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A survey of visual artists from throughout greater Minnesota.

Chatter aims to find connection through individuality much like the kerf chatter of rough-sawn lumber. Saw-blade marks are signifiers of the tools and conditions present at particular lumberyards, just as each of these artists have hewn language and expression out of their life experiences.  

This exhibit is presented for the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention and the 2019 Northern Spark Festival. On view in The Commons from 6pm March 14, 2019 – 2am March 16, 2019

Featured Artists:

Lisa Bergh – New London, MN

Lisa Bergh’s large scale architectonic structures on and of paper examine an intersection of gesture, pattern, and figurative allegory.  The artwork “Posture” (flashe on paper, 2015) presents a vague representation of a form that yields to abstraction.

Patricia Canelake – Knife River, MN

Figurative Painter Patricia Canelake presents bold and painterly figurative works in which humans and animals alike are rendered with affection towards their prerogative to be. “Mutual Attraction”, (oil on canvas, 2019) in graphic red and white, foregrounds the space between that begins a story.

Bethany Lacktorin – Ordway Prairie, Pope County, MN

performer, sound artist and musician Bethany Lacktorin examines memory and place by inserting herself and others into charged personal landscapes and surroundings; understanding her relationship to them by telling.  “My Ocean”, (performance documentation video projection, 2016)  is an outdoor, site-specific sound and performance installation that took place at Ordway Prairie Nature Preserve in Pope County, MN. Audiences were led on an hour-long walk through a carefully composed environment of sound, music and storytelling.

Andrew Nordin – New London, MN

Painter Andrew Nordin has been examining the architectural prompts he notices on the highways of Rural Minnesota, distilling remnants of color and form found in abandoned farmhouses, corn cribs, and other unassuming buildings. “Kandiyohi County Baroque (God’s Eye) “ (Oil on Linen, 2017) manically and meditatively traces filigree with chromatic intensity. 

Aaron Spangler Park Rapids, MN

Living near Two Inlets State Forest, Aaron Spangler’s sense of the world is shaped by his relationship to the woods. Spangler is best known as a sculptor, where he reimagines the traditional medium of woodcarving with a contemporary eye. Aaron is presenting a new sculpture on the patio of the Traveling Museum, carved out of a solid five and a half foot birch wood log.

Karl Unnasch – Pilot Mound, MN

Karl Unnasch, a two time Americans for the Arts Public Art network “Year in Review” award winner, comes from Southeastern Minnesota and his rugged farm upbringing influences his work through has craftsmanship and labor. Unnasch is presenting a stained glass work that links contemporary narratives with childhood nostalgia.

Star WallowingBull, Moorhead, MN  

A 2010 Bush Foundation Artist Fellowship recipient, Star WallowingBull explores the intersections of American Indian, Minnesotan, and  U.S. Pop Culture. His painting “Red Owl” (acrylic on canvas, 2016) plays interference between being a recognizable corporate logo, from the grocery store chain of the same name, and an avatar for larger conceptual aims.

Traveling Museum is a USDAC Affiliate

The Traveling Museum is proud to be a USDAC Affiliate.

“The US. Department of Arts and Culture is a people-powered department – a grassroots action network inciting creativity and social imagination to shape culture of empathy, equity, and belonging”
To learn more about the important work USDAC  and affiliated artists and arts organization are doing visit the USDAC website.









Traveling Museum is pleased to partner with Coffee House Press and Silverwood Park for a 2016 winter residency project.

With inspiration from the Danish concept of “Hygge”, the Traveling Museum will be on site at Silverwood Park from February 2 – Mid March. The Museum will serve as a winter writer’s retreat for artist/writer Steven Lang

hygeeSteven Lang, a writer and visual artist, has been selected as the Silverwood Park’s first artist in residence. Lang will spend time during the month of February inside The Traveling Museum which has been transformed into a writer’s den — a sort of “Walden” on the ice. Inside the cabin and throughout the park, Lang will draw on themes of winter, winter recreation, time, solitude, and hibernation, to expand both his fiction writing and photography portfolio.

In recent years, Lang has been an artist in residence at Elsewhere in Greensboro, NC, and a recipient of the Loft’s mentor program award. He is a staff member at Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

On March 16th at 7:00pm, Lang will share photos and stories from his time in residence. He will then be joined by Silverwood Park and Coffee House Press staff members for a conversation on arts and the environment. This event is free and open to the public.

