Style Profile: Tricia Khutoretsky

Dear Creatures skirt, $108, and Maguba of Sweden clogs, $149, both @ Cliché; BLQ Basiq tank, $44 @ Parc Boutique; Gretchen Ventura emerald tassel necklace with diamond clasp, price upon request @ Artworks by Vadim Gershman, Patrick Martinez, and Drew Peterson at Public Functionary
photos by erica loeks, hair and makeup by fatima olive

Dressed in a breezy black maxi skirt with a colorful geometric-patterned top and futuristic, metallic sunglasses, Tricia Khutoretsky epitomizes the eclectic style of the funky Northeast Minneapolis arts district she inhabits. That said, her look isn’t entirely homegrown: “A lot of my favorite jewelry and clothing I’ve purchased while traveling,” she says. “There’s a memory tied to it, and I couldn’t have gotten it anywhere else.”

Khutoretsky, the co-director and curator of the Northeast contemporary art gallery Public Functionary, possesses a globally inspired style influenced by her upbringing. Born in Egypt to a Thai mother and American father, she moved around a lot as a child, splitting time in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Hawaii, and Thailand.

Khutoretsky moved to the U.S. to study English and communications at Macalester College in St. Paul, where she became immersed in the Twin Cities creative community, organizing fashion shows and promoting local performance acts. Between 2003 and 2006, she and a team of collaborators created a glossy mini-magazine called Industry Minne-zine to showcase the local visual arts, fashion, music, and culture scenes.

After that, she landed a full-time gig curating artists and bands for a now-shuttered Minneapolis event space. The position was funded by a corporate sponsor, and despite working for what she now sees as “dirty money,” Khutoretsky says the experience was “eye-opening, because it validated what I did as far as being a tastemaker and knowing how to organize people.”  

Next, she acquired a master’s degree in arts management at Saint Mary’s University to better understand the landscape of nonprofits, and how to find alternative funding sources for art. (She now teaches in the program.) Khutoretsky then began curating shows through the Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project, where she reconnected with her Middle Eastern roots and “started seeing art as a connector, as a way of getting people to understand each other.”

artwork by eric inkala, sougwen chung, michael cina, liza sylvestre, and harry sutherland

That perspective led to the founding of Public Functionary in 2013. The gallery has become known for showing work from a diverse group of contemporary artists, ranging from Chicago-based artist Carlos Rolón (a.k.a. Dzine), who melds his Puerto Rican–American heritage with baroque, hip-hop, and psychedelic influences; to Minneapolis painter Jennifer Davis, who filled the space with whimsical carousel-themed paintings and installations. The gallery’s next show, opening in October, will showcase the ornate, large-scale assemblage sculptures of local artist Michael Thomsen.

Khutoretsky’s eclectic approach extends to her personal style. “Friends ask me, ‘Where do you shop?’” she says, “and it’s really the most generic places most of the time. It’s more about how I put things together.” In warmer months, she’ll pair a breezy dress in a colorful print with funky jewelry—“I like things that have a ’70s, bohemian vibe”—while in the winter she sticks to a neutral palette of black and grey.

Similarly, the walls of Khutoretsky’s Northeast apartment are filled with artwork she’s collected over the years, amidst an urban jungle of tropical plants. She balances the wild and colorful look by keeping the rest of her living space clean and minimal.

Despite living the U.S. for more than 15 years, Khutoretsky feels most at home, stylistically and otherwise, in Thailand. “I love its hippie aesthetic,” she says. “When I’m in Thailand, I see things that make me go, Oh, this feels like me.”

Khutoretsky with a selection of art works by some of her favorite artists, Eric Inkala, Sougwen Chung, Michael Cina, Liza Sylvestre; sneaker on desk is by Harry Sutherland. Glamorous top, $39.50, and Moon skirt, $44, both @ Cliché, 2403 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls., 612-870-0420,; Gretchen Ventura gold-plated African brass necklace, $795, African brass bracelet, $395, and African coconut shell and black diamond bracelet, $495 @; Seychelles flats, $49.99 @ Parc Boutique, 320 E. Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-353-4966,

Tricia Khutoretsky’s Style Crib Sheet

On her favorite places to shop
Khutoretsky mixes and matches from H&M, Free People, Topshop, Nordstrom Rack, vintage shops, and online shop Asos. “If I had unlimited funds, I’d just shop at local boutiques,” she says, listing Cliché, Parc Boutique, and B. Resale as her favorites.

On her skincare regiment
“I’m really minimal,” she says. “I hardly wear makeup. Mainly I make sure I’m taking care of my skin so I don’t have to wear makeup. Right now, I’m using Rose Quartz moisturizer and African black soap from Tao Natural Foods and Intelligent Nutrients haircare products. I’m just into anything that doesn’t have chemicals.”

On high-impact makeup
“I do wear lipstick and mascara. MAC lipsticks are my favorite. Especially since I’m minimal with my makeup, I like to add a bright pop of color to my lips.”

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