An ongoing project in the Whittier neighborhood, Artists in Storefronts aims to work with neighborhood organizations, artists, and local businesses in an effort to promote creativity, revitalize local economies, and provide everyone with equal, open access to art.
All throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul, abandoned spaces could become part of a walkable urban exhibit that beautifies the neighborhood and benefits local businesses with increased pedestrian traffic.
Artists in Storefronts is a project launched by Twin Cities artist, writer, performer, and fashion designer Joan Vorderbruggen, who was named one of the Twin Cities 100 Creatives by City Pages in 2011.
Joan is somewhat of an expert when it comes to renewal and revitalization. As an award-winning eco-conscious storefront designer, she works exclusively with repurposed and earth-friendly materials. Her unique, vibrant designs have found homes in storefronts throughout the Twin Cities.
"I am captivated by transforming discarded and seemingly useless or mundane materials into unique, treasured works of art," Joan says.
"My raw materials begin as puzzle pieces for me to deconstruct in some way then put back together again utilizing all sorts of atypical and challenging methods. There are always many surprises along the way, and the pieces tend to take on their own moods and flavors as I gently coach them to this better place. I guess you could say I am applying this notion to the empty spaces I see along city sidewalks as well."
Joan found inspiration for Artists in Storefronts during walks through her own Whittier neighborhood.
"I see retail storefronts much like a painter views a blank canvas," Joan says.
"I am hungry to create imaginative, eye-catching, beautiful displays for the public to enjoy within those spaces. Each time I am installing a new window there is always this moment when a pedestrian walking by does a double-take. They literally stop in their tracks to witness this new, inviting work that wasn't there the last 100 times they made the same trek up and down the sidewalk. I am thrilled by that moment, and want to shake it up and beautify the urban landscape for everyone who is out doing what they aways do."
Contact us today to learn more about how your neighborhood can showcase community creativity and transform vacant spaces into mini art galleries accessible to everyone.