You can view dispatches from the residency during the month of February at chpin

The Traveling Museum Honored by Public Art Network Year in Review

americansarts-320x210Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, honored 31 outstanding public arts projects created in 2014 through the Public Art Network (PAN) Year in Review program, the only national program that specifically recognizes the most compelling public art. The works were chosen from more than 300 entries across the country and recognized at Americans for the Arts’ 2015 Annual Convention in Chicago.

The Rural Aesthetic Initiative team is humbled to have The Traveling Museum included on this national list of compelling and innovative public art projects. The 31 public art works selected for the PAN Year in Review can be seen here.

“The best of public art can challenge, delight, educate and illuminate. Most of all, public art creates a sense of civic vitality in the cities, towns, and communities we inhabit and visit,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “As these Public Art Network Year in Review selections illustrate, public art has the power to enhance our lives on a scale that little else can. I congratulate the artists and commissioning groups for these community treasures, and I look forward to honoring more great works in the years to come.”

The 2015 PAN Year in Review jurors were Peggy Kendellen, Public Art Manager, Regional Arts & Culture Council in Portland, Oregon; Laurie Jo Reynolds, Assistant Professor of Public Arts, Social Justice and Culture at the School of Art and Art History at the University of Illinois at Chicago; and Ernest C. Wong, Principal, site design group, ltd in Chicago.

The Public Art Network (PAN), a program of Americans for the Arts, is designed to provide services to the diverse field of public art and to develop strategies and tools to improve communities through public art. The network’s constituents are public art professionals, visual artists, design professionals, and communities and organizations planning public art projects and programs.

CLICK HERE for images of past Traveling Museum projects

CLICK HERE to learn how you can work with The Traveling Museum

The Traveling Museum Annual Report

  • 5,997 miles driven
  • 11 events
  • 17 Minnesota Artists
  • 8 Communities
  • 50 cups of gas station coffee
  • 0 flat tires
  • 25 fish


As we collect our receipts and come off the lake from our winter residency, we thought it is a good time to thank all those who made this adventure possible.

We would like to recognize and thank all those who have been a part of this incredible journey

2014/15  Artist Roster: Michele Anderson, Lisa Bergh, Mary Bergs, Miranda Brandon, Michael Eble, Brian Frink, David Hamlow, Michelle Johnson, Liz Miller. Andrew Nordin, Dan Olson, David Ruhlman, Todd Shanafelt, Naomi Schliesman, Karl Unnasch, Michon Weeks, and Jonathan Gomez Whitney

Program Partners: Art-A-Whirl, Art in Odd Places Indy, Becker Market, Big Car Collaborative, Forecast Public Art, Beth Peloff and Green Jeans Media, RACA- Rural America Contemporary Art, Silverwood Park, Southwest Minnesota Arts Council, The Space Station, Spring Board for the Arts Fergus Falls, and the Willmar Public Library

Generous financial support from Art in Odd Places Indy, Forecast Public Art, The McKnight Foundation, Southwest Minnesota Arts Council, and Tebben Enterprises

Finally, a special thanks to the many friends & colleagues who offered support and guidance in so many ways; from advocates for our work, cheerleaders when we were feeling overwhelmed, and great unpaid baby sitters that allowed us to travel:

Melinda Childs, Nicole DeBoer, Pete Driessen, Michael Eble, Matthew Fluharty, Brian Frink, Gregory Harp, John Hock, Home Depot contractor desk, Heidi Jeub, Laura Migliorina, Dan Mondloch, Greta Murray, Paul and Marion Nordin, Naomi Schliesman, Scott Stulen, every one who came to an event in their community, and to the countless friends and supporters we have met on the road!

See you on the road!


Gris Gris Gumbo Ya Ya

 2/6/15     from 4 – 6pm    On Green Lake in Spicer, MN

Homemade Gumbo and Paintings by Michael Eble 

Gris Gris Gumbo Ya Ya Is a combination of terms from an older song by the famous New Orleans musician, Dr. John. The song lyrics references Michael Eble’s own New Orleans upbringing and fittingly describes a one day/night art exhibition and social engagement project at the Traveling Museum. Visitors have the opportunity to view some of Eble’s paintings but also share a bowl Gumbo specially prepared by the artist.

Gumbo refers Gumbo is a dish that originated in southern Louisiana from the Louisiana Creole people during the 18th century. It typically consists primarily of a strongly flavored stock, okra, meat or shellfish, a thickener, and seasoning vegetables, which can include celery, bell peppers, garlic and onions. Gumbo is often categorized by the type of thickener used: the African vegetable okra, the Choctaw spice file powder (dried and ground sassafras leaves), or roux, the French base made of flour and fat. The dish likely derived its name from either the Bantu word for okra (ki ngombo) or the Choctaw word for filé (kombo).

