122 Conversations: Person to Person, Art Beyond Borders is an artist led project based on the art of engagement — art derived from the process of interconnection and cross-cultural dialogue. Organized by the Tweed Museum of Art and in collaboration with Duluth Sister Cities, International and University of Minnesota Duluth, School of Fine Arts, the project celebrates the combined 122 years of relationship with Duluth's five sister Cities: Rania, Iraqi Kurdistan, Växjö, Sweden, Petrozavodsk, Russia, Thunder Bay, Canada and Ohara Isumi-City, Japan. The project is a catalyst for positive social change, one individual at a time. 

The artwork in the exhibition represented six years of planning and creating and 60 Skype or in ­person interviews involving ten residents from each of the six sister cities, including the mayor of each city. The large ­scale paintings were created by Labovitz in her studio and were inspired by the spirited interview exchanges. Each of the artworks depict an interpretative vision of the conversations that include faces, words, and descriptions of the experiences that relate to the individuals involved. The work chronicles the essence of human interaction through relational listening into palimpsest paintings and video. An integral component was a public invitation for attendees to contribute to an anthology of stories. All are invited to contribute to the exhibition using materials provided, transforming their responses to the exhibition into art pieces that returned to Duluth for the final culminating venue held at the Tweed Museum of Art in Duluth. 


122 Conversations: Person to person, art beyond borders

Check out this great video


Bureau of Radical Accessibility (B.R.A.)

Bureau of Radical Accessibility (B.R.A.)

Building on our dynamic new vision, the Bureau of Radical Accessibility (B.R.A.) is a site-specific intervention in The Model foyer area. Staffed by Model employees and artists-in-residence, the B.R.A. is set up in direct defiance to the closed-off office spaces in order to meet, hold discussions and conduct interviews with the public, colleagues and others.

We hope to harvest public opinion and information, map connections, debate ideas and propositions, hang out, draw, talk, work, surf the internet, plan, scheme and laugh.

The relationships, dialogue and information gathered will inform The Model’s work for the next three years. B.R.A. is a new initiative that aims to open up space for dialogue and debate about what we need to do to be creative MODEL citizens today.


Johnston and Labovitz

The Model Director Megan Johnston, initiative.


conversant portraits

Northern Spark at the Weisman Art Museum

WIthin an 8.5 hour window from sundown to sunrise, artist Anne Labovitz produced 4 large scale artworks exploring human connection and dialogue. Focused on an ongoing interest in the relationships between art and the public and social practice, Labovitz relied on face-to-face and virtual exchanges as source material for the 4’ by 4’ works, conversing with nearly 500 Northern Spark participants throughout the night. Each participant became a part of the project, and in return received a small artwork in reciprocity.

Labovitz and Johnston


8.5 hours - dusk until dawn - speed into a 4 minute video