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Heather Kirsebom is Fostering a Sea Change


As a board member of locally based Wisdom Collective, a family of major nonprofits with the mission to inspire the next generation of community leaders, Heather Kirsebom says there’s one principle that has guided her professional trajectory to where she is today: “Everything you touch needs to have a lasting impression. You just have to show up.”

Growing up a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults), Kirsebom watched her parents navigate life in a hearing world, where they often had to fight to be acknowledged or seen. From a young age, she was taught how to take a stand and advocate for her loved ones, serving as her parents’ ASL interpreter in public spaces. Experiencing this type of “otherness” is what drew her to nonprofit work and led her to become an eventual founding board member of I CAN, an organization that empowers children aged out of foster care to believe in ideas and possibility.

The mission behind I CAN is to create infinite ripples of possibility. I understand that there’s literal and figurative meaning at play here. Can you elaborate on this?

A division of I CAN is S/Y Wisdom, a project that gives foster youth 100 days at sea to learn new life skills and passion. What so many foster kids lack, especially those aging out of the system, are opportunities to learn more about the world, try new things, and find new passions. There is less than a 3 percent chance for children who have aged out of the foster care system to earn a college degree at any point in their life. And one out of every two foster kids who age out of the system will have some form of gainful employment by the age of 24.

Can you tell us more about the program and give a glimpse into what that 100- day stay looks like?

When these kids come aboard [a 100-foot sailing ship named Wisdom], they get to see the world through a new lens. They not only gain experience exploring the Caribbean; they learn general seamanship, how to dive, CPR skills, and the fundamentals of marine biology. The goal is to provide an “I can” attitude, see what a passion-filled life looks like, and break the cycle. Through our foster care network, we identify individuals through a screening process and welcome six to eight kids aboard per trip. Wisdom sets sail three times a year; our maiden voyage left the port in April and will be at sea through July.

Why is this cause so important to you?

My mom was a foster care child, and while she was lucky to not hear the disruption of the chaos, she always craved a home base. Her mom loved her dearly but battled alcoholism and was unable to take care of her and her sister. As she moved from home to home, navigating lonely and difficult situations, her grandma instilled an “I can” mentality in her. Through her grandma, my mom learned that she can overcome adversity, she can learn new things, and she can be a successful woman.

Though you’re a born and raised Minnesotan, you lived in L.A. for quite some time. What brought you back here?

When the pandemic hit, I really started to crave being back in more natural spaces and into community. I almost lost sight of the benefit and value of being on water and how unique that is—it really reignited my love for the lakes. Getting out on the lake or into the woods is my secret sauce; it’s where I’ve learned balance.

How would you describe your personal style?

I’m all about purchasing better, not more. I’ve leaned into having a capsule wardrobe: mixing and matching high-low pieces that are functional, sustainable, and fashion-forward all at once.

Tell us about your Evereve fitting.

Well, now I wish I could have someone style me every day! It’s fun to have another individual push you to try new things that make you authentically you.

On Kirsebom: Dana tie sleeve jumpsuit ($118), Dolce Vita Paily sandals ($125), earrings ($36), from EVEREVE, evereve.com

This article originally appeared in the June 2022 issue of Mpls.St.Paul Magazine as part of our series, The Foreword, presented by Evereve.

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This Is The Closest We Will Get – Photographs by Devashish Gaur | Essay by Joanna L. Cresswell


There is a particular collage in Indian photographer Devashish Gaur’s project This Is The Closest We Will Get that stands out in its cut-and-paste simplicity. Entitled Me and Dad, it’s a portrait, black and white, cropped at the shoulders, but most importantly, it depicts two men instead of one. The sitter of the original photograph—an archival one that’s been collaged over—wears a checkered suit and his hair is neatly swept to the side. It feels formal, perhaps a little dated even. Meanwhile, slices of a second face, arranged over this sitter, belong to his son—the photographer, Gaur himself. And their features, the contours and outlines of their faces, do seem to blend quite remarkably. Father and boy, artist and sitter, portrait and self-portrait, entwined.

“Me and Dad; thinking of how much of our personalities can we rub onto each other before we start seeing each other in each other? How long can we stay our true-selves when we share the same domestic space for so long?,” 2019, from the series “This Is The Closest We Will Get” © Devashish Gaur

Blending new images, archival pictures and digital re-workings, This Is The Closest We Will Get began in 2019, after Gaur discovered photographs of his grandfather during the renovation of his family home. His grandfather had died before he was born, and yet his family had always told him how alike they were in habits and interests, so these pictures fascinated him. How strange it was, he says, to resemble someone he’d never known. Thus the project in the first instance was a visual depiction and recollection of memories and conversations about his grandfather.

“The archive and the idea of absence have been an important part of the inspiration,” Gaur explains. “It triggered questions like ‘How can we know someone who we could never meet? How are we remembered in the now? And what aspects of our lives can be seen through life in photographs?’ The project is about my grandfather, which extends to my family, and it also touches upon the idea of intergenerational intimacy and the limitations of knowledge.” So, by way of excavating the chasm between him and his grandfather, the project also became about his relationship with his father too; a relationship that has played out on much closer physical terms, but has often felt emotionally strained and distant. Sometimes, says Gaur, that’s made him wonder if “maybe the only true heirloom is memory and intergenerational trauma” and this project is him attempting to visualize that.

“Grandpa, Archives,” 2019, from the series “This Is The Closest We Will Get” © Devashish Gaur

The full title of the collage described at the beginning of this essay is, in fact Me and Dad; thinking of how much of our personalities can we rub onto each other before we start seeing each other in each other? How long can we stay our true selves when we share the same domestic space for so long? It’s a long one, yes, but inside of this musing title resides the core themes and thought processes at the heart of This Is The Closest We Will Get—a photo project about proximity, how we come to know each other and even mirror each other at home, and how the separation of family across generations complicates that. Me and Dad probes aesthetic similarities in the first instance, but in doing so what it really opens up is a space to feel around the edges of how else they may be similar too—in belief, for example, or action, or spirit. It’s a way of the artist figuring out how he and his father fit together, and how that affects their individual identities. “It is an ode to the fear of becoming like our parents,” he says.

