Curated by Mike Curran
July 23rd, 2022 to August 21st, 2022
Water has a way of seeping in. It pools at the window wells and finds cracks in the foundation. Or it rushes in all at once, when the mechanisms we designed to contain it fail—when the channel becomes overrun or the levees break or the sewage line backs up. Once the floodwater is pumped out, the long labor begins to again make a basement inhabitable: throwing out soaked-through belongings, replacing drywall, scraping away the muck carried in with the water. This exhibition is built of that muck. It’s also built of that long labor, and the hope that this place can again be made livable. Read more here!
Carlos Macías Esparza
Rubén Macías Esparza
Exhibiton booklet and poster designed by Tom Gaasedelen
Just For Us
New work from Calvin Hafermann and Sam Dirck
June 4th-July 3rd, 2022
Opening reception June 4th, 2022
Just For Us is the first collaborative exchange between artists Calvin Hafermann and Sam Dirck. We are excited to present work from each artist after hosting our first studio residency at Waiting Room’s location on Columbus Avenue.
Engulfed between the shimmering, far-off beauty of one’s ideals and the inarticulate banality in the succession of days. The title is both deeply, viciously self-mocking and cynical, but also earnest in its intimate suggestion. The work displays a demeanor that resembles an aloof geniality, preserving aesthetic ties to Fine Art and Design as much as cosmic hyperbole. Once you delve deeper, past the aesthetics, it's hard not to wish for a few more distinguishing moments to hold onto. Maybe that’s an aspect of the artists, Sam Dirck and Calvin Hafermann’s well-developed gaze toward abstraction: one that sees the futility of overcrowding meaning, both personal and political, acknowledging that prescriptive interpretation is an unbearable alternative. Read more here.
Sam Dirck (he/him) is a visual artist living and working in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Dirck’s studio practice centers around concepts of camouflage, semiotics and simultaneity. He utilizes hard edge abstraction and expressionism to create a slurring of historically formulaic styles of painting. When situated properly, the work depicts a system of layers that oppose and reinforce eachother. Dirck’s work is owned by private collectors across the globe. His first solo show at Waiting Room in 2020, Boredom Fantasy Mimesis, was featured in Art Forum’s Critic’s Picks.
Calvin Hafermann (he/him) is an artist living and working in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Primarily working in sculpture, he is interested in surface as a polyvalent expression of synthetic design as it relates to desire, distraction, intimacy, distance and presence. He received his BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2020.
All images taken by Jaysen Hohlen.
Exhibition by Kristina Johnson
Located within the Otto Bremer Room at the George Latimer Central Library in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota.
January 29th to February 6th, 2022
Link to exhibition text and gallery map
Celebrated for over 135 years, the St. Paul Winter Carnival is one of our nation’s oldest and greatest seasonal traditions. Special events sponsored by major local businesses began in the late 1880s as a way to reinvigorate the spirit of the North during its most desolate months. For the artist Kristina Johnson, the Carnival is a way to connect to her family and their strongly rooted ties to Minnesota’s history. Johnson is the great, great, great granddaughter of Jacob Schmidt, founder of the Schmidt Brewery; and the great granddaughter of Edward G. Bremer, a St. Paul banker who was kidnapped by the infamous Barker-Karpis gang in 1934. This exhibition is a unique display of Johnson’s artwork interwoven with heirloom treasures from her family’s archive, highlighting the multiple generations of relatives who all grew up enjoying the Winter Carnival.
Kristina Johnson is an artist and curator currently living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She runs Waiting Room, an arts platform that directly supports the cultivation of art and culture within the Twin Cities. Johnson has curated exhibitions exploring critical questions about the relationship of art to abstraction, the environment, social concerns, political issues and theories of identity, individuation, and subjectivation. Her curatorial work has been featured in Artforum’s “Critics’ Picks”; as well as personally featured in local Twin Cities publications such as City Pages, MNDaily, and Star Tribune.
The Saint Paul Winter Carnival is produced by the Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation and is funded by private donations and corporate contributions. The Board of Directors, supported by hundreds of corporate and individual members, employs a full time staff to help plan this community celebration.