The setting of exhibition also draws parallels with the content of the work. The layering of ice that exists below the Traveling Museum references the striations in the paintings. Additionally the idea that water from Green Lake eventually flows into the Crow river, which eventually connects to the Mississippi, and eventually flows past New Orleans, emphasizes the power of water to connect regions, cultures and people.

Find the Museum on Green Lake in front of Saulsbury Beach in Spicer, MN. You may park in the public lot adjacent to the beach and take the short walk onto the ice out to the Museum. 

Stayed tuned to Twitter and Facbook for  the exact GPS coordinates.

The ice is thick, no worries!

Vibrating Boundries #4 by Michael Eble
Vibrating Boundries #4 by Michael Eble

Michael Eble was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He received a BFA degree in painting from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a MFA degree in painting and drawing from the University of Mississippi, in Oxford, Mississippi. He is currently an Associate Professor of Studio Art and Curator of the Humanities Fine Arts Gallery at the University of Minnesota, Morris. He has shown his paintings and works on paper in numerous regional and national solo and group exhibitions, most recently in Louisiana, Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin.

Eble has been a recipient of several Imagine Fund awards and Grant in Aid awards from the University of Minnesota, along with a Residential Fellowship in 2008 from the Institute for Advance Study. He has also received additional grants and research funding from the McKnight Foundation, Lake Region Arts Council, Vermont Studio Center, Science Museum of Minnesota, and the New York Mills regional cultural center.

Michael continues to produce artwork that focuses on the element of water and its relationship to humans and the environment.

Traveling Museum > Art In Odd Places Indianapolis


The Traveling Museum is pleased to be included in the first ever installment of Art in Odd Places in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. This live festival of creative works will take place along Market Street from the City Market up to and including Monument Circle. Local and national artists have been invited to create accessible and interactive works that draw upon this year’s AiOP theme of FREE. The festival includes music, sound, dance, performance, site-specific installations, video projections, painting, sculpture, and more.

For our part of the festival we will be Presenting SPACE COWBOY: an exhibition that honors the spirit of adventure and exploration featuring Karl Unnasch, Michon Weeks, and Jonathan Gomez Whitney. The Uncanny meets the nostalgic in a display of three Minnesota artists who each use distinct strategies to investigate the banal and raise it to the sacred, fetishizing the discarded, and provoking new frontiers by making the ordinary wondrous.

Ride along on our roadtrip via twitter


The Traveling Museum is coming to Field Trip!

Join us at Silverwood Park in Saint Anthony, Minnesota on September 20th.

Crafty Planet, and Silverwood Park are teaming up for Field Trip! a day of art making, music, creative play and an outdoor art fair.  For this year’s event the staff at Silverwood Park are serving as guest curators for The Traveling Museum.

Silverwood Park Art Educator and Exhibition Coordinator, Eileen Cohen, and her team will be presenting: IMPACT Birds Navigating Glass in Built Space – a project by Miranda Brandon

Impact (Nashvile Warbler) by Miranda Brandon
Impact (Nashvile Warbler) by Miranda Brandon

Come spend time with the birds, in this case detailed images of the victims of glass collisions. Learn about why our feathered friends are important and about what difficulties they face when they brave their yearly migratory trek and what simple things you can do to help them out. Also, you can screenprint a shirt or print showing your support for the birds using a similar method to how bird-safe glass is made! (A limited number of shirts will be available – but you’re welcome to bring your own to print on!)
Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 4.14.10 PMMiranda Brandon was born and raised in Oklahoma, moved to Minneapolis in 1999 to study photography at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and has recently completed her Master of Fine Arts work at the University of Minnesota. Her work focuses on the shared relations and spaces between human and non-human species, specifically birds in her two most recent bodies of work.  Her love for birds grew out of time spent volunteering in the avian nursery at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, where she helped care for sick, injured, and orphaned birds.  Later volunteering for the local Audubon, monitoring for bird fatalities due to window collisions, she began her project Impact highlighting the consequences of how spaces are constructed. Miranda continues to volunteer for the Audubon and also for The Raptor Center, rehabilitating flight strength in raptors prior to release, and has been collaborating with the Audubon on the Vikings stadium glass issue.

Field Trip! Saturday, September 20, 11 am – 5 pm at Silverwood Park in St. Anthony, MN