“Dad at Home,” 2020, from the series “This Is The Closest We Will Get” © Devashish Gaur

Born in 1996, Gaur grew up in Delhi, in what he describes as a very conventional working-class family. “The only way for me to be influenced by the outer world was through television at the time,” he says, “and as drawing and sketching were a big part of my childhood, I would often escape into an imaginary world with fictional characters and repetitive looking houses, part of which was inspired by my childhood house located in a government apartment quarter.” This would explain his predilection for collage and altering images, because it’s a medium that offers world-building through the act of taking, curating and editing pictures to tell stories.

“My first inclination towards visual expression was through drawing, but I also have this clear memory of photographing the pictures from newspapers with a cellphone and thinking how it looked like I had made those photographs of celebrities and random spaces from news articles,” he recalls. “I was probably around seven or eight years old at the time and camera cellphones were still quite rare, so I was hooked on the fact that now anyone could take a picture, just like that. Photographing with cellphones has been a huge part of my process since. I went on to study communication and journalism, including photojournalism, but somehow got more interested in mixing fact and fiction. I like to create and work on narratives related to intimacy, distance, archive, youth culture, identity and the idea of home.”

“How much can the software know? How much meaning is lost in face detection and how many memories are forever gone?,” 2019, from the series “This Is The Closest We Will Get” © Devashish Gaur

That early draw towards rephotographing existing photographs, and then the trajectory towards using cellphone imagery, can be found in another of the images in This Is The Closest We Will Get. Entitled How much can the software know? How much meaning is lost in face detection and how many memories are forever gone?, it depicts a smartphone screenshot as the software tries to retroactively apply facial recognition to an archival photo of Gaur’s grandad among a group. As the questions posed in its title suggest, this image asks us how much we can really know through an image—but it also highlights ideas of surveillance that are carried through the project too. For context, Delhi is now the most surveilled city in the world, and what that means for social and private life is important for Gaur.

“Witness Of Existence,” 2019, from the series “This Is The Closest We Will Get” © Devashish Gaur

Another key image, Witness of Existence—a collage of many sets of eyes—continues the idea of surveillance. “I have been thinking a lot about how our past and present can interact with each other, and to mix historical records with current photographs has been a way to delve into a dialogue that is both a reflection of now as well as yesterday,” Gaur says. “Digital experiments like the collage of eyes act as witnesses of existence; do we need to be seen to prove that we exist or ever existed? The eyes from the archives are mostly from the people who surrounded my grandfather in old photographs… I wonder how he looked back at them.” It’s like an exercise in bridging time and space through screens, then. “To look at a photograph is to experience seeing what is gone or passed—something that is missing,” he says. “ I am always interested in how photographs from different times, places and atmospheres can be held together.”

“Dad from Archives,” 2020, from the series “This Is The Closest We Will Get” © Devashish Gaur

Some of the images in This Is The Closest We Will Get are more tender, straightforward portraits the artist has taken of his father, in which he is seen altering his appearance to look like his grandfather. This is something his dad does of his own accord, Gaur says, and then he photographs it. “There have been phases where my father decided to dress and look exactly like his own father, in remembrance, pride and honor. Having never met my grandfather, to photograph my father in a look that resembled the archives was a way of reminiscing and carrying the memories forward.” Luckily for Gaur, his family have been comfortable with having his camera around so the project was able to evolve naturally in all its strands.

“Dad dressing up as Grandpa,” 2020, from the series “This Is The Closest We Will Get” © Devashish Gaur

Gaur says that over the years, as his father ages, he sees him becoming more spare with his words, and that he’s taken to expressing his feelings about current events in short missives on social media instead of in person. “The daily status update has taken an important role in his life,” he explains. In this way, albeit secondary to the narrative of family politics, a wider political thread runs beneath these images too—one that speaks to the Indian struggle for freedom and how it has impacted family life.

“I grew up with many stories about it as my grandfather fought against oppression and British colonialism, and there are many published articles and letters that my father has been very proud of. The general idea of being anti-regime is very much ingrained within his behavior and after his retirement, he has become more critical and vocal about the state and all the wrongs which often gets his social media account suspended,” Gaur says. There’s the idea of surveillance emerging again, but where words have fallen short or become muddled or been silenced, the artist has used images to bridge the lacunae.

“Tapmrapatra; An award for outstanding contribution to freedom struggle during the British rule by the Indian Government,” 2020, from the series “This Is The Closest We Will Get” © Devashish Gaur

Right now, This Is The Closest We Will Get is still a developing project; ever-growing as relationships are, and in many ways, it’s about learning to photograph what can’t be said or seen. Through the experimental and deliberate act of altering, blending and reanimating pictures, it shows the limitless potential of photography as a narrative-based medium. Traveling into the identities of three people, it’s a story about fathers and sons, and ultimately, about how photography can help us to reconcile parts of ourselves and our histories as we shape our own identities, and become our own people.

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Will this creepy AI platform put artists out of a job?


We learn how to use Artbreeder’s AI magic.

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Waiting for Vinai? Yia Vang Feels Ya


There’s a lot of pressure in being talked about so often. Especially when you have a restaurant concept ready to go, but the universe is just not cooperating. Yia Vang has been excited to bring his Vinai to the Twin Cities for, what, like more than two years now? 

