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Altered Esthetics is a non-profit, community-based art gallery and arts advocacy organization located in the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District. According to their mission statement, their goal is to support and expand the vibrant Minneapolis arts community by hosting exhibitions, creating and sponsoring various art programs, and participating in community art events.
History and development
Altered Esthetics was originally conceived as an exhibition venue where the focus would be on "art for art's sake" as opposed to art for monetary profit. Founded by Jamie Schumacher, the gallery first opened in April 2004 in Minneapolis with their inaugural exhibition, "The Art of War", which featured the work of 15 local artists.
The organization has grown significantly since 2004. Altered Esthetics still retains no paid staff and is staffed by approximately 100 volunteers. Their board of directors is a working, role-based board with eighteen active members. Due to the growth of the organization since 2004, they relocated in late 2006 to the Q'arma Building in Northeast Minneapolis' arts district. In May 2007, they were awarded 501(c)3 non-profit status. In addition to their brick-and-mortar gallery, they also maintain an active online gallery with the purpose of serving those artists who are not able to participate in shows at the Q'arma Building gallery.
Exhibitions and intership programs
Over the past six years, Altered Esthetics has hosted over 50 group exhibitions which focus on fine art, music, poetry, performance art, and film. Altered Esthetics has presented the work of over 1,000 national and international artists and has shown the work of such notable artists as Manuel Ocampo and J.M. Culver. Exhibitions have addressed such diverse themes as banned books, comic art, gender, and activism in the arts.
In 2007, Altered Esthetics began a curatorial internship program designed to offer artists, students, and community members hands-on experience in the arts. In 2008, a Gallery Director internship program was created. The goal of this program is to provide participants with experience is grant writing, fundraising, and other aspects of running a non-profit arts organization.
In 2009, Altered Esthetics drew over 2,000 people into the Minneapolis arts district to attend 14 different exhibits. Altered Esthetics is also a participant in Art-A-Whirl, the country's largest open-studio tour, during which over 20,000 people flooded the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District.
- Official website