On a humid and sticky Friday evening, I roamed away from my commercially hipster Uptown neighborhood that borders two nationally renowned art museums to witness what was perhaps one of the best independent exhibitions I’ve come across. The “Impermanent Public” exhibit in North East Minneapolis examined a new evolution of street art through the work of local, national and international artists.
While some street art communicates messages through destructive means, this exhibit focused on artists using organic materials and non-destructive methods to relate with the public and our shared spaces.
If you’ve ever seen a pink “X” on a tree or a vibrantly painted pothole, you might want to think twice on whether these markings are art, public services or maybe a combination of both. Minneapolis-based artist Nathanial, was shocked to discover how fast the city reacted to his glowing dots on potholes, sidewalk cracks and loose screws on sign poles. Some of Nathaniel’s collection displayed before and after photos of fixed problems in the city’s urban landscape as a result of his tagging system.
Other artists at the exhibition included Andrew Casey, Lee Walton, Light The Underground and Phil Jones. Whether you love or fear advertising, Phil Jones, a day practitioner in the field exercises his talents through bolder public expressions that bring smiles to South Minneapolis communities. He sometimes posts OFF switches on lamp posts and his work at the exhibition included paper advertisements on light posts that would make anyone chuckle.
I’m not a qualified art critic or writer on the topic, but as a pedestrian and civic-minded person, am thankful for what the “Impermanent Public” brought to our community on Friday evening and hope to see more similar exhibitions in the future.