Minnesota's Legacy

Artist Initiative

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2016 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund
Karen Melvin
Recipient Type
Start Date
March 2016
End Date
February 2017
Activity Type
Counties Affected
Legal Citation / Subdivision
Laws of Minnesota 2015 Special Session, chapter 2, article 4, section 2, subdivision 3
Appropriation Language

ACHF Arts Access

2016 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Other Funds Leveraged
Direct expenses
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

To introduce more Minnesotans to at a black and white photography exhibit of past events and iconic personalities in the professional wrestling world. It will be evaluated by the number of people in attendance at the opening and throughout the run of the show. Also by the effectiveness of placement of marketing and PR activities to advertise the show.

Measurable Outcome(s)

Minnesotans who might not see a black and white gallery show were exposed to the format of fine art framed, printed and displayed. Attendance at the opening and throughout the run of the show was a main determining factor, also awareness raised by electronic media, Facebook, and shares with local wrestling podcast shows. Jeff Harrington, the director of the MPLS Photo Center, reported a steady flow of gallery viewers throughout the six weeks and had sales to date of five prints, one framed. HE estimated that on average daily attendance was 8-10 show attendees. 2: More MInnesotans were introduced to a gallery show of black and white prints of a Minnesota artist. Wrestler Jumping Jim Brunzell assisted me on two radio shows, KQRS and WCCO, and also showed up to meet the gallery goers on the opening night. Historian George Schire and MIch Karch were also in attendance on opening night and added to the nostalgia of the evening. Not only did gallery goers see the prints, but also the wrestlers and personalities who were in attendance.

Description of Funds
Project Overview
Artist Initiative
Project Details
Melvin will edit and print “Bash,” her series of black and white photos of professional wrestling in Minnesota in the 1980s. The exhibition will also contain current photos showing where the “wrastlers” are today. An exhibition is planned for a venue in
Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
Karen Melvin
(612) 850-9242
Competitive Grant Making Body
Board Members and Qualifications
Ardell Brede: Mayor of Rochester, elected 2002.; Peggy Burnet: Businesswoman, art collector, and community volunteer. Chair of the Nominating Committee, Smithsonian National Board. Trustee, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Vice Chair, Minnesota State Arts Board.; Michael Charron: Dean of the School of the Arts, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. Chair, Minnesota State Arts Board.; Rebecca Davis-Lee: Touring pianist, piano and music theory teacher; Sean Dowse, Executive director, Sheldon Theatre. Board member for Minnesota Music Coalition, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, and Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, Treasurer, Minnesota State Arts Board.; David Glenn: Executive director of the Minnesota Project, ceramic artist; Thomas Moss: Consultant to nonprofits and government agencies; Janice Sivertson: Gallery owner and visual artist; Dobson West: Senior advisor, Spell Capital Partners Fund
Advisory Group Members and Qualifications
Hillary Berg: Photographer; Arts Board grantee; Elizabeth Blair: Artist Initiative grantee in photography; professor at Southwest Minnesota State University; Luke Erickson: Photographer; consultant at Instinct Art Gallery; photo curator for the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography; Linda Gammell: Photographer and teacher; Arts Board grantee; Peter Happel Christian: Photographer; Arts Board grantee; professor of integrated media at Saint Cloud State University; Suzanne Kosmalski: Installation artist and photographer; Arts Board grantee; Margaret Ojala: Photographer and professor of art, St Olaf College; Carrie Thompson: Studio manager for photographer Alec Soth; Arts Board grantee
Conflict of Interest Disclosed