Last summer, Minneapolis artist, Kate Casanova, City Pages’ 2012 Artist of the Year and 9 artists, musicians and writers, ventured to Mallard Island near Rainy Lake, Minnesota for a week-long residency. Guess Ready Review is an exhibition of new work, inspired by the island, created by Casanova and the Collaborative, which also calls itself Guess Ready Review.
The exhibition opens March 1 at the Kolman & Pryor Gallery, which was named one of City Pages’ “Top 10 Galleries in the Twin Cities” in 2013. The gallery will have an opening reception from 7-10 p.m., Saturday, March 8. Guests at the opening reception will be treated to music by Chris Koza and Will Hutchinson, and tarot card readings by Stefanie Motta. Koza, Hutchinson, and Motta all are part of the Guess Ready Review Collaborative. The exhibit runs through Saturday, April 12, 2014.
On Friday evening, March 28, 7-9 p.m., the Kolman & Pryor Gallery will present a free public conversation between Dr. Christina Schmid, Assistant Professor of Art, University of Minnesota and the Guess Ready Review Collaborative. Dr. Schmid and the Collaborative will explore members’ artistic processes and practice and the impact of the residency on members’ work both individually and collectively.
Mallard Island was formerly home to Ernest Oberholtzer, intellectual, artist, explorer and environmentalist. The island now hosts artist residencies. Casanova successfully, applied for a residency, proposing “our group as a young nature-centric group of makers and thinkers,” she says. In August 2013, Casanova, Chris Koza, Christopher Atkins, Laura Bigger, John Fleischer, Will Hutchinson, John Kim, Ben Moren, Stefanie Motta and Daniel Dean traveled to Mallard Island.
During their stay the group learned that in 1912 Oberholtzer wanted to explore an unmapped northern territory, but knew he needed a guide and companion. He sent a telegram to his good Ojibwe friend, Billy Magee, asking Magee to join him on the 2,000-mile expedition. Magee’s response was “Guess ready, go end earth.” Casanova’s group adopted the name Guess Ready Review to symbolize their collective quest into a creative frontier on the Minnesota-Canadian border.
“We collectively felt that Magee’s statement was ambiguous,” Casanova says, “a commitment to go, but with some reluctance. That, of course, mirrors the creative process, which often requires a leap into the void. But taking that leap with others makes the journey all the more possible and rewarding.”
Casanova, whom City Pages called “fearless, enterprising,” grew up on Rainy Lake. Her upbringing in “the starkly beautiful and remote northern Minnesota,” she says, “had a profound influence on my art making, which heavily references the natural world.” Mallard Island also “has a mythological status in my family history,” she adds, as her mother, a children’s book author, has traveled there with a group for the past 20 years. “I’m learning about my own history through this place and how my identity has been shaped by it.”
Casanova chose to have the show at Kolman & Pryor because of the “diverse range of work shown in this beautiful space, and Anita and Patrick’s ongoing support of that work. We think the work in ‘Guess Ready Review’ will compliment the gallery’s evolving aesthetic.” Work in the exhibition includes video, sculpture, photography with sound, and a listening station. Casanova’s contribution, created in collaboration with Daniel Dean and Ben Moren, is “Green Screen,” a live projection that investigates ideas about reality, simulacra and what is natural.