410's Project Bike 2016 Connects MN Artists

Mankato’s Dana Sikkila traveled the state to meet artists, create documentary

Mankato artist Dana Sikkila last appeared in the pages of Minnesota Monthly as one of our 2015 Up-and-Coming Artists to Watch. In addition to her own work in a variety of mediums, Sikkila is an educator and Executive Director of the 410 Project community art space, which has become a creative hub as a gallery, classroom, and general experimental incubator.

This summer, Sikkila embarked on Project Bike, which entailed her touring the state for nine days with her bike, a trailer, and a camera crew to go out and meet local artists in towns including Red Wing, Faribault, Stillwater, Minneapolis, and Crystal. Her journey was documented by True Facade Pictures in a 30-minute film you can watch below.

410 BIKE PROJECT .3 from Ryan Sturgis on Vimeo.

I’m a fan of Sikkila’s artwork, which combines a sense of surreal humor with dream-like images and handmade intensity. And she’s doing great things in Mankato and across the state, bringing artists to popular awareness, and awareness of one another, to create community and a sense of optimistic possibility. Here’s hoping she feels inspired to hop back on her bike in 2017 to keep connecting the creative threads of Minnesota art, as well as reminding us that art lives and breathes wherever it’s created and viewed, from the halls of museums to the towns that dot the landscape.

Quinton Skinner is a writer and editor based in the Twin Cities. A former senior editor of Minnesota Monthly, he held the same post at Twin Cities METRO and 
has written for major national and local publications. He is the co-founder of Logosphere Storysmiths and author of several novels, including his latest, Odd One Out.