Mn Artists is a critical arts writing platform of the Walker Art Center about, by, and for Minnesota’s local artist community. Through publishing and relationship building, the program forges connections between locally-rooted artistic practices and national and international conversations in contemporary art.
Founded in 2001 and relaunched in 2021, mnartists.walkerart.org features idea-driven essays; perspectives on creative process; experimental writing; reviews of exhibitions, performances, and films; and conversations among arts practitioners. The platform maintains the most comprehensive listing of artist opportunities in the state, and its archive spans over two decades of art created in Minnesota, spotlighting the rigor and vitality of the local arts scene.
In line with the Walker’s mission to catalyze artists and audiences, Mn Artists centers artistic risk, experimentation, and interdisciplinary forms of making. Arts writing is itself an interdisciplinary practice that is in dialogue with creative nonfiction, scholarship, and journalism, and arrives at hybrid forms to respond to the art of our time. Known for publishing first-person writing by artists, the publication embraces subjectivity, illuminates intersectionality, and champions perspectives that are embedded within the local arts community. Supporting new and established arts writers alike, Mn Artists provides mentorship on the craft of arts writing and provides opportunities for critical discourse in the field.
History of Mn Artists
Mn Artists holds an invaluable archive of 20 years of artistic activity. Jointly conceived in 2001 by the Walker Art Center and the McKnight Foundation, the initiative began as a democratic platform for artists of all disciplines and all career stages to share their work online. Throughout its history, Mn Artists has maintained an independent editorial voice and offered a platform for artists through user-generated content.
- 2001: Launch of mnartists.org, a digital directory of artists, joint project of the Walker Art Center and the McKnight Foundation
- 2000s: Site expands to include collections, news and articles, online forums, events calendar, email newsletter
- Mid-2000s to early 2010s: Program expands to include offline events at the Walker and in partnership with many local organizations
- 2014: Relaunch of redesigned mnartists.org, with improved artist profiles, professional development tools, and regional arts writing program
- 2017: Mn Artists Presents [Your Name Here] and guest editor program launch, bringing a range of artists’ voices to the platform
- 2021: Walker Art Center launches a new site focusing on arts writing and publishing, mnartists.walkerart.org. Since its inception, over 33,000 artists have created profiles through mnartists.org, and the website garners over a million pageviews annually.