Local artists win Minnesota State Arts Board grants

Mark Lambert and Rachel Breen, members of the arts faculty at Anoka-Ramsey Community College, and Melanie J. Lehnen of Andover, have all won Minnesota State Arts Board grants.

“Warren MacKenzie: A Potter’s Hands” is a documentary directed by Anoka-Ramsey Community College arts faculty member Mark Lambert, who recently won a 2014 Minnesota State Arts Board grant for a tour that will bring the documentary, as well as professional film artists and their work to three greater Minnesota communities. File photo courtesy of Mark Lambert

“Warren MacKenzie: A Potter’s Hands” is a documentary directed by Anoka-Ramsey Community College arts faculty member Mark Lambert, who recently won a 2014 Minnesota State Arts Board grant for a tour that will bring the documentary, as well as professional film artists and their work to three greater Minnesota communities. File photo courtesy of Mark Lambert

Lambert was awarded a $9,865 grant, and Breen and Lehnen each won a $10,000 grant. Those grants were awarded for the artists’ work in visual arts, and Lambert won a second $64,038 grant for an arts tour planned later this year.

The arts board awarded a total of 150 grants to Minnesota artists and organizations through the artist initiative-visual arts, arts tour Minnesota and cultural community partnership grant programs. Artist initiative project grants support the artistic and career development of Minnesota artists.

Breen’s award

Breen was awarded $10,000 to learn to use paint in her stencil transfer process, making her work permanent and allowing her to create outdoor murals. Using this method, Breen will create a public exhibition that displays her expanded practice.

A Minneapolis-based artist specializing in drawing, painting, installation art, mixed media and socially-engaged art, Breen has exhibited extensively throughout the Midwest in both solo and collaborative exhibitions.

Breen was also a McKnight Foundation Award Finalist (2011), has curated exhibitions at the Conduit Gallery (Minneapolis) and the Nash Gallery at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Lambert’s awards

Lambert’s 2014 arts tour grant will help support the “Warren MacKenzie: A Potter’s Hands” tour and will bring professional film artists and their work to three greater Minnesota communities, offering a hands-on film production workshop and screenings of the documentary film Lambert directed and premiered at Anoka-Ramsey’s Coon Rapids campus last fall.

The documentary presents a visual window into the life work of Warren Mackenzie, a potter who, at 89, continues to remain active in his studio. The documentary follows the potter through his complete firing cycle and captures MacKenzie sharing his own stories.

The Minnesota State Arts Board gave 41 arts tour awards (totaling more than $1.7 million) Jan. 8.

Lambert’s $9,865 visual arts award will be used as he researches historical Japanese Iga Ware flower vases, creates a new body of work and professionally documents the resulting pottery. He will share his research at a public lecture or workshop and host an open studio event.

Lehnen’s award

With her $10,000 visual arts award Lehnen will write and illustrate a children’s book about the Minnesota Zoo. A public event to launch the book will take place at the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley.

A total of 65 visual arts grants (a total of $634,247) were awarded Jan. 8.

About the awards

The arts tour Minnesota grant program supports touring performances, exhibitions and other arts activities throughout the state. The cultural community partnership grant program supports the artistic and career development of artists of color.

The artist initiative grant program is funded by an appropriation from the Minnesota Legislature from the state of Minnesota general fund and the arts and cultural heritage fund and funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The arts tour grant program is funded by an appropriation from the state’s arts and cultural heritage fund. The cultural community partnership grant program is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.

To learn more about the Minnesota State Arts Board visit www.arts.state.mn.us.

Sue Austreng is at sue.austreng@ecm-inc.com

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