Friday, April 27, 2007

"Paintings in Place" A-Listed in the City Pages and other nice press

City Pages
Amy Rice; Yuri Arajs; Alex Alexander; Ben Olson: Paintings in Place

Placement Gallery isn't so much a gallery as a concept: A revolving residence for art from the Twin Cities and all over. The brainchild of Yuri Arajs, a local artist and co-founder of the recently shuttered Outsiders and Others Gallery, Placement Gallery promises to emerge like a tulip in new spaces all over the Twin Cities. Arajs's first Placement show, "Painting in Place," features his own paintings, as well as work by local artists Alex Alexander, Amy Rice, and Ben Olson (all of whom Arajs championed at Outsiders and Others). It all finds a well-lit spot to, er, hang for a month in a giant warehouse at 509 First Ave. NE. City Pages recently caught up with Arajs to ask him about the new project.

City Pages:Outsiders and Others seemed like such a gallery success. Why did it close?

Yuri Arajs: It's a complicated answer. When you choose to close a business, there are a lot of reasons to do it. Outsiders and Others was an incredible project. It lasted four years. I was surprised at how much support the gallery received. I just think it was time to do the next thing. There were so many constraints: primarily self-taught artists, nonprofit status, primarily Minnesota artists. I'm 40, I'm not 70. I've got a lot more to do.

CP:So how will Placement Gallery be different?

YA: Placement Gallery is a for-profit venture. For the first exhibit, it will be in the 4,000-square-foot warehouse for one month. This is an opportunity for people to step up and really recognize things that are happening in small spaces. And I am always going to support self-taught artists and Minnesota artists, but this will be about artists from all over.

CP:Shows like "Will Work for Food," in the old Theatre Antiques building, are cropping up in random, temporary spots. Why do you think this is happening in the Twin Cities? What does that mean about the art community?

YA: It's a town that is changing. Minneapolis is a shitbox of construction right now, and there are so many opportunities for artists. It's an opportunity for people to see things in a new way, for people to step up and recognize things that are happening in small spaces. Like the space for this first show, it's heavenly. I hope that people come out and embrace it.

"Paintings in Place," the inaugural Placement Gallery show, opens Saturday, April 28, with a reception from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Visit for more info. Through May 20 —Molly Priesmeyer


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