Meet the Art-A-Whirl artist: Russ White


[This weekend marks the 21st annual Art-A-Whirl, a three-day celebration where hundreds of artists working in northeast Minneapolis open up their studios for gallery shows, artist's talks, special sales, demonstrations, and more. In preparation for the huge festival, we'll be taking a moment to meet a handful of the talented artists, businesses, and creative project managers who make Northeast the artsy hub it is.]

Your name: Russ White

Where we can find your this weekend: 

In the basement of the Casket Arts Building, studio LL10.

Years spent in your current space, and working in MN:


Two years

Briefly, tell us about what you do and why:

I do mostly large-scale colored pencil drawings and sculptural installations with a heavy dose of social satire. The way I see it, there are so many problems in the world, we might as well have a good time trying to solve them.

Name three things that are influencing your work right now:

Current events

Standup comedians

Maurizio Cattelan

Name three things that inspired and/or motivated you as a budding creative type:

Calvin & Hobbes

Comic books

Dead Kennedys

What was your last big project?


I just had a solo show at Gamut Gallery of drawings, photos, and installations inspired by vehicles and toy model kits.

What do you have going on now or coming up in the near future that should be on our radar?

I will be hunkering down over the next few months to make new work, but I’m usually open for Casket Arts First Thursdays (5-9 p.m. every month). The next BIG show will be Open Casket on October 7-9. Expect to see a whole bunch of new, fun stuff at that one.

Are you doing anything special for Art-A-Whirl?

I’ll be showing work from the Gamut show and some brand new drawings and sculptures never before seen. Come on down!


How has the Minnesota scene changed since you began working here?

Well, I’ve only lived here two years, and I feel like I’m only just beginning to scratch the surface of the arts scene here. Having a front row seat on the NEMAA board now, I will say I’m impressed with the progress that’s been made behind the scenes just in the past year to make Art-A-Whirl even better for visitors and artists.

What was your favorite toy growing up and why?

For toys, definitely Legos because I could build as precisely or as ridiculously as I wanted. But I probably spent more time drawing than anything else as a kid. Turns out copying those ninja turtles over and over again was time well spent after all.