As I settled into life in the Twin Cities I began to carve out a plan. At the time, I wasn’t sure where my career path would take me just yet—but I had a few ideas on how to productively explore
my options. I decided to open an art gallery and community space that could be coupled with room for my creative endeavors, which at the time were sculpting and makeup artistry.
It was important to me for the art gallery component to be very community oriented, like the Koo’s Cafe of my earlier years. A lot of the other “professional” galleries I knew in California, while quirky and lovely, only showed an artist’s work when they had a fairly significant following. Art exhibitions for
emerging artists were few and far between, even when those artists were quite good and had something important to say with their work. I wanted this space to be different. More cooperative,
more unknown artists, and more about what the artist had to communicate, less about how big their mailing list was.
I toyed with names—coming pretty close to dubbing this project the Foundry (a name quickly shot down by friends). In the end, I opted for something that would give me the pleasure of countless junk-mail misspellings: Altered Esthetics. The very first logo, created by yours truly, was an abuse of clip art and Photoshop filters that was then proudly emblazoned on a hand-coded HTML website.
I had so much to learn!
This post is adapted from It’s Never Going To Work: A Tale of Art and Nonprofits in the Minneapolis Community with illustrations by Athena Currier. Post graphics by Jamie Schumacher. ©2018 Jamie Schumacher.
It’s Never Going To Work is a light-hearted, illustrated book that offers real-life insights on founding a community space and nonprofit. It provides tools, tips, resources, and camaraderie to community organizers and anybody attempting something new.