Art Shanty Project 2012: Meet the Naughty Shanty

Art Shanty Project 2012: Meet the Naughty Shanty

After taking a break last year, the Art Shanty Projects are back and eager to please. Twenty different shanties will be scattered around Medicine Lake starting this weekend and running through February 5.

We chatted with Sarah Honeywell of the Naughty Shanty to see what kind of naughty this shanty will bring to Minnesota Nice. While our state is finally experiencing a cold snap, a visit to the Naughty Shanty will certainly heat things up. Based on the idea of a gypsy vardoo, the teal structure has a lot of tricks up its mischievous sleeves. Step inside and peer into "naughty" little peephole dioramas, try your hand (or mitten) at fortune telling, steal a cookie, or even puff your way through the cold on a candy cigarette. Just remember to check your back on the way out for a "Kick Me" sign.

What can visitors expect from your shanty that's different from others?

The Naughty Shanty is a a flashy showgirl with loads of curb appeal. All of the projects out there this year are well thought out and tight. They all have a function that they are somehow serving on the ice. I guess if I had to say what our shanty's function is, I'd say she is the principal's office of this year's little shanty town -- but a principal's office that you want to be sent to.

Can you tell us a little bit about the group behind the Naughty Shanty?

Marieka Heinlen is a children's book illustrator and just started Brand Muffin Designs, which is a brand-design company. She is a master at glossy, graphic crafting, and she has a deep lust for colors.

Angela Maki Jones paints sexy paintings, works with Clare Housing AIDS project, and is a great part of the Minneapolis art scene. She has a pretty serious band-saw addiction, which she treats with a daily dose of red ruffles.

Aneesa Erinn Adams is a teaching artist who creates oil paintings that should be on the ceiling of a heathen church. She never wants to be more than three feet from a glue gun.

Erin Poirier is a fantastic crafter, and loves felt, cupcakes, and babies. Her favorite medium is lavender soap and elderberries.

Mo Honeywell is probably the best carpenter any of us have ever met. His craftsmanship makes me think he was born 200 years too late, but his command of power tools makes you know otherwise.

Art Shanty Project 2012: Meet the Naughty Shanty
Sarah Honeywell works on the Naughty Shanty

And then there is me, Sarah Honeywell. I am a teaching artist. My work is usually ultra-feminine, created in whatever materials I am sweet on just then. I love working in metaphors, and trying new art toys. Other contributors are Pat Swanson, Geoff Jones, Kat Gordon, and Becca Butter.

When did you decide to get the group together and start this process?

We have all been crushing on the idea of doing a Shanty Project ever since visiting in years past. So when I saw the call for artists, I crafted some hot ideas. I talked about my plans to Marieka Heinlen, but she wasn't really biting on any of them. I was determined to make a proposal and get her onboard, so I dug a little deeper into my bag of tricks in order to seduce her into participation. When I said, 'How about the Naughty Shanty?' she was all for the idea.

After she got onboard, the ideas got much juicier. I wrote up a complete plan, which included blueprints for peek-holes, glitter, and upholstery. We were thrilled when we got accepted. At that point, I knew it was time to get a naughty crew together. I cherry-picked these risk-taking artists that are bad in the best way. We have been working all together since late November, and I have to say it has been a flirt-fest working with them all.

What will make the Naughty Shanty appealing to visitors? And what was the inspiration behind its design?

Art Shanty Project 2012: Meet the Naughty Shanty
The Naughty Shanty on its way to Medicine Lake

Well, she had to be beautiful considering how obsessed we all are with aesthetics. Let's just say that her shape, to me, represents a jewelry box for an untamed soul.

The theme and our activities are mostly inspired by all of us being neck-deep in parenting at this stage of our lives. Our whole team is unbridled in many ways, but we are also parents that are faced with the dirty deed of playing 'cop' to our children's ragamuffin mischief-making. That's no fun, but it is often necessary. As parents and artists, we are on both sides of the law. Needless to say there is a laundry heap of inspiration there.

The Naughty Shanty isn't dirty; just naughty. So what kind of scenes can visitors expect to see inside the peepholes and on the walls? There are a lot of ways for visitors to indulge in their Minnesota naughty-side with games and fortunes. We are out there tongue-in-cheek stirring up the norms, flirting with the red tape, hoping we don't have to give anybody a spankin'.

Art Shanty Project 2012: Meet the Naughty Shanty

Any other 'naughty' things you'd like to share?

I would love to be able to express to the reader what a radical, soulful, political, and healthy experience it has been to be privileged enough to create this project. I am deeply changed from the effects of working so very closely with members of the Minneapolis arts community. It is pure joy on all fronts. Community is dire. Living is the storm and community the lighthouse. Long Live Naughty.

Looking for more? Check out our piece on the fashion-forward Sashay Shantay Shanty.


Art Shanty Project 2012
Medicine Lake
9699 17th Ave. N., Plymouth
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays
Also open Monday, January 16
Through February 5

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