Midway Contemporary Art[uds-billboard name=”midway”]
Midway Contemporary Art
Address: 527 Second Avenue Southeast, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 11am – 5pm
How is the project operated?
As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
How long has it been in existence?
Midway opened in January 2001.
What was your motivation?
Essentially, it was a small group of artists seeking to create a venue dedicated to providing a platform for emerging artists like ourselves. Our primary focus from the outset was to work with not only artists and curators based in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, but also to work within a national and international context.
Number of organizers/responsible persons of the project.
Two full time staff, a few part-time, and a dozens of volunteers and interns
How are programs funded?
Our programming is funded through support from individuals, private and public foundations,
corporations and governmental support. We have experienced fairly substantial growth over the past few years due largely to the generous support of our board of directors and our volunteers who have played key roles in this area. Midway also hosts two benefit fundraiser events annually, one in the winter and one in the spring.
Who is responsible for the programming?
Midway has a director who curates the majority of the exhibitions. We periodically work with outside curators and our artists to shape programming.
Number and average duration of exhibitions/events per year?
We are currently programming five exhibitions per year and host a number of other events throughout the year such as lectures, conversations, and film screenings. Five years ago, we launched a contemporary art research library, which has grown into a major component of our overall programming. The library now houses 5,000 titles.
What kind of events are usually organized?
Primarily book launches, workshops, lectures and presentations, with some film screening series. This fall, we worked with Drew Burk and Jason Wagner from Univocal Publishing to conduct a series of nonstandard workshops around the work of François Laruelle that culminated with a book launch/signing and a paper that Laruelle presented in November.
Do you accept proposals/submissions?
We currently are not accepting unsolicited submissions, although we have in the past. Historically, our selection of artists has not come from this pool of submissions.
What is your artistic/curatorial approach?
“Showcasing the terminally obscure” is how one writer described us. We prefer to view it as identifying artists that challenge our understanding of art and finding every possible avenue with which to support them in the realization of new projects. In recent years, we have found ourselves working closely with the artists through all phases of their projects, from initial conception, throughout the entire planning process, and the final presentation of the work here in Minneapolis.
What kind of role do you hope to play in your local art scene or community?
To provide an environment for interaction and sustained reflection on the contemporary art made by some of the most dynamic artists working today.
What idea are you most excited about for the future?
We are most excited about the possibilities for our public research library. It has been so well received over the past five years that we are now expanding it to accommodate its collection and public programming. We are in the final stages of the fundraising phase for this expansion that will more than double its size and launch a new architecture section. We are hoping to complete this project this winter in order to reopen during the winter/spring semester.
Images courtesy of the artists and Midway Contemporary Art. Photo: Gene Pittman
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