Minneapolis’ most artistic zip code

The 55408 area code is bursting at the seams with creativity

Kara Nesvig

There’s no questioning the fact that Minneapolis has been home to some incredibly talented people. Think about it – we’ve seen such gems as Prince, Bob Dylan and Sinclair Lewis under our collective urban belt, to name only a few. And not only can we call these legends our own, but every day hundreds of fresh talents are making their mark on the great wide canvas of Minneapolis, adding their brushstrokes and reshaping the city with able hands.

55408

WHEN: Through May 10
WHERE: Intermedia Arts Gallery, 2822 Lydale Ave. S., Minneapolis

“It’s a great place to be as an artist,” said Sergio Vucci, co-curator for Intermedia Arts’ celebration of local artists, the “55408” exhibit, currently showing at Intermedia’s Lyndale gallery.

“It’s a relatively small city, but within that you’ve got several major museums. There are amazing local galleries everywhere, and the city is very hospitable to artists,” Vucci continued.

Vucci’s statement is a perfect description of the 55408 exhibit, which has been giving residents of the aforementioned Uptown zip code a chance to display their various works for 12 years and counting. The multi-artist exhibit, whose pieces range from photos to sculpture to paintings, is what those in the art world call a “non-juried” show, which means anyone within the confines of the 55408 zip code, no matter their experience level, may enter and have their pieces displayed in the gallery. No editing has been done, which is one of the reasons Vucci finds the exhibit so interesting and valuable.

“We have work from someone like Ben Olson, who is famous locally and had the cover of ‘American Painter’ magazine, next to an amateur. It’s a cool mix of work and so reflective of the artistic talent and drives within the city,” he said. “Everyone has such totally different styles, which makes it a vibrant and lively show.”

The pieces offered vary just as much as the skill levels of their creators. Michael Carney displays sculpture while full-time labor attorney Florence Brammer exercises her interest in art by printmaking. According to her artist bio, she credits the Uptown environment with giving her three daughters the opportunity to express themselves creatively as well.

Added to the mix are installation works by artists like Jane C. Gordon, who counts ceramics as her medium of choice, photos of rust-ridden entities by Patrick J. Kinne, and hand-sewn “soft sculptures” by Lyz Preus, who creates “objects of comfort” stemming from her personal memories. Plus, if a piece catches your fancy and you feel it would look lovely hanging on your wall or decorating your mantel, many of these artworks are for sale. Proceeds go towards maintaining the 55408 exhibit in future years and also support the artists whose time and talent nurtured them into being.

Though Minneapolis doesn’t quite boast the purchasing power of its “art city” counterparts like Chicago and New York, Vucci finds our metropolis’ generous art funding, which encourages further growth of this kaleidoscope of creativity, and the welcoming community environment for artists, a huge contributing factor in the continued success and popularity of the 55408 show.

“It fosters relationships between artists; we’ve got a small scene, but one with a lot of opportunities.”