2009/10 McKnight Artists Fellowship Exhibition | Minneapolis College of Art and Design

2009/10 McKnight Artists Fellowship Exhibition

2009/10 McKnight Visual Artists Fellowship Exhibition

Minneapolis—The Minneapolis College of Art and Design is pleased to present new work by the 2009–10 recipients of the McKnight Artist Fellowships for Visual Artists. The fellows are Michael Kareken, Aldo Moroni, Carolyn Swiszcz, and Piotr Szyhalski, all from the Twin Cities.

The exhibition opens on Friday, July 9, with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. The four McKnight fellows will discuss their work on Wednesday, July 14, at 6 p.m., with moderator Anne Barlow, executive director of the contemporary art center Art in General in New York City. The exhibition will be on view through Friday, August 13, in the MCAD Gallery.

Michael Kareken’s recent paintings and drawings feature monumental heaps of broken glass, scrap metal, and cardboard. His vibrant, large-scale canvases of industrial detritus are meditations not only on the excesses of consumption but also on the potential for renewal.

Kareken has a BA in visual art from Bowdoin College and an MFA in painting from Brooklyn College, CUNY, and he is currently an associate professor of fine arts at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He has exhibited his work regionally and nationally in numerous group and solo exhibitions, including New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Santa Fe. His work is held in the collections of the Walker Art Center, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Minnesota Museum of American Art, the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, and the Minnesota Historical Society, among others.

Aldo Moroni’s current sculptural installation, Fragilearth, references in form the fantastical mountains in traditional Chinese landscape painting, and in content it comments on the futility of trying to impose human will on nature. The craggy, conical forms are built of clay and topped with moss. A water system embedded in the work causes the structures to slowly erode, so Moroni will be in the gallery from 10 a.m. to noon on weekdays rebuilding what has recently been destroyed.

Moroni—now a three-time recipient of a McKnight Artist Fellowship for Visual Artists—graduated from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Many of his public art installations are visible around the Twin Cities, and other work can be found in more than thirty corporate art collections and museums around the country, such as the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

In Carolyn Swiszcz’s newest paintings and videos, depopulated spaces are defined by their architectural banality. Melancholic in tone and emphatic in execution, the work playfully pays homage to urban landscapes that feel familiar and personal because of their ubiquity.

Swiszcz moved to Minnesota to attend the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, where she received her BFA with an emphasis in printmaking. A recipient of Jerome Foundation, Bush Foundation, and McKnight Foundation fellowships, she has artwork in the Microsoft Art Collection, the Minnesota Historical Society, and the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, ND.

Piotr Szyhalski’s multimedia installation is the most recent installment of his Labor Camp project, an ongoing investigation of the complex interconnections of history and ideology. His videos, sound pieces, texts, and objects appropriate and interrogate various systems of communication and the information they convey. 

Szyhalski grew up in Poland and has several degrees from the Academy of Visual Arts in Poznan. His work has been exhibited worldwide at such venues as the International Center of Photography in New York City, the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, the San Jose Museum of Art, and ExperimentaDesign in Lisbon, Portugal. His work can be found in the collections of the Walker Art Center and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, among others. Szyhalski is a professor of media arts at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

The 2009–10 fellows were chosen from a field of 231 applicants. The selections were made by a panel composed of Carla Hanzal, curator of contemporary art at the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte, NC; Maria Makela, professor and chair of visual studies at California College of the Arts, San Francisco; and artist Roger Shimomura, professor emeritus at the University of Kansas, Lawrence.

Designed to identify and support outstanding mid-career Minnesota artists, the McKnight Artist Fellowships for Visual Artists provide recipients with $25,000 stipends, public recognition, professional encouragement, and a catalog and exhibition at the MCAD Gallery. The fellowships are funded by a generous grant from the McKnight Foundation and administered by the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

The McKnight Artist Fellowships for Visual Artists program is recognized as one of the most prestigious foundation-based grant opportunities in the Twin Cities for visual artists. During its existence, the program has influenced the careers of more than 150 artists. Their work, in turn, has contributed to the creative vitality of the region.

ExhibitionMichael Kareken, Tip Floor, 2010

Michael Kareken, Tip Floor, 2010.

Aldo Moroni, Fragile Earth, 2010

Aldo Moroni, Fragile Earth, 2010.

Piotr Szyhalski, Apologia, 2010

Piotr Szyhalski, Apologia, 2010.