Minnesota is positively lousy with world-class illustrators, and St. Paul’s College of Visual Arts is celebrating our region’s wealth of pen-and-ink talent with a biennial exhibition, “Illo Minn: Volume Two,” featuring work from 28 successful illustrators working in the state.
Each of these artists, many of whose distinctive work regularly appears in national glossies and newspapers, will contribute an original illustration for the show. In addition, this year, each of them has also created a one-of-a-kind Munny doll, which will be auctioned off in tonight’s opening reception for the exhibition. (Proceeds from the auction will go towards the College of Visual Arts Scholarship Fund.)
If you’re unfamiliar with them, these popular vinyl figures are first sold as unadorned blanks — a sort of DIY toy — which can then be embellished with accessories, drawn on, cut into or otherwise fancied up in all manner of ways. It’s not just kids who are drawn to these novelties; the collectible dolls’ popularity has soared in recent years in the contemporary art and design scenes, too, with notable artists’ Munny creations, which run the gamut from whimsical or abstract to downright fiendish. (If you’re interested in seeing more, “Illo Minn” exhibition sponsor and Minneapolis art and design retailer, ROBOTlove, carries lots of these “urban vinyl” toys.)
You can see the Munny figures for tonight’s auction, all made by “Illo Minn”-featured artists, online here.
And if you can’t make the opening reception, be sure to drop by the gallery to see the show in the next couple of weeks. It’s a fine representative sampling of work by some of Minnesota’s most accomplished illustrators and well worth a visit.
“Illo Minn: Volume Two” opens tonight with a reception and silent auction of original, illustrated Munny dolls from 6 to 8 p.m. There will be a panel discussion with some of the exhibited artists — Andy Powell, Nancy Carlson, Eric Hanson, DC Ice, and Adam Turman — on Feb. 25 at the CVA Gallery in St Paul. The exhibition runs through March 6.