On-Site With Artists

By: Made Here

Preparations for Future are well underway. In the past two weeks, Made Here’s team has joined over thirty artists on site visits around WeDo™, Minneapolis’s West Downtown Cultural District. This is a chance for artists to see the vacant store windows and retails spaces that will become sites for their art installations. In these photos, we share a look into what makes Made Here happen.


Writer Erin Dorney gets a first look of her installation site–what used to be the restaurant Rosa Mexicano, in City Center. Future will be Erin’s first time presenting her poetry as an installation. She’s in good hands with the guidance of Made Here’s Artist Coordinator Hannah Novillo Erickson, and Operations Coordinator Mary Jane Mansfield.


A true writer, Erin brought along detailed notes on her working process and thoughts for her installation design. 


Erin's plan for her installation is to affix printed poetry to the windows and backlight the work, illuminating the negative space around her text. Mary Jane loves the idea, and brainstorms ideas for lighting set-up.


Hannah welcomes Made Here alumnus Richard Yang. His photography was up as part of the Spirit show, and the team is thrilled to have him back. Hannah goes over the artist contract with Richard, but technicalities momentarily give way to laughing with a friend. 


For Richard, a store window at the former City Center Sports Authority is an opportunity to play with depth. He sees the glass of the window as one plane, the surface of his photographs as a second, and his multi-media backdrop as a third. Richard makes notes of what tools he will be bringing on install day. 


As WeDo looks in on Made Here, site visits offer artists an opportunity to look out at WeDo. Here, a snapshot of mid-day downtown through a site window. 

In Made Here, art and urbanism combine to create positive change in the community. The program fills vacant windows, retail spaces, and buildings with Minnesota-made art. Artists get a stipend and a platform to showcase their work, and passersby get something beautiful to enjoy. By happy consequence, interest in the art can lead to interest in the spaces themselves. Numerous times, the realty behind a Made Here window gets rented or sold after an installation catches someone's eye. 


A former bank at corner of the IDS center offers a wealth of windows. There's enough space for ten Made Here artists. Hannah and Mary Jane have fun with one of the site's quirks–a tiny yet grand staircase. 


Multi-media artist Kristi Ternes will be installing six-foot tall, three-dimensional puppets in her IDS center site. Site visits are artists' one shot to see their space before install day. Now is the time to get the lay of the land, take measurements, and find out what will fit in the space. In Made Here: Spirit!, Kristi's Spirit Monster puppet was a hit with staff and visitors. This time around, Kristi has new puppets and a new place to show them off. 


No, really. The puppets are huge. They're thiiiiiiiiis big!


We don't yet know what the Future installations will look like, but it's fun to imagine. In the meantime, look for this logo when you're exploring WeDo. 

Photos by Emily Sortor

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.