Made Here Artist Panel Curation

By: Made Here

Made Here is now in its sixth official iteration and, despite the usual routine of curating installations, members of the project’s Artist Panel still find this process to be exciting, engaging and important.

The Spirit: Made Here curation meeting welcomed five new panelists to the roster, including Reggie LeFlore, Leslie Barlow, Tio Aiken, Hannah Novillo Erickson and Maggie Thompson.  

Katherine Smith-Flores, Hannah Novillo and Tim Carroll enjoy an undoubtedly witty comment or anecdote.

With each Made Here run, new members of the panel emerge and old remain. The dynamic of the artist panel is very much like a family gathering for a holiday – to include a mouth-watering food spread. Everyone has a chance to speak, share stories of what they’re up to in their own art-filled lives and learn more about the diverse talents and backgrounds of each panel member. 


The Made Here Artist Panel reviewing a submission. 

“Senior” Panelist Chris Cloud

How have you seen the curation process change from the beginning of Made Here?

It’s been a lot more voices around the table when curating. That’s really awesome that we have a diverse panel and we have different people from different arts organizations representing Minneapolis and the Twin Cities. I also feel like the quality of submissions have been so on point, as well as the increased number of submissions.  It’s been a lot more work - but that’s a good thing.

Senior Panelist and Culture Maker™, Chris Cloud

What is your favorite part about being on the Made Here artist panel?

I think my favorite part is really seeing all the work from all the amazing artists who are in our community. I feel like a lot of times people live very sheltered lives in which they go to their job, go run their errands and don’t get a chance to see and appreciate art. So, it’s really awesome to be a part of a panel that gets to put art at the street level – in people’s faces. It sort of brings me joy when curating to know that people will stumble upon these projects and wonder…it might even change their lives.

You are social media manager at Walker Art Center. How does Made Here compare?

I work at the Walker, and we have a program called Minnesota Artists, which is similar to Made Here. I feel Made Here goes above and beyond showing artists work. I think it’s really important that there is space provided for local artists to show what their talents are, and provide an opportunity to show work.  I also feel that a lot of artists who are involved with Made Here are first-time artists who have never really shown work before or anywhere else. In the future if they choose to apply for grants, they will have a history of showing their work. They can develop the confidence they’ve been lacking to take their practice to the next level, so I think it’s important to have those spaces and it’s different than working at a museum that has exhibitions planned out years in advance.

Excited about the theme?

I won’t share my thoughts about the theme because I caused fifteen minutes worth of discussion about it during the meeting.

New Made Here Art Panelist, Maggie Thompson

“Junior” Panelist Maggie Thompson 

What was it like to join in on your first Made Here Artist Panel curation meeting?

It was great and very insightful! I haven't been in a critic setting with a group of artists in quite a while, so it was very reenergizing. Also, the format was really nice because we took turns, so everyone was able to be heard and voice their opinions. Listening to how the other panelists talked about the submitted work was great because they would see things that I didn't see or notice.

How is this panel different from others you may have been on/ experienced in the past?

This was my first panel, so I don't have much to compare it to, but I would assume that it is one of the best!

What was it like participating in the online Submittables curation for Spirit: Made Here? Did you enjoy working on this platform?

I did enjoy working on this platform, as it allowed me to read through the proposals incrementally. I also loved the comment section and that there were only three options: thumbs up, maybe or thumbs down. 

The Made Here 2016 Artist Panel

(not pictured: Reggie LeFlore, Brian Matthew Hart and Leslie Barlow)

Selected artists for Spirit: Made Here were recently announced! Learn more.   

Urban Walking Gallery

Made Here, a project of Hennepin Theatre Trust, is a walkable urban art experience that connects people to local art and artists in the West Downtown Minneapolis Cultural District.

Energy: Made Here Launch Event

Launching December 19th, Energy: Made Here features the work of over 30 Minnesota artists.