You think you’re frustrated? The James Beard-nominated chef is trying to be patient as money and permits and supply chains all work themselves out, but he’s sort of sick of waiting too. Which is why he’s operating Vinai as a residency this summer at Steady Pour

“This residency is not just a preview of the Vinai menu,” Vang said in a statement. “This residency is not a pop-up. This residency is Vinai. Vinai has never been about a specific building or even location. Vinai is a love letter to my parents,” he said.

“One thing I’ve learned from the tenacity of my parents is that you never give up, no matter how hard it gets,” said Vang. “Work the problem and move forward even though it might be just an inch. So I’ve learned that in order to get Vinai built out, it’s going to be a game of inches. So one of the next inches is to start a restaurant residency at Steady Pour. We’re not going to wait for our original building to be finished to open Vinai. We’re not going to wait or make any more excuses. We need to move forward, and more importantly we need to move forward together. We want to invite all of our diners and guests to the table as we get to show them the heart of Vinai.”

This residency follows a successful sold out pop-up earlier this year at Steady Pour on East Hennepin which is raising the game on beverages and cool event spaces. This summer, on weekends through August, dinners will offer five course meals of Vinai menu items paired with beverages selected by Steady Pour’s Jeff Seidenstricker. Tickets are $120 and are reservable starting today. 

So if you’re finally, finally ready for Vinai, you can have it. Rest assured the brick-and-mortar is still coming, but if you’re hungry, why wait?

Stephanie March

Stephanie March

Food and Dining editor Stephanie March writes and edits Mpls.St.Paul Magazine’s Eat + Drink section. She can also be heard Saturdays on her myTalk107.1 radio show, Weekly Dish, where she talks about the Twin Cities food scene.

Read more by Stephanie March

June 6, 2022

10:46 AM

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An Alternative Idea of Intimacy – Photographs by Jeanette Spicer | Interview by Magali Duzant


For New York-based photographer Jeanette Spicer, photography is a tool of connection. Whether shooting for a personal project or an editorial commission, her approach to portraiture seeks to create a space of comfort and intimacy for whoever is in front of her lens.

Spicer’s images imagine a world where bodies can free themselves of the restraints placed upon them to explore the space around them and the others sharing it. Often riffing on her existing relationships, she has worked extensively with her mother and her partner, and more recently has begun seeking people out from the lesbian, LGBTQ+ community to build long-lasting photographic collaborations.

In this interview for LensCulture, Magali Duzant talks to Spicer about the draw of portraiture, creating alternative visions of intimacy and the difference between her personal and editorial practice.

“Scratch at Keren’s” 2020, © Jeanette Spicer

Magali Duzant: As an introduction can you tell me about the themes of your work and the place of portraiture within it?

Jeanette Spicer: My work is based around intimacy. In my personal work, I collaborate with friends and family—people that I have some kind of rapport with. I don’t really work with people that I don’t know, which is interesting in contrast to editorial work, because that’s all that is. I like to have an established relationship with the people I’m photographing because what I’m really interested in is seeing people in alternatively intimate ways. I’m constantly trying to relate the body to the space that it’s in, whether it’s through patterning, shapes, inanimate objects, or organic, living ones. I’m pretty formal with my work so light and color are very important factors.

“The Church,” 2020 © Jeanette Spicer

Most recently, something that’s become increasingly important is the lesbian gaze and questioning and countering the lack of lesbian representation. I’m exploring that in both overt and sometimes more subtle ways; it’s definitely a through line. I think it shows up in the work with my mom, which has been ongoing for a number of years. It’s still something that I’ve only really just started to embrace, which I think comes with becoming more comfortable with myself as a person, and as a lesbian, and how that spills over into my work. A lot of it is about recreating relationships that I do have. It can be about those people but also sometimes it’s more about the way that their body represents a woman, a queer woman, a lesbian, a mother. To an extent I am photographing what I wish the world was like and how I wish women were represented and seen. It’s like I’m living this alternate life that I prefer. It’s escaping reality, in a healthy way, I guess.

MD: Can you briefly expand on this interest in intimacy?

JS: I’m fascinated by intimacy because it’s the main way that I relate with people. And I think connecting to people is such a big deal for me. It’s my lifeline. It’s the way that I can personally move through the world. I have it very deeply in my photographic, artistic, and personal life. It literally is just the person that I am in every capacity. With my editorial work I still try to find it, asking how I can make someone comfortable based on who they are as a person, their interests. Even my tools can be part of it. I’m not a tech or gear person but I do think about how certain cameras and lenses can help me create a mood or a feeling, get in close, put someone at ease.

“Ariana at Gunnison,” 2021, © Jeanette Spicer

MD: You’ve been photographing your mother for a number of years, how did that collaboration begin? Would you say that your two projects, mother and what it means to be here, inform each other?

JS: I’ve always been drawn to portraits and my mom has always been a recurring subject. It started because I was, and am, interested in her. I was interested in looking at tensions and boundaries in relationships and spaces. The mother work has taken on many iterations from photo to video and back to photography again.

I see the projects as separate, not like day and night, but I think the reason why they’re starting to feel like they have similarities is because I’m also working with my partner Sarah (she is in some of the work with my mom now) and that adds another dynamic and dimension. I’ve been thinking a lot about what people are—or aren’t—physically and psychologically comfortable with. I think that’s a little more obvious in the work with my mom, because we’ve been raised to think that our relationship with our mothers needs to be a certain way, and that you don’t do certain things.

“Mom and Me on My Dad’s Couch,” 2022, from the series “Mother” © Jeanette Spicer

MD: In your personal projects, such as what it means to be here, who are your subjects and where do those relationships begin?

