The FUTURE PRESENCE Gallery Celebrates Timely One-Year Anniversary

Official Flyer for Future Presence 5 Art-a-Whirl 2012
Thursday, May 17th, 2012

With the nation's largest open-studio art crawl starting tomorrow night, the members of the artist collective The FUTURE PRESENCE Gallery have been hurrying to prepare for their namesake group show, FUTURE PRESENCE 5, as well as their one-year anniversary in their current location. Originally started as a rotating and alternative gallery, the group found roots at 1126 2nd Street NE, in an abandoned store-front in the Arts District. Seeing as their first show was last year's Art-a-Whirl, it is only fitting that the Gallery celebrates it's strongest show yet with the fifth installment of its namesake showcase series with FUTURE PRESENCE 5.

The FUTURE PRESENCE showcase series was founded on the simple belief that Minneapolis contains an incredible pool of talented individuals, and that by showcasing some of the more recognized and strongest talents alongside newer and less established artists that an important dialogue would open up. This model - experience combining with enthusiasm - would ultimately lead to a string of incredibly successful shows combining art, performance, music and community involvement. It also lead to the belief that although titled "a gallery", The FUTURE PRESENCE group has ultimately succeeded in creating a unique and exciting project space where ideas and connections are created and the future of Minneapolis' burgeoning art scene is forming.

WUNDR finishing mural in the EON Soundspace, alongside work by BIAFRA, Inc
 In this blog we have dubbed this rotating group of artists/musicians/creators as Minneapolis' Untitled Movement - loosely affiliated by working or showing together, through solo or collaborative projects, and sharing a wide but with a similar group of themes and connections. Our last show, May 5th's UNDR MPLS, was the perfect example of this. An "art examination" rather than an exhibition, UNDR MPLS explored the underground street art, light painting and urban exploring communities in Minneapolis and ultimately contained work by some 20 artists.  Some 400 or so people stopped through the Gallery for a one-night exhibition, and I personally have never heard that many people say that they had just seen the best art show ever. What I think was truly the most exciting part about this show was how obvious it was that artists and the Gallery itself truly believed in the power of this work, and the fact that it was created together. The two floors were mutated every night for two weeks, with each artist adding their own fingerprint not just with their work, but by inviting friends over during installation, or inviting them to collaborate on a new, spontaneous piece. One graffiti writer would finish a piece on one of the EON Soundspace walls, and leave several cans of paint for the next artist to continue the work in the their own style but linked by the same colors. This kind of collaborative feeling has been building at The Gallery for sometime, and surely culminating with our upcoming Art-a-Whirl show.

FUTURE PRESENCE 5 will feature local favorites and nationally recognized talents in Chuck U, Jesse Draxler, Michael Gaughan, Nick Howard and WUNDR. Frequent Gallery collaborators Nathaniel, Bryant Locher, Jonathan Delehanty, Scott Anderson, Josh Wilichowski, Russ Olson and Justin James Sehorn will be joined by international artists Stephan Tillmans and Pl├ística . And joining the series for the first time are playful designer and screenprinter Boxy Mouse and boundary-pushing oil painter Samuel Bjorgum. With collaborations and installations between several artists, (including Gallery founders Nathaniel and Bryant Locher's modern take on omni-present art muse St. Sebastian taking center stage in the Gallery) the visual artists collected in FUTURE PRESENCE 5 are truly topnotch, and unfortunately all too rare considering the talent we have surrounding us.

As is common at the Gallery, the weekend will also include music to accompany the visual art, starting Friday night at 9PM with The FREAKONOMIQUE Music Series presenting The Beatles' Everyday Chemistry, with live accompaniment by Jacob Grun's All Star Band. Grun, owner of the Sound Gallery and leader of local favorites Me & My Arrow has worked with the gallery in collecting a local supergroup of sorts in Jacob Mullis (Fort Wilson Riot), Greg Reese (Demografics) & Hicks (Red Daughters) to play live alongside a truly unique cassette tape. Everyday Chemistry is reported to be a compilation tape from another dimension where The Beatles never broke up and are still performing together. Recorded on early 70's analog technology and featuring John, Paul, George and Ringo's post-Beatles solo projects spliced together with original compositions, this extra-dimensional mixtape is quite convincing and sure to be an interesting performance for Beatles and music fans alike.

On Saturday, May 19th, the Gallery's EON Soundspace will play host to a night of local music following the same mission as the visual art upstairs by showcasing experimental projects alongside established bands, including frequent collaborator Mark McGee (To Kill A Petty Bourgoisie, VOTEL)'s newest project, Father You See Queen, Seated Heat, Aureola and throughout the day DJ sets by SOLID GOLD.

