FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 9, 2016
The Carlton Arms Art Project presents
IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK: Mad Meanderings Through The Carlton Arms Hotel.
The 34th annual opening celebration of new rooms by an eclectic international gathering of artists-in-residence from England, Scotland, Sweden, Germany and the US promises to be an event as quirky, unconventional and outrageous as the hotel itself.
Six new rooms will open on Friday March 18th from 6 to 9 pm:
‘Sleep Thinking’ by Steven Appleby,
‘Fore-Sea’ by Brian Dowdall and Alison Spiesman,
‘If These Walls Could Talk’ by Hope London,’
‘The Venus de Mars Room’ by Venus de Mars of the band All the Pretty Horses with poetry by Lynette Reini-Grandell,
‘Chapel For Drunken Painters’ by Ronny Lischinski and
‘Back to the Closet’ by Restlessminds (Linda Emily Al-Ghussein and Fabian Olovson).
“I’m looking forward to the best show ever,” said manager John Ogren, who has been at the Carlton Arms for over 30 years. “The building is alive, ever changing, but what really continues to give it life are the people who imprint themselves, their art and their spirit upon this place.”
The show’s title “If These Walls Could Talk” came from Hope London’s concept of exploring who stayed in the room and what the walls might have witnessed or absorbed.
The hallways will be animated with music by New York-based trumpeter-composer Frank London of the Klezmatics – who has worked with renowned artists like David Byrne, They Might Be Giants and L L Cool J. Singer-songwriters Elizabeth Pugh and Hope London will perform in one of the rooms containing an installation by Alex Wolkowicz. In an unexpected corner, Angela J Rogers will create live portraits of visitors.
RONNY LISCHINSKI – ‘CHAPEL FOR DRUNKEN PAINTERS’ (6D)
“In 2012 I travelled for the first time in a container ship from Europe to America. I drank red wine and put a letter to my mother in a bottle that I threw into the Atlantic. 17 months later, the message was found on the French coast and sent to my mother in Germany. Now in 2016 I’m building a ‘chapel for drunken painters’ at the Carlton Arms Hotel and I’am going to re-release the same message in a bottle at its original departure point.” – Ronny Lischinski
HOPE LONDON – ‘IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK’ (1D)
“The idea for ‘if these walls could talk’ popped into my head the moment I saw the room and thought of all the swearing and carrying on that must have gone on there – and for some reason I had this image of a naked man cleaning a wall that has turned blue with colourful language. Imagine my surprise when I interviewed hotel staff and learned that the man who lived in Room 1D for 25 years was paranoid that someone was stealing his underwear! All this has found its way onto the walls.” – Hope London
This project has been supported by a South of Scotland Visual Artist and Craft Maker Award, funded by Creative Scotland, Scottish Borders Council and Dumfries & Galloway Council.
STEVEN APPLEBY – ‘SLEEP THINKING’ (9A)
“I’ve never stayed anywhere as wonderful and amazing as the Carlton Arms. Every inch of every wall is a work of art. And now I can die happy because they asked me to paint a room.” – Steven Appleby
BRIAN DOWDALL AND ALISON SPIESMAN – ‘FORE-SEA’ (4C)
Visionary _Contemporary ♥
Fore-Sea an imaginary vessel room, a space where weary travelers might slip into a mystical portal. Dowdall’s deep connection to nature, “animal spirits and goddesses” merge with a contemplorary exploration Spiesman’s auspicious signs …there’s no place like (Carlton Arms Hotel) home!
RESTLESSMINDS, LINDA EMILY AL-GHUSSEIN AND FABIAN OLOVSON – ‘BACK TO THE CLOSET’ (10D)
The title for our room is “BACK TO THE CLOSET”, which will be a confusing comment on the queer debate. We want the guests to be attracted to change their identities and nuance the discussion about “COMING OUT OF THE CLOSET”. We are playing with the idea that it is possible to come out as whatever… That one’s identity doesn’t have to be connected to their sexuality and that an identity doesn’t have to be fixed – it could change from time to time depending on the moment. We want the room to give the guests the inspiration to become a lamp at a party or walk the street as a potato or just wear a wig. The room will feature sculptures, embroidery, collages, wall paintings, Tesla-technology and costumes.
VENUS DE MARS WITH POETRY BY LYNETTE REINI-GRANDELL – ‘THE VENUS DE MARS ROOM’ (5D)
Venus de Mars is a multidisciplinary artist and musician, best known as a singer-songwriting transgender rock star and leader of the band All the Pretty Horses. De Mars is also one of the foundational artists for Rifle Sport Alternative Art Gallery, creating the iconic big blue doors that fronted on Hennepin Avenue and installations that included a Honda Civic art car parked halfway up the main staircase. A chance tax audit transformed h/ir into a champion of artists’ tax rights, after which the Venus de Mars Fund with Springboard for the Arts was established.
De Mars is the recipient of multiple grants and awards, among them a Minnesota State Arts Board grant, a Bush Fellowship, and a Minnesota Music Award. An acoustic album produced by longtime collaborator Barb Morrison (Debbie Harry, Rufus Wainwright, Scissor Sisters, etc.) was released in spring 2015.
Lynette Reini-Grandell’s first collection of poetry, Approaching the Gate, won the 2015 Northeastern Minnesota Book Award for poetry. Her work has been published in several literary magazines, but mostly she gets rejection notices–except from places like Great Weather for Media, Poetry City USA, Revolver, Poetry Motel, Evergreen Chronicles, etc. She teaches English at Normandale Community College.
She has received grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Finlandia Foundation and is married to Venus de Mars. Lately she’s been writing poems inspired by her animist Finnish rune-singing heritage and training a rescue horse (yes to the blurred syntax). In Minneapolis, she performs poetry with the Bosso Poetry Company (theoretically based in Big Lever, Wyoming) and the free-jazz group, the Sonoglyph Collective.