Erin Sayer on Cult Status moving and upcoming projects

Erin Sayer on Cult Status moving and upcoming projects

After a three-year stint at their digs on Harriet Avenue, Cult Status Gallery is taking a brief hiatus before moving into a new space sometime this summer. They plan to go out with a bang before closing, as gallery owner Erin Sayer will be showing paintings she's created based on the novels of Tom Robbins, as well as other work.

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In-process painting of Marcel LeFevre from Jitterbug Perfume, by Erin Sayer 
In-process painting of Marcel LeFevre from Jitterbug Perfume, by Erin Sayer 

Their lease ends in March of 2013, but Sayer has extended it one month. She says that she was essentially priced out of the location due to the extensive build out she has done to the space.

Despite controversy when CSG first moved in (a tenant of their building complained about an exterior mural the gallery commissioned by Deuce Seven, which was ultimately painted over), Sayer says the families and community members in the neighborhood have been supportive. 

She hopes the new gallery will be in Whittier to allow further partnerships with Artists in Storefronts, who teamed up with Cult Status last summer to raise money for a Guerrilla Girls billboard against the marriage amendment, and has commissioned Sayer as a muralist. Ideally, the new space will be accessible, which is a problem with their current spot -- the stairs make it impossible for people with disabilities to view the upstairs gallery. Sayer also prefers Whittier because while there are many artists that live in the neighborhood, there aren't many art galleries.

Sayer plans to exhibit 100 paintings for her solo show. Some will be new pieces based on characters from Tom Robbins novels. "His character descriptions are so vivid," she says. "There are very specific images in my head." She also notes that despite the book's popularity, there isn't a lot of illustration of it out there. "I thought I'd start amassing images," she says. Her first piece was of Alobar and Kudra from Jitterug Perfume. Alobar's face is based on Kurt Cobain, because both Cobain and Robbins are from Seattle.

Portrait of artist Gina Louise, by Erin Sayer 
Portrait of artist Gina Louise, by Erin Sayer 

After her solo show, Sayer plans to travel to Seattle, Portland, and Bend, Oregon, taking the work of a bunch of Minnesota artists with her. "It's exciting to get exposure for Minnesota artists in Seattle and other cities," she says. "I wanted to get artists that were kind of well known, but not super well known outside of Minnesota." Pieces she is bringing with her include works by Jelly Bones, Gina Louise, Rudy Fig, Biafra, Wundr, CAW, Mark Rivard, Alex Kuno, Boxy Mouse, and Rogue Citizen. "It's fun to put everyone in a new crowd. Minneapolis is such a small town," Sayer says.  

In Seattle, she'll be working with Urban Light Studios, doing an art walk in different neighborhoods in April. She'll also be showing work in Portland, though details haven't been confirmed. In Bend, she'll be displaying pieces in a huge, 5,000 square foot empty mall in the middle of the town for two weeks. She'll also be doing commissioned mural work in all of those cities. 

When she gets back from her trip, Sayer will be creating a mural for Artists in Storefronts on the north wall of Rainbow Chinese. While the final design isn't complete, she's going to be incorporating pandas. 

Sayer plans to run the new space, which she hopes to open in July, a bit differently than the current Cult Status. Since opening in 2010, "so many galleries are doing exactly what we're doing, and showing the same people now," she says. "There should be something new." She wants the space to be process oriented, with exhibiting artists required to also work in the gallery. It'll all be on a webcam showing the process, though you'll have to be at the new location to get the full experience. 

Hopefully there will be lots of music and DJ events in the space as well, perhaps just a bit more underground than their current location. "Facebook is splashed with peoples' invites," she says. "There needs to be something new that sparks people's attention, so they have to seek it out rather throwing it in their face." 


"Everything All Together"
Opening 7 p.m. Saturday, March 9
Cult Status
2913 Harriet Ave. S., Minneapolis
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Cult Status Gallery - Closed

2913 Harriet Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55408


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