Abbey Kleinert has been a busy girl — she just wrapped up her show at Altered Aesthetics , she’s the artist in residence at Articulture, and is launching her multidisciplinary print shop co-op called Recess Press . The co-op is aimed at creating studio access for young and emerging artists and will be having an unofficial launch Saturday April 30th at 9 pm in the Midway Commercial Building near University and Hwy 280.
Photos and interview by Kelsey Johnston
Secrets: Where are you from?
Abbey: I’m from Wisconsin. Grew up half in Milwaukee and half in Michigan. The great lakes have really influenced my life.
Secrets: How did you get started?
Abbey: I started in school at the University of Minnesota. I was originally going to school for photo journalism but, didn’t really jive with the lessons I was learning and news writing. I got bad grades because my photos were too artistic and creative to fit photo journalism and I was taking a photo class and layering negatives then someone suggested I take a printing class. I started printing in my 3rd year of school and just kept with it and have been doing it ever since.
Secrets: Tell me about your recent work.
Abbey: This project is a culmination of an etching process that I’ve been doing. When I graduated and didn’t have a studio I had to find a way to still print. So, this is kind of a ghetto set-up but, I use floor wax and salt and vinegar, just a bunch or different safer solvents because I don’t have the ventilation system. So, this is kind of proving that I can make a body of work outside of school which, I’ve been working on for a couple of years and I haven’t even been creating the work the that long, more so getting the materials and figuring out how to make this outside of school. It’s also based on the mathematical equation one of the last pieces I did about my ancestry that ties into where I lives and other people in the area and how we all fit together in a community. I’m also hoping to do some work about South America. I think I’ll move on from etching after this.
Secrets: Which medium do you prefer?
Abbey: I really enjoy printmaking because the really tactile aspect. My dad is an architect and I grew up building models with him and I’m not sure why I went into photography, I’m much more of a 3D person even though I mostly have 2D work. There will be things I cut up and re-arrange, I like having pieces of things to put together and using a plate and having that be three dimensional is what I like about printmaking.
Secrets: Tell me about the texture is your work.
Abbey: I guess a lot of my inspiration comes from nature. So, the clouds I’ve done for instance, that’s a texture I created on a copper plate and it’s also something I see in nature. So by using copper and ceracloride? I’ve basically created a liquid rust look. It’s kind of parallel to natural processes and you can get a lot of textures like tree bark and fur, things like that. A lot of times I don’t even plan out the textures I’ll just decide “I’m going to put acid here” and so like photography it has that whimsical, magical aspect to it of wondering what is to come of it.
Secrets: What is the best part about living in Minneapolis?
Abbey: I would say this place, Articulture, and living in Seward. I live a block away from here and the co-op. I was walking by here one day and I saw the printing press in the window and thought “Oh! I have to get my hands on that!” because I had been making things but, didn’t have access to a press. I stopped in and told them about myself and they asked if I could teach and now I’ve become a teacher and artist in residence and I get to use the space. The community in Minneapolis is also really great. I love the Mississippi river, a lot of inspiration comes from walking along the river. I’d like to eventually take a boat down the river.
Secrets: What’s your favorite establishment in Minneapolis?
Abbey: I love the Seweard Co-op. I walk there all the time and my fiance works there. I like being involved in the co-op. I love the art museums.
Secrets: Childhood dream career?
Abbey: This is embarrassing. At first I wanted to be an indian, and then a cowgirl, and then a pirate. (laughs)