JS: What it means to be here is the first project where I was not strict about who I worked with, I am still working within the confines of people I know, but I am much more open to people that I’ve maybe met only two or three times. I have to feel a connection of some sort. But it doesn’t have to be my partner or my mother or a best friend of five years as it has been in other projects. I think being more comfortable and open with myself and consciously trying to build out a lesbian, LGBTQ+ community, I’ve found more connections than I have in the past. Once I explain the gist of the work, because the work is so much more than just the lesbian gaze, in terms of concept and history of photography, I find people are interested. And often they want to support me, because they want to have their bodies represented in a way that’s unique. My preference is to have these people in my images present for years, because then you start to see them evolve, you gain fluency, people’s bodies change, they look different, and you know them in a deeper way.

“I Heard Your Ship Was Coming In,” 2022, from the series “What It Means To Be Here ” © Jeanette Spicer

MD: How do you direct your photographs? How much of the process would you say is collaborative, how much is spontaneous?

JS: I don’t really shoot in the moment or on the fly. I usually instruct people. As far as it’s acting or imagining how to recreate intimacy, it’s as if I’m opening up a portal to a new form of intimacy. One good thing about working with people that I know is I know their space, I observe their homes, I make notes for possible shoots, I follow up. Initially, I definitely start from a planned, posed space. I am pretty specific about why I’m shooting where. But then in the moment I do usually let spontaneity kind of guide us. I feel often it’s those in-between moments where I’ve asked a subject to move her head or arm, I shoot, and then as I’m reviewing the image, maybe she shifts a certain way to pick up a glass or adjust something and that’s the image. That’s often what I end up photographing.

MD: Where did your interest in pursuing editorial work come from?

JS: I think it came from growing up during the 90s. And in all seriousness, being in the car a lot and hearing music, and wondering what the CD covers looked like. My parents, for some reason, didn’t have a lot of records around but I love album art. It’s so good and hilarious. When I could, I would sit with CDs and look at the way the photographer would set the band up. On the other hand, I also love poetry because it’s a visual language. I have to do the work, I have to imagine. And that always stuck with me.

We Want Our Friends Back! (But Which Ones?), 2021, commissioned by The New York Times © Jeanette Spicer

MD: What is your approach in making portraits for editorial commissions? Is there a difference in the direction you give, the sense of collaboration, how you’re working with a subject, in comparison to your personal work?

JS: The editorial work is quite new for me. It’s important to highlight that because I still feel as if it’s my first day of school every time. And so I’m still learning myself. I try to keep in mind that I was clearly chosen for my style. The main thing is being true to myself. I really do my research, I try to figure out how these people look when they’re being photographed. Do they look comfortable? Do they look natural? What’s already been done? How do I make a different photograph? I want to find an alternate side to somebody and an alternate idea of intimacy within the particular situation. So when I photographed Alison Bechdel, for example, I thought: how do I find a new way to depict someone who is in their 60s, who is a very well-known lesbian artist? She has been documented for decades. It’s my job to have the world be able to look at these people in a different way.

Outtake of Alison Bechdel, 2021, commissioned by NY Magazine © Jeanette Spicer

Most of the time, I haven’t read the article beforehand—you might get a snippet or a title. That may give me an idea or an angle. And I find that even more interesting, than reading an article to start. When I photographed Julia Ducournau and Agathe Rouselle, a director and actress from the film Titane, for the New York Times, I looked at the way that they had been shot in the past. I started thinking about the relationship between a new actor and a director. I watched them on red carpet events and the way that they were physically with each other, which was very intimate, very close. I was thinking about how I was not just composing the image, but also who was in focus and who was in the background, that’s why I used the mirror to reflect back to Julia, for example. So in a sense Agathe is sort of holding her. I didn’t want to do anything traditional or straightforward. I wanted it to be more realistic and intimate, because these are two people who are artists in their own rights and have worked together.

Julia Ducournau and Agathe Rousselle, 2021, commissioned by The New York Times © Jeanette Spicer

MD: What led to your interest in working with mirrors and shadows? What do they represent for you? I see them throughout your photographs in surprising and sometimes confounding ways.

JS: Jack Halberstram speaks about the way a mirror opens up space for opportunity in the book The Queer Art of Failure and that really stuck with me. The mirror makes new spaces, in certain set ups it creates relationships that exist in the photograph but not in real life. The mirror can fragment the body and maybe even help the viewer to think about LGBTQ+ representation and intimacy differently. I guess the whole point is to try to depict and imagine a different way of seeing in a society that often doesn’t fully recognize enough possibility. There is an image of Sarah where we see her androgynous form in shadow. I wanted there to be a repetition of her breast. It’s hard to tell if there are two people there or one with her own shadow. I’m trying to learn and unlearn how to see, to question how we’ve been taught to see.

“Two of the Same,” 2022 from the series “Mother” © Jeanette Spicer

MD: In your mind, what makes a great portrait?

JS: A great portrait is one that makes me think about what I’m seeing, not in an overly complicated way but with a bit of mysterious intention. Something unusual, nothing straightforward. I think great use of light is always key, it can make something so much more evocative. Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about motion. How can you either create it or allude to it, what can it add?

MD: Are there other projects that you’re working on that feed your creativity? Are there other artists you are inspired by?

JS: I am one of the co-founders of WMN zine alongside Florencia Alvarado and Sara Duell. It is a publication of art and poetry by those who identify as lesbians. Each issue varies in theme and we’ve worked with older generation dykes, lesbians who identify as disabled and/or are living with a physical, sensory, cognitive, or chronic illness and we are currently working on a call for those who have had experience with migration, immigration and displacement. So that influences my work, because it keeps me looking at art and reading poetry and it allows me to help create a platform to uplift other lesbian artists and writers.

In terms of other artists, Francesca Woodman is a huge inspiration. She left such a mark on the world and there’s so much you can continue to learn and pull from. I love Elliott Jerome Brown Jr’s work. I think the way they work with the medium is incredibly unique. I love Keisha Scarville’s photographs and the paintings of Jenna Gribbon. There are so many—too many to name.

