continues to warm local bodies even as the mercury hovers at or below zero. We hardy souls have become unused to the cold, cold depths of yesteryear!

The artists who came by yesterday were mesmerized by the structures and materials of Karen's installation. The six foot inkjet prints are tours de force! Not one stripe, not one blotch, pure bleeds, on Japanese paper...How does she do it?

The precision of the books is amazing as well. The hinges function flawlessly, the technique is expert and nearly invisible. You cannot resist playing with Karen's objects. They form mountains, valleys and quiet meanders across the pedestals.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I Will get the Hang of This!

So, I started this yesterday. I do not promise daily missives...I don't manage daily anything! But I will try to keep readers up to date on the happenings at the gallery .

Tonight, and every 4th Wednesday, 7pm, Artists Unite meet here. This is a still nascent, amoeba like artists salon for local artists, primarily from South Minneapolis. On any given week we could talk about art history, new tools, new shows, show our artwork, read our poems...It is still very loose. It, prehaps, needs tightening up. While we drink wine tonight, I will suggest that we talk about the phenomenon of the Frida Kahlo show that just closed at the Walker Art Center.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Welcome to Susan Hensel Gallery

January 22, 2008
Welcome! This is the virgin voyage of the Susan Hensel Gallery Blog!

I really have no idea how I will use this space, except to keep you up to date with what is happening in the gallery and what I am planning!

First, let's talk about the current show:
Celestial Navigation by Karen Hanmer.

Karen is a Chicago
area artist who travelled in last week to install a show that was designed for THIS gallery. It is a peaceful place to contemplate the stars and find a bit of peace in the universe, if only for a moment.

She came in on Tuesday, January 15 and went to see the Frida Kahlo show at the Walker Art Center. then, with the able help of Zach Pearl and Dale Kennedy, spent the day Thursday installing the show.

She was a delight to work with! So easy, and so professional! The work is clean and clear and all of Karen's work. Do see more of it at