Monday, August 7, 2017

Interview with To Really See Artist Holly Rapoport

For the first time ever, Spectrum ArtWorks opened a call for art to the public with our show To Really See, a partnership with University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy's Paul Ranelli. We received many submissions from individuals who wanted to share their perspectives on medications. Each experience offered is unique and expands upon the work that Spectrum ArtWorks aims to achieve: creating art, building community, and fighting stigma.

Holly Rapoport, HMR01

We will be featuring artists from the exhibit through various media forms; from blog interviews, a special publication, events, and a short video profiling art from the exhibition. Our first interview is with artist Holly Rapoport. We are showing two works from Holly that explore her experience with medications while living with a mental illness.

Holly, who are you? Tell us more about where you come from? Have you always been an artist?

I'm a radical number, full of wonder and dedication. I come from a strong mother, and a small town. I have always been an artist, from creative child to skilled adult.

Your artwork explores self-exploration and utilizes artmaking as a form of therapy. Can you explain that a bit more and why you find art and making art has been important to your process as an artist and as a person experiencing mental illness?

Making art serves as a type of meditation. Printmaking, drawing, and bookbinding are all laborious, tedious, and detail oriented practices revolving around a strict order of operations. When I’m working there is no room or time to think about anything else, only measurements and alignment. Working in self-portraiture forces me to look at myself, not from a mirrored angle but from the view-point of another person. Creating myself as I am and not as I see myself helps ground me in reality.

To Really See is a show about challenging stigma, particularly around taking medications. Your artwork fits well within the theme of the exhibition. Can you tell us more about the art you are showing? How it fits within challenging stigma? What do you want your viewer to gain from your pieces?

There is this bizarre idea that if someone needs medications that they should hide it, that it is something to be ashamed of. I whole-heartedly disagree with this notion. My illness and medications are a part of who I am. I want the viewer to know that they are not alone and there is nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to taking care of yourself.

The etching technique in your artwork is unique. It is expressive and textural. What brought you to this medium?

In high school I was a screen-printing apprentice in my home town. Years later when I began studying at UW River Falls I took an introductory Printmaking course and that was it for me. My etching style is reminiscent of my older drawing style, using crosshatching to create gradation. So I was naturally drawn to etching, as the mark-making is so similar to traditional drawing.

Are you working on anything new right now?

I am currently working on two collections of hand-bound books. “Little Black Books” is a collection of black-on-black Coptic bound books. I am also working on “Ghost Tomes,” a collaboration with my colleague Ashley Andrews in which I use her monotype ghost prints as covers for small Coptic books.

Holly Rapoport, Ghost Tome

Holly Rapoport, Black Books

Are there any other local artists that inspire you or that you are interested in?

I find that I am most inspired by fellow artists at UW River Falls. We have an incredibly supportive community. Everyone works so hard and that pushes me to always try and make better work.

Just a fun question here: If you were to given the choice to create art on either paper or canvas, which one would you select? Why?

Paper! Any day! It has been such an integral part of my life, from childhood until now. Everything I do artistically revolves around paper and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

All images courtesy of the artist. Interview by Jes Reyes.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Interview with Jes Reyes and Paul Ranelli, Partners on To Really See

MinnPost interviews Jes Reyes and Paul Ranelli to promote Spectrum ArtWorks upcoming exhibition To Really See, a group art show opening next week! Read more here!

Holly Rapoport, HRM01

Friday, June 30, 2017

To Really See: Exhibiting Artists Announcement

“This is the first painting of a five part series that is progress. It represents the depression I had felt early in recovery from a mental illness breakdown…medication for me has made a huge difference in my day to day living.” -Kandace Krause, Me Before Me, Acrylic on Canvas

Spectrum ArtWorks is proud to announce exhibiting artists for our upcoming traveling exhibition To Really See.

To Really See
Exploring the medication taking experience through art

There are many methods for expressing and exploring health related events through art. The results often create compelling and people-centered objects or experiences. Attempts have been made using media, such as puppetry, theatre, songs or games. Photography and other visual art are also used to make subjects on health meaningful and healing for the person and interesting and educational for the public and the professionals who serve the public. Through a community-focused art project and traveling exhibit, To Really See, captures these approaches and focuses on the display of creative medication use stories that users, artists, and participants wanted to express and share.

To Really See initially presents with the Hennepin County Library’s Minneapolis Central location (August-September 2017), then at St. Luke’s Hospital, Duluth (October 2017-April 2018) and then with the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (December-April 2018). Full exhibit details here.