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How to Photoshop someone into a picture


Photoshop opens a world of wonders when it comes to changing up a photo. Here’s a beginner’s tutorial on how to add friends, family members, celebrities – or anyone – into a picture they weren’t in.

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Coming Soon: A New Food Hall on Eat Street


“We love this neighborhood, most of us have lived or worked in it at some point in our lives, we just think it’s time to give it more attention,” Lina Goh said about Eat Street, the eclectic neighborhood that offers a diverse menu of restaurants and night life along Nicollet Avenue. John Ng added, “When we first came to Minneapolis so many years ago, we had our first meal on Eat Street.”

That’s why they’ve decided to open a food hall there, at 2821 Nicollet. Eat Street Crossing will be a food hall in the Old Arizona Studios building, which if you remember had an odd Western movie kind of vibe. Lina Goh and John Ng, who own Zen Box Izakaya, have partnered up with Ben Spangler and Gabby Grant-Spangler of Bebe Zito to launch this new project slated to open later this summer. Are you already thinking about ramen and ice cream? Hold on. 

The food hall will hold six unique concepts, each with its own identity and look, but instead of bringing outside vendors in, the partners will be creating the food stalls. We know that fan-favorites from Bebe Zito will be offered, so yes burgers and ice cream of a sort, but they’re also working on a new concept that we haven’t seen from the creative duo. Team Zen Box won’t be recreating Zen Box, but they aren’t revealing what exactly their food stalls will be yet. Though, I did put in a heavy ask for ramen. You’re welcome. 

Along with the six counter service food stalls, there will be indoor and outdoor seating, event space, and a full bar and beverage program run by drinks maven Trish Gavin, lastly of Khaluna and Lat14. Gavin plans to feature a themed cocktail menu that changes quarterly, and she’s really honed her NA beverage skills and wants to show them off, “I’m super excited that we will also have a huge non-alcoholic cocktail program, keeping things accessible for those who prefer alcohol-free options. We will also feature many items designed using sugar alternatives for diabetic accessibility. Our drinks will also be approachable from a pricing standpoint.” Additionally, there will be a wine wall, offering a rotation of boutique, moderately priced wines. The property will also house a liquor store, which will have its own entrance, but will be accessible from the food hall. 

But this is not a market. “We don’t want to confuse people with the name, or what we’re doing,” Goh told me, “We’re not selling groceries or wares, ESC will focus on good eating and gathering. We’re thinking about this like the food halls in Singapore that I grew up with. This community is so diverse and creative, with MCAD nearby and residents from all walks of life, we want to give them a space where we can all hang out together. We started this project before the pandemic, and it’s taken so long to get here. But we see people needing to meet up and we feel it more than ever, that this is the right place for this food hall.” 

The 15,000-square-foot building is undergoing renovations as we speak. On the job is Christian Dean Architecture, which has had a hand in the way Colita, Kado no Mise, and Quang all look. Everyone wants the historic brick and stone element to stay intact. There will be a mezzanine level for live music and events.

Watch along their Facebook and Insta as they continue to shape up the old building. If all goes well, they should be able to open late this summer. Stay tuned for more info about the coming concepts!

Stephanie March

Stephanie March

Food and Dining editor Stephanie March writes and edits Mpls.St.Paul Magazine’s Eat + Drink section. She can also be heard Saturdays on her myTalk107.1 radio show, Weekly Dish, where she talks about the Twin Cities food scene.

Read more by Stephanie March

June 6, 2022

8:40 AM

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The Outlands – Photographs by William Eggleston | Book review by Mark Durden


William Eggleston’s photography, drawn from his immediate surroundings, Memphis and its environs, offers one of the most intensive and concentrated responses to place in the history of photography. Eggleston’s remarkable pictures are the result of observing the world seemingly without judgement and certainly without imposing a commentary upon it. His pictures are a response to the way things look as they are photographed—and importantly in color. It was his use of color and his receptivity to its formal potential within photography that made his work so exceptional. But it is now 45 years since this work was first shown. What does his photography mean today when color photography has become so familiar and so ordinary?

The three-volume boxed set The Outlands returns us to the first in the Steidl publication series, Chromes, since both are drawn from the mass of color transparencies that remained after John Szarkowski’s selection for Eggleston’s groundbreaking 1976 New York MoMA exhibition. Selected and edited by Eggleston’s two sons, William and Winston, together with editor and writer Mark Holborn, The Outlands like Chromes shows us the riches Szarkowski missed. In The Outlands volumes, this amounts to 400 plates of previously unseen pictures. In total, Eggleston made 5,500 transparencies between 1969 and 1974.

From the book “The Outlands” by William Eggleston published by Steidl, 2021 © 2021 Eggleston Artistic Trust

Like the MoMA show, The Outlands also includes family pictures. But the range and breadth of imagery is more expansive than Szarkowski’s selection, offering a vivid portrayal of the American South in transformation, both the lingering traces of the Depression-era and Antebellum past and the colorful parade of signs from more recent commercial architecture—markers of what William Eggleston III refers to as “the encroaching suburban sprawl of Memphis.”

The title The Outlands is taken from the family name on a sign of a suburban house among the early pictures presented in Volume One. As a title, The Outlands works well in its suggestion of the edges and peripheries of places that Eggleston often photographed. But it also perfectly suits what these pictures are: outtakes. Since their selection involves a return to the transparencies remaining after those edited for Chromes, they are second outtakes. Only there is no sense that they are secondary or second rate.

