Best New Art of 2016

After we received an overwhelmingly positive reception for “Ones to Watch,” last year’s Minnesota Monthly celebration of up-and-coming artists, we knew we had found an appetite for more from the visual-art community in Minnesota . So this year we reached out to the great art advocates at Mn Artists, and they helped us put out the call—this time for new works from artists of all ages and career stages. We were flooded with remarkable responses, and carefully went through every entry to select our best. These artists work in a variety of mediums and styles, yet all have an immediacy that made us pay attention, and want to share them with you.  

Shana Kaplow (Pictured above) 

shanakaplow.com

Near and Far (installation at Minneapolis Institute of Art: ink on paper, wood, steel, and projected video) 

“I make artwork as a way to explore the psychological textures that are carried amongst the objects and conditions of my everyday surroundings.”


Grace Fechner

Grace Fechner

gracefechner.net

Red (acrylic, cut and torn paper, graphite, India ink pen) 

“This image is from the ‘Hello’ series, which explores the growth and complexities of human communication as it evolves over a lifetime, from simple to complicated.”


Kordula Coleman

Kordula Coleman

kordulacolemansculptures.com

Old Soul (sculpture) 

Old Soul is the portrait of a man weary of the world’s ever-repeating human tragicomedy, despite his physically young age, while still wanting to observe and connect from a safe distance.”


Steven Lang

Steven Lang

stevenlang.net

Lauderdale Alley (30 Seconds) (photo)

“I wander through neighborhoods (my own in this case) with my camera and a desire to come face-to-face with something that bears reckoning—an intuitive process that sometimes ends in a photograph.”


Charles Lyon

Charles Lyon

charleslyonart.com

Alex (oil on canvas) 

“This is the first painting in a series titled, ‘Dressed for Zero,’ a project of portraits of people in Minneapolis with their mixture of animal and man-made garments that
speaks to the tension between nature and culture in our northern climate.”


Leslie Barlow

Leslie Barlow

lesliebarlowartist.com

Panel 5 of Identity Series (oil on panel) 

“Working within 2-D media like oil painting, drawing, and collage, my current work uses the figure, symbolism, and narrative elements to talk about issues related to multiculturalism, ‘otherness,’ and identity.”


Kate Renee

Kate Renee

katerenee.com

GlutHoney (acrylic painting suspended in epoxy resin)

“My purpose with this series of three-dimensional paintings is to use recognized characters from pop culture and pair their behaviors and characterizations with the Seven Deadly Sins.”


Shawn McNulty

Shawn McNulty

shawnmcnulty.com

Condor (acrylic and pumice on canvas)

“My work is an exploration of the relationship between the conscious and subconscious mind, and how we translate recognizable structures living within irrational thoughts and ideas.”


Meranda Turbak

Meranda Turbak

merandaturbak.com

Wearing Thin (acrylic and pen on canvas) 

“This piece is about desire … in the beginning, it’s a welcomed fire that keeps you warm with inspiration and hope for more, but if it’s not reciprocated it can destroy you from the inside out and leave you hollow.”


Terry Wentzka
Photo credit: Jerry Mathiason

Terri Wentzka

naturalhistoryarts.com

Not Home (graphite, charcoal, carbon, and pastel on Arnhem) 

Not Home is part of a new series that explores the omnipresence of surveillance in our world, whether by corporations, government, the neighbors, and even the birds and animals that occupy our public spaces—they’re keeping an eye on us, too.”


Sarah Albinson

Sarah Albinson

sarahalbinson.com

Affection (pen drawing on archival paper) 

“This large-scale drawing marks a moment of discovery as I explore the power and beauty of surrender to vulnerability and dependence within love.”


Heather Zehr

Heather Zehr

enticingentertainment.com

Let It Out! (body paint) 

“When the human body becomes a canvas,  the art lives, breathes, and expresses some of the most primative emotions.”


Paula Barkmeter

Paula Barkmeier

paulabarkmeierart.com

Wise Guy (oil on wood) 

“Within every one of us there is a wild and natural creature, a powerful force of instinctual and creative being.”


Kristine Fretheim

Kristine Fretheim

kristinefretheim.com

Delirious (watercolor on Arches Hot Press) 

“Using forms in nature as design elements, I create intricate, abstract watercolors, imbuing my work with a sense of teeming energy and depth that draws the viewer ever further into the picture plane.”


Selma Fernandez

Selma Fernandez

selmafernandezrichter.com

The Ache for Home (photo)

“This image is from my series about the refugee populations of the Twin Cities—this is Faith ‘Amaana’ Mallory and her three children, Patience, Mohammadamin, and Amatullah, during the Somali Independence Day on Lake Street.”

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