In its early years, the site quickly expanded beyond artist profiles to include a user-generated events calendar, discussion forum (since discontinued “because it’s not how people are communicating online anymore”), and a listings board for arts organizations and job opportunities. It eventually grew to include an in-depth editorial section, with “meaty essays, state of the field pieces, and a lot of first-person writing by artists and artists as critics,” says Gastineau.
Now, with individual artist websites nearly ubiquitous, and a social media presence equally de rigueur, Mn Artists has evolved to serve the new world of working artists.
The initiative has ventured into live programming, including outreach programs throughout the state and public-facing events that draw substantial crowds, like the successful Internet Cat Video Festival, and a perennially popular artist-designed mini golf course on the Walker grounds.
The program’s evolution continued this year. Beginning in 2017, it introduced “Mn Artists Presents...” an event series inviting local artists to propose a topic or central question, curate an installation, performance, or discussion, and present at one of the Walker’s free-admission nights.