RSVP to the Minneapolis opening reception on August 10th here.

 Exhibition partners: RESOURCE, University of Minnesota, Hennepin County Library, St. Luke’s Hospital, and Genoa. This exhibition is partially funded through the University of Minnesota’s Imagine Fund.

Exhibiting Artists:

Teresa Audet (Minneapolis)
Douglas Blue (Minneapolis)
Jennifer N. Campbell (St. Paul)
John Casey (Bloomington)
Kate Clark (Minneapolis)
Sam Larom (Minneapolis)
Gary Melquist (Minneapolis)
Holly Rapoport (River Falls)
Anne South (Minneapolis)
Heather Spielman (Minneapolis)
KaTa (Minneapolis)
Jessica Ward (Lino Lakes)
Roger Williamson (Minneapolis)

Spectrum ArtWorks Collective Artists:

Ashley Adams
Cecile Bellamy
Martha Bird
Andrew Braunberger
Christi Furnas
Peter F. Hinze
Kandace Krause
Matt LaCombe
Michaela Rachor
James E. Sjolin
Shining Starr
Wallace White


Spectrum ArtWorks Photovoice Participants

“The pill balances on the tip of the tongue but does not enter, illustrating that while the physical act of taking medication is easy, it is often psychologically challenging.”
- Sam Larom, Pill, Oil on Canvas

“The Placement of medication alongside breakfast objects illustrates how common place medication is in our everyday lives.”
- Tobias, Breakfast Objects, Acrylic on Canvas

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

A Solo Exhibition from Collective Member Andrew Braunberger

Your invited! Please meet Andrew Braunberger on Friday, August 4 at 3pm. Spectrum ArtWorks will be celebrating his show Winging it like a Cuisinart: Learning to Swim through Accidental Sense-Making with a public reception for his private solo exhibition at the Lighthouse Community Support Program.

Private Exhibition Dates:
July 10-August 4

Public Reception:
Friday, August 4 / 3pm
Lighthouse Community Support Program
1825 Chicago Ave South
Minneapolis, MN 55404

Please RSVP by emailing Jes Reyes at

More info:
Spectrum ArtWorks presents a solo exhibition from artist Andrew Braunberger. "Winging it like a Cuisinart: Learning to Swim Through Accidental Sense-Making" is a show that exhibits new art from Braunberger. Artwork featured highlights his particular art practice, which is often based in rearrangement and assemblage.

This show is a private exhibition located at the Lighthouse, a community support program of RESOURCE. We are offering a public reception on Friday, August 4 at 3pm. Please attend to meet Andrew, view his new work, and get to know more about his art practice. Art will be available for purchase.

Andrew Braunberger is a collective member supported by Spectrum ArtWorks.
See more of Andrew's art here
More info on the collective supported by Spectrum ArtWorks here.

Andrew Braunberger, "Seeing Circuit," Mixed Media on Paper

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Collective Member Ruth Lais Receives 2017 VSA MN Emerging Artist Grant

A congratulations goes out to Ruth Lais for receiving the 2017 VSA MN Emerging Artist Grant! Ruth is the 4th Collective Member to receive this wonderful recognition! Previous grant recipients are Tobias, Peter F. Hinze and Christi Furnas.

From VSA MN's News Page:
Six Minnesota artists have been awarded 2017 Emerging Artist Grants of $2,000 each by VSA Minnesota. The 21st annual awards, funded by the Jerome Foundation, recognize excellence by emerging Minnesota artists with disabilities and encourage them to create new work. Selected from 55 applicants, grantees are:

Ayesha Adu, Minneapolis — screenplay writing
Sarah Drake, Sauk Rapids — painting & mixed media
Ruth Lais, Minneapolis — mixed media
Luke Lyons, Minneapolis — ceramics
Carrie Salberg, White Bear Lake — creative non-fiction writing
Joey Schad, St. Paul — music performance

The grants were awarded following a jurying process conducted by individuals with backgrounds in the written, visual and performing arts. Panelists looked at samples of the artists’ work, resumes and artist statements. Artists scoring highest in artistic quality and received awards. All grantees are first-time Jerome grant recipients.
Ruth Lais
from Trees and Stars series (2017)
Mixed Media

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Beauty of it All - 2nd Year Partnership

Spectrum ArtWorks is proud to announce that The Beauty of it All - Year Two, a collaboration with The Family Partnership, is on display with all new art! This is an ongoing exhibition that is exhibiting in the lobby and clinic hallways.

Art by Shining Starr