Take a peek at art collectors' private collections at SooVAC this weekend


If you’ve ever dreamed of building an art collection in your home, Soo Visual Art Center’s “Collect Call 2” will offer some inspiration (and probably some jealousy as well). The show features selections from different Twin Cities collectors, giving visitors a sense of how the tastes and inclinations of an individual person or couple might manifest in the art they purchase. The art lovers featured in the exhibition each demonstrate their individuality, with pieces ranging from big names to local artists working in a huge variety of styles. 

Even though they have homes that are filled with art, "some of these people do not consider themselves art collectors,” says executive director Carolyn Payne. She defines an art collector as someone who loves a piece and wants to live with it, and wants to support an artist that they love. She notes that many of the contributors also collect other things, such as stamps, CDs, and records.

Jay Coogan, president of MCAD, is displaying multiple embroidered maps of the United States. Dating from the 1930s to the 1970s, these maps are quirky and amazing. They also tell you a bit about the person collecting them. There’s something obsessive about any kind of collecting practice, but the bizarre randomness of this particular hobby is simply fascinating.

Meanwhile Todd Bockley, the owner of Bockley Gallery, shows off some of his rare pieces featuring self-taught artists. There's a great portrait by Eugene Von Bruenchenhein of his wife, whom he depicted thousands of times over the course of his life. While Bockley’s gallery often showcases self-taught artists, for this exhibition Bockley chose to mostly share works by artists different from the ones that the gallery represents (the exception being a piece by Dietrich Sieling).

Robyne Robinson’s selection contains both big names and some interesting stories. She’s got a Frank Stella and a Shepard Fairey, and two pairs of shoes produced by Reebok in agreement with the estate of Jean Michel Basquiat featuring the late artist’s favorite colors. She is also sharing a piece by an artist with whom she’s had a correspondence with while they were in prison. The two ended up having a long and deep relationship, says Payne.

The show contains a few mysteries as well. For example, there’s one collector who remains anonymous, and two pieces whose artists are either unknown or kept secret by the collectors. So if you can figure out who made the wooden sculpture of Mary that was buried in the ground for a year (a couple of hints: They had an HDTV program and a design shop in Palm Springs), let us know.

From Kevin S. Ringdahl & Randy Cernohous's collection. Artist unknown.

From Kevin S. Ringdahl & Randy Cernohous's collection. Artist unknown.

Seeing this exhibition might just inspire you to take the plunge and buy something for yourself this year. After all, while some of the works showcased here might be too expensive to the average person, other pieces featured here went for as little as $20 at at recent SooVAC fundraiser. 

This is the second “Collect Call” show that SooVAC has hosted, with the first one taking place two years ago. Payne hopes to continue the series every two to three years. The event is also a fundraiser, as all the featured collectors are giving a monetary donation to the gallery. The idea behind the event is to get people with some means to support the gallery in a unique way. 


"Collect Call 2"

Through October 24

There will be an opening reception Friday, September 25 from 6 to 9 p.m.