Of course, our friends at the number one rated food-truck World Street Kitchen will be parked outside the Gallery Friday & Saturday nights from 5-10PM, and Red Stag Supperclub will be serving Lagunitas IPA, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Joia! All-Natural Sodas and mixed drinks throughout the night inside at the bar.

We hope to see you there at what will truly be a unique and unforgettable Art-a-Whirl weekend.


Facebook Invite & Additional Information


UNDR MPLS flyer design by Ellie Love Stoehr

This Saturday The FUTURE PRESENCE Gallery will open up it's doors for a one night only special presentation titled UNDR MPLS - a display of the artists cooperative gallery's exploration of the burgeoning and sometimes overlapping cultures of Minneapolis' Urban Exploring, Light-Painting and Underground Art Project Communities.  Because the communities that will be featured are inherently difficult to find and not all in one place, UNDR MPLS is being dubbed as being more of an 'art examination' rather than an exhibition, shining a cursory light on these rarely seen worlds.

Perhaps unbeknownst to the general populace, Minneapolis is home to an internationally recognized urban exploring community - explorers who find joy in investigating and photographing the Twin Cities' abandoned mills, crumbling warehouses and earliest tunnel systems. Through a series of photos, documentation and actual objects found underground and in abandoned buildings, the Gallery will be attempt to replicate the very world it is featuring, with work by UNDR MPLS co-curator Andrew Casey (Urbancamper), Thelma, Lackluster Lakelurker and others.

On display will be Light Painting works by Ectro, Brian Hart, Twin Cities Brightest and Light The Underground. Light Painting is the use of light to draw, paint or illuminate objects or shapes while the camera lens remains open, and captures a seemingly impossible moment on film. Minneapolis happens to have an incredibly talented pool of Light Painters, a small community that challenges and informs each other -and also happen to be pushing the boundaries of this art form on an international level.
Untitled (Tunnel) - Image by Andrew Casey

In the EON Soundspace basement project space of the Gallery, Jellybones, Senza, WUNDR, Biafra and Shaper have used their own inimitable styles of graffiti, design and stencil to replicate the environments documented in the Urban Exploring photographs in the main Gallery.  It will also provide an ideal environment for our musical guests, Crunchy Kids and John Dungey, courtesy of Last Triumph.

This event starts at 6PM and will last until Midnight this Saturday, May 5th. It is brought to you with special support from Pabst Blue Ribbon, L'etoile Magazine, Joia All-Natural Sodas and MPLS.tv.

Facebook event and more information can be found here


I've been talking more than writing

I'm the part of Future Presence that hasn't posted much here (Bryant). While I don't have any new news about what was previously posted by Nathaniel I do want to say that the support and concern shown by those I encounter has been a source of motivation in the face of a situation that would easily have taken the steam out of many. An element of creation is to combine individual elements and form them into something new; sometimes it's easy, other times it's a battle; shaping the space into what has become the Future Presence Gallery hasn't been easy and we are now in a battle against the inevitable, but the fight will go on and if the walls do fall they will fall forward. We are moving forward with the upcoming "I'm New Here" show and moving forward with plans for future shows and performances. The concept of the future is a large inspiration to each of us, we have an eye looking to what has yet to occur and are compelled to try to show and create our own versions of the future in our art; Future Presence was created with that same compulsion; gallery or not, that drive will not stop.  The future is uncontrollably out of reach, what is controllable is how fast and how far you reach towards it. So go to your calendar and in an attempt to reach the future grab your calendar and plan come to the gallery on the 23rd and 24th for "I'm New Here". Everyone wants the last time they do something to be the best, knowing that each show could be the last we have and will continue to make each one better than the last.


This Was FUTURE PRESENCE 4...and this was The FUTURE PRESENCE Gallery

This Thursday, from 6-11PM, in an old Northeast Minneapolis building that has come to be known as The FUTURE PRESENCE Gallery, an art show called FUTURE PRESENCE 4 is closing.  Unfortunately for myself, and for the many artists, performers and visitors who have supported it, the Gallery itself may also be closing. Just one week after receiving 'BEST NEW GALLERY 2011', we were informed by our landlord that our verbal agreement had ended, and that the space we occupy will be turned into apartments.  This post is not meant to be a call to arms or a complaint, but rather a reflection on the impermanence of art, scenes and time.