I forgot my day
Organized by John Herbert
July 30th, 2021-August 29th, 2021
“I forgot my day” stands as a chronicling of engagement with everyday magical acts. A nostalgic importance is set on the memorable but history-stricken outcomes of navigating the world through shared yet unfamiliar moments. The participating artists in “I forgot my day” examine the intimate yet impersonal nature of humanity. Throughout the exhibition are referential interactions and imagined confrontations with time. The artists present us with feelings of humor, nostalgia, and nothingness which become harmoniously interwoven with Waiting Room’s enamoring basement space.
This exhibition is held in a century old structure imbued with memory, the works included lend an appreciative hand to the everyday and imagined-- noting that the magic behind the unmonumental is paradoxically monumental. The artists uniquely identify the degrees in which forgetfulness of the past, present, and future create the remembered facets of humanity in their myriad of executions.
Preston Dorsett (he/him) is a designer living and working in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is currently positioned between the worlds of furniture making at Concrete Pig and city planning at Juxtaposition Arts. These two perspectives exist in his artistic work as simultaneous experimentations of material fabrication and social study. His current effort is to explore the failures and successes of the European Midcentury Modernists by bootlegging their highly valued original designs.
Michael C.F Hansen (he/him) is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Primarily focusing on videography, he earned his BFA in New Genres from the San Francisco Art Institute (’19).
Sam Larom (he/him) is a South Korean born painter who received his BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2019. Currently, he lives and works in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Thomas Moore (he/him) is a Chicago, Illinois based artist from Columbus, Ohio. Moore’s work is referential to the fantasies which accrue from a personal visual lexicon of idealized Midwestern dreamscapes, similar to parking garages, convention centers, and malls. Moore’s work regards the effects dreams have on these remembered and invented landscapes, oftentimes exaggerating the purpose of scale and personality of space as a reaction to how these purposes might shift seamlessly during a dream. Another point of interest within these works are the fictitious paths and environments created for a point-and-click game character's pursuit of a goal which lays out a destiny before the adventure takes place, proving the landscape’s impact upon the individual.
Kelsey Olson (she/her) is an artist that makes paintings and photo process works. She received her BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2010 and was a recipient of the 2016-17 Jerome Emerging Artists Fellowship. She has participated in group and solo exhibitions throughout Minneapolis and Minnesota, including at the Rochester Art Center and St. Cloud State University. Olson is from Montana and lives in Minneapolis.
Matt Yaeger (he/him) is a Minneapolis artist who works in painting, print and sculpture. His work explores aspects of digital social culture framed within science fiction narratives. He is interested in how the abstract space of text messages, DMs, news feeds, and other forms of digital consumption become psychologically and emotionally pervasive, shaping how we think, feel, and live.
Curated by Kristina Johnson
June 6, 2021-July 7, 2021
Harrison Wayne Gallo
Kieran Myles-Andrés Tverbakk
After nearly a year without formal programming or events, Waiting Room is eager to welcome guests into their new space, and celebrate with peers and patrons.
Off the intersections of Franklin and Chicago, in the heart of Ventura Village, is Waiting Room’s newest exhibition space. The building itself is currently home to Waiting Room’s director, Kristina Johnson (KJ). Waiting Room is situating itself further from the traditional gallery space by preserving the charm of our current building’s history, which enhances our curatorial perspective by bringing attention to it’s architecture and age. The perimeters of the showrooms date back to 1893 and are constructed from laid stone, brick, and shiplap. Exhibitions in our forthcoming season feature an impressive array of contemporary talent that expand the growing genres in identity culture and technology.
The selected works featured in our inaugural show, camedowndifferent, come from ten emerging and mid-career artists living across the US. camedowndifferent offers unconventional associations between artists seldom exhibited together, implicitly exploring the diverse relationships amongst their medias. Works in this show harness feelings of existential mortality through use of coded imagery and morbid language in order to provide a particularly overwhelming sense of one’s humor, memory, and conditional identity. There’s a breath – well, a lot of breaths – of edifying inward energy available in that approach, and that’s exactly where these artists shine their spotlight. Altogether the works exhibit a surge of communal confidence in the face of the last year’s upending travails.
Waiting Room is continually devoted to experimentation, discussion and the production of exhibition projects, presentations, lectures, and publishing ventures in collaboration with artists, curators, independent and institutional actors. The exhibition program is mainly focused on a new generation of artists who are rarely exhibited in the Twin Cities or Minnesota.