From the book “The Outlands” by William Eggleston published by Steidl, 2021 © 2021 Eggleston Artistic Trust

As in their three-volume Los Alamos Revisited and the ten-volume The Democratic Forest, Steidl continue to show us the extraordinary and impressive immensity of Eggleston’s color work. And none of these books disappoint. In many ways, such remarkable publications offer a perfect form for the presentation of his photography. For both Chromes and The Outlands, digital scanning and printing technology has meant the intensity of the colors of the transparencies have not been lost and in some cases original color has been restored in the reproductions. Gerhard Steidl even suggests the reproductions have a quality akin to the dye transfer printing process that was used for the photographs in Eggleston’s MoMA exhibition. Eggleston had been drawn to the expensive dye transfer print because of its “overwhelming” color saturation, which meant it was more dramatic and offered a less faithful depiction than the C-print—“by the time you get into all those dyes, it doesn’t look at all like the scene, which in some cases is what you want.”

Mark Holborn notes that with the passing of time the photographs in The Outlands have become “social documents.” Most photographs take on a documentary value over time. These transparencies do invariably give us a document of Memphis and the Delta in the late 1960s and early 1970s. But much as they might accrue historical interest and even though a few pictures acknowledge the documentary history of the American South, the overriding intention and motivation seems far from the documentary cause and tradition. The content of these pictures might have dated but their aesthetic has not. We can still learn from Eggleston, especially when so much photography today seems to be illustrating research.

From the book “The Outlands” by William Eggleston published by Steidl, 2021 © 2021 Eggleston Artistic Trust

The Outlands consists of sequences of pictures that seem to be organized in clusters and groupings determined by subject matter or, as the opening series reveals, by the formal strategy adopted: photographs all taken with the camera close to the ground. A family car, a blue Suburban Chevrolet, viewed from low down, provides the iconic and fitting opening picture of Volume One. The photograph was apparently made close to where he made his low-angled picture of the tricycle, which adorned the cover of the book that accompanied Szarkowski’s MoMA show, William Eggleston’s Guide.

Early in The Outlands there is a series of photographs of the fronts and gardens of suburban houses, studies in local variation and styles, wry markers of taste and aspirations. They are not overly standardized homes that are pictured. There is a clear interest in this architectural vernacular and it recurs later in Volume Three, with a few photographs of the front of suburban homes, bathed in golden-light. But in its entirety The Outlands is testimony to something very different to the world of such pictures. Many photographs are drawn to more unkempt and untidy spaces and structures. There are many pictures of local architecture—churches, snack bars, gas stations, roadside stores, barber shops, drive-ins, liquor stores, motels and storefronts.

From the book “The Outlands” by William Eggleston published by Steidl, 2021 © 2021 Eggleston Artistic Trust

Many of Eggleston’s pictures reveal a fascination with the pictorial possibilities of words—from faded lettering on walls and shopfronts to the varied typographic forms and styles of newer commercial signage. The standardization of consumer culture does not yet appear to have fully taken over and his pictures appear to relish the signs on many of the more improvized and makeshift structures, the inventive marketing and design ploys adopted by small local businesses and roadside traders. There are a few pictures of consumer goods—the photograph of a bread called Wonder, the last loaf left on the shelf. The bread’s name conjures up something other than the ordinariness of the product and also might be seen to describe Eggleston’s own artistry: his wondrous relation to the quotidian and mundane. While one might see a certain Pop sensibility in some of his photographs, the abiding interest seems to be not with the sheen of signs but their material presence and temporality. There is a memorable photograph, for example, of a visceral slab of steak in an ad that is blistering and decaying.

There seem to be proportionally fewer pictures of people in The Outlands than in those photographs initially chosen and exhibited by Szarkowski. Eggleston makes a tribute to the Delta Blues musician, Fred McDowell, in a picture that draws attention to the colorful attire of Black mourners at his funeral. It is followed by a graceful portrait of a young African American woman in a church interior—this picture also adorns the cover of Volume One of The Outlands. She is photographed as she turns and looks behind her, her left hand on her left shoulder and with her wedding finger raised slightly to show off its distinctive, crescent-shaped ring. The beauty of this portrait jars with the stark and blunt document of poverty on the next page. It is an awkward, discordant but also necessary picture: a bed-ridden mother, beneath a colorful quilt, together with her wide-eyed young child in the interior of a shack. It offers a clear continuity, albeit in color, from the Depression-era photography of the 1930s, a discomfiting reminder that certain realities and inequalities remain.

From the book “The Outlands” by William Eggleston published by Steidl, 2021 © 2021 Eggleston Artistic Trust

The last of the three volumes of The Outlands closes with the photograph of a yellow sunset. This is also the final picture in the final volume of all the Steidl publications on his color work. What an ending. It is a cliché, but it teaches us to enjoy sunsets again, bereft of irony. The photograph is the culmination of a series of pictures beginning with stormy grey skies, followed by twilight and end of day photographs. They bring the book to a lively close. We are also taken beyond the cultural, with a final focus upon the sense of nature’s abiding splendor through the drama of its evening skies, though not always pictured separate from views of roads and junctions, cars and parking lots, service stations and motel signs.

The last sunset is preceded by a photograph taken at night in the back of a car, a portrait of a woman wrapped in black fur, seemingly unresponsive to being photographed, asleep perhaps. The car’s green interior and general tone of the picture is tempered by the touch of red made by the Winston cigarette pack in the car door pocket and the warmth of the skin on the side of her face that is visible. With this picture of a figure huddled up in the interior, an intimate and everyday moment is set against the pressing cold and void outside, palpably conveyed through color, the expanse of black that is framed by the car door’s window. Seen in sequence the resplendent sunset that follows and ends the book offers a beautiful and effective counterpoint to that black.