First off, I would like to clarify that we are not completely sure that we are closing, at least not yet.  Our landlord has told us several times that he would like to develop the space, and since he has not yet, we have been lucky enough to remain here.  FUTURE PRESENCE was always intended to be a temporary and traveling group show and not a Gallery at all. But as we were allowed to stay, our visions of what the space could become and its impact on the local art scene got bigger. Our policy to improve the space one large project per show slowly drywalled new walls, built bathrooms, fixed toilets, and refinished entire new rooms. By the time we opened our doors for FUTURE PRESENCE 4, we had a well-lit, open white showspace, a grindhouse-style movie screening room and a bonified music and performance basement we called The EON Soundspace (a title taken from a grafitti tag on the front of the building). Now seeing the progress we have made we would like to stay, even though it was never meant to be permanent. I see this as art evolving, out of necessity of course, but by taking an idea to its natural conclusion and also leaving a positive impact to our Northeast neighbors.

Northeast Minneapolis itself is a prime example of this.  One of the oldest areas in the Twin Cities, it was not really on many people's radars in the 90's. The local corner bars, a relic mostly lost in South Minneapolis, had not been invaded by kids from across the river and their Music and Trivia Nights weekends. It wasn't until the industrial loftspaces of Downtown and The Warehouse District began getting snatched up by developers that many artists and musicians began to look North for cheaper, available workspaces.  Just like the Soho and Chelsea neighborhoods of Manhattan in the 80's that were filled with working artists that made them cool, hip and trendy places, the arts transformed Northeast Minneapolis and brought a new life and community to the area. Art changes things, usually for the better. But art often thrives when artists can work without strains of high-rent and living costs, and fails under monetary pressure. Similar Minneapolis project spaces ART OF THIS and TARNISH AND GOLD Gallery (who I absolutely think were two of the most solid and exciting Galleries in their prime years) faced similar fates; after revamping spaces and attracting more retail interest, they could no longer afford to stay in a spaces that they had improved, victims of their own success. Both groups are still in operation though, each with their own style and artists and supporters. The only thing that would really be ending is THE FUTURE PRESENCE GALLERY, which after the work we have put in would be disheartening. But the group of artists the space was able to assemble will surely have been influenced by each other, exchanged ideas, enjoyed their time together, and will show work together again at other venues.  The saddest part would be if the only thing that was holding this group together was a building.

Now to our friend MONOLOG, performing during the event as part of the FREAKONOMIQUE Experimental Music Series.  No one is quite sure who s/he/they are, and as it has become a closely guarded secret, I will not reveal this either.  I do know that I became aware of MONOLOG the way most people find music they love - through friends with similar interests. After hearing her/his/their music, I struck up a conversation and a genuinely collaborative relationship began over a few years. We have created a very FUTURE PRESENCE-style set for the show, and are extremely excited to share a completely unique, experimental musical performance that truly could only happen in a raw,space like ours. It could also only have happened with us working together.  I am not at all certain what our interests and styles are as a group...I would say design has influenced our work, as have works of either limited color-palettes or extremely colorful palettes. Other interests lie in technology, futuristic concepts, reflective and shiny materials and finishes, and less distinctively Outsider Art. We all seem to be very connected to musicians and music (even the way we promote our shows, with distinctive flyers that we painstakingly design seems to mirror the way bands promote themselves), and all of us dabble in several mediums.  I have called this style the Untitled Movement in previous posts, and will continue to use this label for convenience and brevity's sake.  It is very Minneapolis, and I think very unique to THE FUTURE PRESENCE GALLERY and the artists we have found, attracted and begged to be in shows with us. And this Thursday might just be your last chance to see it.

So, we are closing. We are just not sure how soon. We will almost certainly retain the space through our next scheduled show, I'M NEW HERE a group show of artists who have made their way from New York to Minneapolis to take advantage of the art-friendly community we have here - a marked reversal of a trend for local artists to "make it" and move to New York. However, I am not sure closing would be the worst possible outcome. Our biggest concern would be finding a venue to guarantee shows to the talented groups that have submitted proposals and have been working with us, a problem which we are trying to solve as it comes. After that, it would just be regrouping of talented, motivated artists to keep creating work like there was a gallery that wanted to show them, no matter how unique their vision and work was. Personally, I would be extremely sad to see it go, yet happy it ever happened - that all of us met for eight short months and created something distinct and energetic and incredible. That we were the best new gallery and flamed out before we got old and started putting on tired, boring shows. And I am also excited to see what we all create next, either alone or together, though hopefully, together.  

See you then.