Artists help artists hurt by Minneapolis tornado

1:20 AM, Jul 31, 2011   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS -- It was just over two months ago that a tornado tore through parts of north Minneapolis.

Local artists used their special talents on Saturday to help with the rebuilding efforts.

There are a lot of needs after a tornado hits, but one thing there's no shortage of is fallen trees.

So chainsaw artists, recruited FORECAST Public Art, took debris from the north Minneapolis tornado to create art.

Chainsaw artist Curtis Ingvoldson said, "We take those trees that have been kind of like a symbol of a traumatic event and then we transform them into something of beauty again."

The art they carve will help fellow artists whose homes were in the storms path.

They're participating in a much bigger event, the 6th annual FLOW Northside Arts Crawl.  It runs along West Broadway where it intersects with Penn Avenue and also Emerson Avenue.

FLOW Artistic Director, Dudley Voigt, said, "Northside Arts collective has identified almost 30 artists who have been directly affected by the tornado and they've targeted 18 who really really are in dire straights and who will really benefit from the proceeds of the sale."

Once turned into sculpture, the chainsaw art will then be auctioned off.  Proceeds from that auction and from an art sale with works from more than 50 other artists will help north side artists like Keiona Cook.

The duplex where she lives was damaged in the tornado.  Cook said, "The whole roof on the front was damaged really bad so it started leaking into the living room."

Rain came in and destroyed much of the fabric Cook uses to make the clothing she creates as a fashion designer for her business QeBella.

So she was pleased that FLOW is focusing on helping tornado victims this year.  She said, "We're going to keep on moving forward."

While damage from the tornado continues to be very visible as residents work to make repairs, the FLOW Northside Arts Crawl hopes their event shifts attention to the talents of north side artists.

Voigt said, "We need to come together and celebrate the Northside."

She hopes to show how the beauty they create shines through.

With a smile, Ingvoldstad said of his contribution, "I'd like to carve some fanciful kind of fish or stylized piece that kind of flows, right?"

The FLOW Northside Arts Crawl runs from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 30th, 2011.

(Copyright 2011 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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