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Sarah Whiting—Open Studio: Faces and Stories of Northeast Minneapolis Artists

Open Studio offers a close encounter with 28 artists of North East Minneapolis by writer and photographer Sarah Whiting. Sarah received her MFA from Savannah College of Art and Design, and is an Associate Professor at the Arts Institutes International Minnesota. From her Northeast Minneapolis studio, she has been balancing commercial art and teaching for over 10 years.


Says Sarah about her work: 

In Northeast Minneapolis, there are huge industrial buildings completely unidentifiable as artist spaces. I increasingly wanted to show a small glance of the world that peeks through the windows of these large buildings. I began photographing the Northeast artists about five years ago, and have not stopped. As I photograph them, I am consistently amazed at the stories they tell me. I find it adds another element to the image.

I received an Artist Initiative Grant in 2012, where I focused on creating environmental portraits of the artists, showing them in their studio setting. These portraits give a face to the caliber of art being executed in our community. While shooting, we engaged in conversation, and those discussions caused the work to expand. With the grant I received in 2014, I was able to go back and collect the musings about art making by the artists. Underscoring a sense of community and personal impact, the gathering of stories along with imagery allows a nuanced and dynamic dialog about art in Minneapolis. In November, I finished “Open Studio: Faces and Stories of Northeast Artists”, a book including the text and images that will act as a partial chronicle of this community. The artists are an integral part of the process and I feel very lucky to be able to create this work, show their faces and tell some of their stories.