From the book “The Outlands” by William Eggleston published by Steidl, 2021 © 2021 Eggleston Artistic Trust

Writing on Knut Hamsun’s novels, Karl Ove Knausgaard refers to their “in-the-midst-of-life modernism.” This description also offers a fitting way of thinking about Eggleston’s lyrical, playful and color-rich responses to the lifeworld—pictures remarkable for their formal brilliance in relation to what was often a rather ordinary and unexceptional real or as with those sunsets, dismissed as cliché.

Editor’s note: Mark Durden would like to thank Peter Finnemore for his incisive thoughts on Eggleston.

The Outlands

by William Eggleston

Publisher: Steidl Books
ISBN: 978-3-95829-265-9

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You can soon create VFX with Netflix


Netflix ‘n work as NetFX emerges in beta.

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A Timeline of Mpls.St.Paul Magazine’s History



Zibeta hits the scene—a downtown Minneapolis where-to-go-and-what-to-see magazine—including skin flicks because, well, ’70s gonna ’70s. After five issues, founding owner/editor/publisher James Roberts changes the name to MPLS.


Burt Cohen, a respected former New York Times manager, buys the mag—now called Mpls. He promises his wife, Rusty, he’ll take the magazine’s young editor, Brian Anderson, and sales manager, Gary Johnson, to lunch at Charlie’s Cafe and fire them both. When Burt gets home, he has some explaining to do.


Leadership realizes if you include “the other Twin City” in the actual title, you can increase your readership and double your ad revenue. Mpls. is reborn as Mpls.St.Paul.


Steve Adams, owner of Chicago magazine and son of WCCO radio legend Cedric Adams, buys Mpls.St.Paul from Burt Cohen. He elects to keep the triumvirate of Cohen, Anderson, and Johnson in place. Within five years, the three amigos buy it back.


Top Docs debuts to help readers find the perfect white coats to pair with their aches and pains.


Deb Hopp, former Twin Cities Reader editor and publisher, is recruited by Gary Johnson to start up Twin Cities Business Monthly. Eventually, Hopp pulls double duty as publisher of Mpls.St.Paul as well.


Mpls.St.Paul partners with WCCO-TV to build Channel 4000, a television-centric news website. The mag figures it might as well experiment with this newfangled internet thing itself, launching mspmag.com. Google which one of these platforms is still with us.


After Dwight and Vance Opperman sell legal giant West Publishing to Toronto-based Thomson Reuters for $3.4 billion, they buy Mpls.St.Paul from Cohen, Anderson, and Johnson. The Oppermans keep the triumvirate in place.


The mag links with the American Society of Interior Designers to renovate ASID’s fourth annual showcase home, a Victorian-style mansion on Lake of the Isles. Post–Pearl Harbor, Minneapolis South High alum Josh Hartnett buys it for $2.395 million the next year.


Brian Anderson, the only editor in chief most of our readers—not to mention our writers and editors—have ever known, succumbs to cancer. Everyone at the magazine is devastated, but his onetime protégé, Jayne Haugen Olson, does what seems like the impossible and steps into Anderson’s shoes.


After conveniently leaving her noncompete in a desk drawer unsigned, Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl—who initially built her colorful-wig-wearing foodie-queen rep at City Pages—defects from our bitter rivals at Minnesota Monthly and begins writing for the good guys.


Sportscaster Ralph Jon Fritz’s daughter Shelly Crowley returns as associate publisher of Mpls.St.Paul and is ultimately named publisher.


The Timeline, a new monthly front-of-book department filled  with impossibly witty asides on key dates in Twin Cities history, debuts in our Super Bowl issue. Meta? Us? No way.  


Nora McInerny cancels her own monthly column in protest when the magazine makes cancelled radio show host Garrison Keillor its cover subject for the Hindsight 2020 issue—a themed issue about regret.


With a global pandemic warding staff away from our downtown Minneapolis offices for two years, Vance Opperman buys a building across the river near Prospect Park. After four decades of listening to a certain demo complain that we don’t cover St. Paul enough—well, if you can’t beat ’em…

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Great Portrait Advice from Award-Winning Photographers, Part 2


As the deadline approaches for the LensCulture Portrait Awards (closing soon — 23 February 2022!), we reached out to dozens of former winners and finalists from prior editions of the LensCulture Portrait Awards to ask them for their advice on how to make a great portrait.

We ended up receiving so many insightful and inspiring replies that we decided to split up their responses into two separate articles. Read part 1 of this inspiring series and then scroll down to see the rest. We hope these words of wisdom inspire you to make some great new work of your own.

Jack. From the series “A Portrait Revisited: 1986, 2006.” © Roderick McNicol, LensCulture Portrait Awards 2016—see full series

Roderick McNicol

Portraiture is a crossroad at the core of all art. We have forever been fascinated by images of ourselves and the other. This is especially true of photography. Since its inception, photography has primarily been focused on humankind. These days, we are drowning in a tsunami of images featuring people. Each new image is rapidly consumed by the next. Nothing much resonates. And yet, if we are to do portraiture justice, we must make images that resonate.

Seek always to make work that you are passionate about. Never try to second-guess what jurors or editors or curators might be looking for when you are making or submitting new work. Your own heartfelt conviction will be your best guide!

If you work in series—as I do—make sure there is a cohesive thread through all your images. And if you do have a particular photograph that encapsulates the essence of your series, use it as the cover image. Above all, do not be wary of obsession—obsession is a good companion for any artist.

Caroline and David, Holmewood Community Center. I met these two at Holmewood community center where the charity MacIntyre runs daily activities for people with learning disabilities and autism. David showed me their printmaking equipment. He was making bags for sale in a MacIntyre shop. This photo was taken during their coffee break. © Polly Braden, LensCulture Portrait Awards 2016—see the full series

Polly Braden

My most important recommendation for portrait photographers is this: put your camera down. In terms of professional advice, I would say that it’s important to be brave and meet people.

IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization). Ramallah, Palestine. Life has stopped; women await the return of their men. While they wait for the jail sentences to end, the women take care of all of their husbands’ objects as if, at any moment, they could return home. © Antonio Faccilongo, LensCulture Portrait Awards 2015—see the full series

Antonio Faccilongo

Try to understand how to represent a person (or an entire community) by studying their characteristics and most intimate traits. A phase of preliminary observation will allow you to reproduce the features of the subject, as well as their personality and culture, in your photographs. The peculiarity of portrait photography lies in its communicative power, which is expressed through the interaction between the creator, subject and observer of the picture.

When I take photographs, I try to get close to the subject, capturing the naturalness of a glance or the expressiveness of a gesture in order to bring out its essence. In the case of my “Habibi” project, it was necessary to wait until the subject acquired the right degree of trust and confidence; it was crucial that they feel the need to be photographed. With this approach, I was able to get inside a reality that is complex and often difficult to access. That closeness is essential to a great portrait.

Untitled © Aoife Herrity, LensCulture Portrait Awards 2014—see the other single-image finalists

Aoife Herrity

In regards to creative advice, if you have a project in mind, stick to your vision. It can feel daunting—particularly if people are offering time or resources for little or no money. But if you know you’re onto something, digging your heels in can be worth it!

In regards to career, you never know who your next client will be, so it pays to be receptive and open to everyone you meet. There’s a tremendous entrepreneurial attitude among creatives these days. It’s very reciprocal and inspiring and is definitely worth tuning into.

Hannah, 15 years old. “Boko Haram stormed into my house on the night of September 28, 2013. They asked my sister, mother and I to come outside. My father was not around at the time. They asked our names and upon hearing our Christian names they decided to take me away. I am the daughter of a pastor, and at the time I was only 14 years old…” © Ruth McDowall, LensCulture Portrait Awards 2016—see the full series

Ruth McDowall

I have learned to work slowly and take my time. I believe that a portrait can be an exchange of understanding, an intimate moment between the photographer and sitter. It is hard to explain, but the sitter can show something deep in themselves to the photographer. I photograph people and stories that I can connect to emotionally and spiritually. I have to have some type of connection, otherwise the images will just be bland and boring. The emotional side is paramount.

As a photographer, I think if you take images of people and stories that interest you, that passion will be visible in the work. Don’t photograph what you feel you should, what you think will get you into magazines or win you awards. I photograph what I WANT to photograph, whether it is totally out of left field and random, or whether it is currently newsworthy. Oh, and buy a 50mm lens!

Gabel, 23, and Serhan, 19, are fighters from the Hashd al Shaabi militia. They are manning a checkpoint in the recently liberated areas near Mosul University in eastern Mosul, Iraq. The checkpoint is subjected to mortar fire and drones dropping explosives from ISIS positions on the far back of the Tigris river. © Osie Greenway, LensCulture Portrait Awards 2016—see the other jurors’ picks

Osie Greenway

When you approach a subject to take their portrait, do not break eye contact. Let them know you are serious about their portrait. This is one lesson I learned from a mentor when I first started photographing. It’s easy to overlook when you’re in the field running from place to place, but I’ve found that it’s important to remember. When you take the time to show your true self to your subject—it’s surprising what they will show you.

The Gleaners © Matt Hamon, LensCulture Portrait Awards 2016—see the full series

Matt Hamon

Beyond simply making portraits in general, I think it’s critical to identify a thematic group of individuals to photograph. Of course, we can appreciate effective portraits of any people in any context, but identifying a specific cross-section of a culture as a subject for your portrait series allows for secondary and tertiary narratives to emerge. Those narratives help anchor each portrait within a cultural context and offer a kind of resonance.

Ultimately, I think it’s a good idea to present an emphatic personal style throughout your portfolio. This gives art directors the confidence to work with you, as they know what to expect from your work and know you can pull it off.

The Tsaatan Woman with Reindeer. © Madoka Ikegami, LensCulture Portrait Awards 2016—see full series

Madoka Ikegami

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about portrait photography and creating a compelling portrait. First, I try to remember to be an actor myself. The first challenge every portrait photographer faces is to break the superficial wall between them and their subject. What works best for me is to “act” in my head as if I were their best friend, mother, daughter or lover, regardless of sex…People open up when they are heard and seen. This becomes especially important when there is a language barrier. I try to remember to smile at them in the same way that I smile at the important people in my life.

In some cases, people freeze in front of the camera because they think I’m looking for a perfect smile and they feel inadequate. So I try to convince them that “perfect” equals boring to me. When they know they don’t need to put on a perfect face, they tend to become more expressive and reveal themselves more. When nothing else is working, if they’re still very tense, I often get them to jump and skip with me for a minute so their self-consciousness shifts. This also gives their faces better color, and their shoulders relax, too!

In terms of professional advice, it’s generally tough to survive just on portrait shoots unless you establish yourself in specific, big-bucks markets like baby shoots, CEO portraits, celebrity portraits, etc. Developing skills in other genres will certainly save you when you run out of portrait jobs, but it will also sharpen your portrait skills: for example, skills you develop while shooting news stories will help you look for spontaneous moments in pre-planned, studio-lit portrait sessions.

Editors’ Note: The 9th annual LensCulture Portrait Awards are now open for entries! Enter now for a chance to get your work in front of editors from TIME, National Geographic, WIRED, Le Monde’s M Magazine, FOAM and the rest of the world-class jury. There are also a host of other great awards. You can find out more about the competition on its Call for Entries.

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How to create dispersion effect in Photoshop


The dispersion effect not only looks cool, but it’s easy to achieve. We show you how to make the subject of your photograph looks like it’s disintegrating. All you’ll need is Photoshop CC, a few brushes and a bit of creativity.

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