contact name: Ann Klefstad
Duluth MN 55804
open to public: no
Common Language, Duluth
VACUM (Visual Art Critics' Union of Minnesota)
I graduated from the Paracollege at St. Olaf College in 1978, and then worked in factories, was a foreman in a bakery, traveled around the country, did Fluxus-inspired street art, took a swing at grad school, left for California again, and worked for the wonderful publishing house of avant literature Sun and Moon Press, whose editor and publisher, Douglas Messerli, was an important factor in my education.
I did editing at various levels for other literary and academic presses, had children (who were also important teachers), and crept back into writing. Eventually returned to Minnesota, began doing more permanent sculpture, also began writing art critique for a number of publications and co-founded an artists' collective, Common Language.
I was the news and features editor of mnartists.org from 2002-2008; moved from that position to that of arts and entertainment reporter on the Duluth News Tribune 2008-2009, won a Best Short Feature Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, and was laid off due to the newspaper tsunami (the DNT labors along with approximately 1/3 the reporters it had when I joined up).
I now freelance for many magazines, edit books for several publishers, and make photographs from my sailboat and my kayak, creating a series called Walk on Water. I am on Lake Superior, but I'd like to continue this practice on other bodies of water as well. It portrays water on its own terms--the great organism of the lake dictates the terms. I look and listen.
I continue to do sculpture, but Joseph Beuys' ideas of social sculpture are more and more resonant these days. That is the direction in which I am walking.
See my water documentation work at
and commissions and projects at
See clips of my articles at
Several State Arts Board Career Opportunity grants, ARAC Career Development grants, a Jerome Travel Grant, American Association of Landscape Architects Award for "Floodwaters" in Harriet Island Park, two Society of Professional Journalists "Best Feature" awards.
Exhibitions, Commissions, and Performances since 1998:
2009 Water Works, group shows, Great Lakes Aquarium and Maritime Museum.
2009 Central Lakes College Gallery, one person show, Walk on Water.
2008 UW - River Falls, one person installation, "Forest."
2007 Finlandia University, Hancock, MI, "Forest" (one-person show).
2003-4 Memorial for Rudy Perpich, commissioned by the Perpich Center for Arts Education, Golden Valley, Minnesota.
2003-4 Part of three-person show at the Duluth Art Institute
2003-4 Finalist, Franklin Library commission, Minneapolis
2003 Curated "The Secret Life of Fluxus," an exhibition of event scores at the Tweed Museum, Duluth.
2002-3 “Body of Clay, Soul of Fire,” travelling show of work from the St. John’s University Jerome Fellows program.
2002 “Winter Deer” in the Minnesota Museum Sculpture Biennial.
2002 Commission, Minnesota State Arts Board Percent for Arts, “Waterfall,” for Hibbing Community College (with Jeffrey Kalstrom).
2001 Commission, Minnesota State Capitol, “Unearthing History,” a wall relief for the State Capitol Rotunda.
2000 “Old Stories” at the St. John’s University Gallery (with Jeffrey Kalstrom).
2000 “Floodwaters,” a commission for the city of St. Paul, for the Harriet Island Levee Project (with Jeffrey Kalstrom). This project has since been honored by the American Association of Landscape Architects.
2000 “Forest for the Trees,” at the Duluth Art Institute.
1999 Columbia Garden Park, a Neighborhood Gateway for the city of Minneapolis (with Jeffrey Kalstrom).
1999 “Bell” and “Mountain” in “Life in a Cold Climate,” at the Tweed Museum.
1999 Outdoor installation for the Tweed Museum-Thunder Bay Art Center exchange exhibition (“House of Beasts,” in collaboration with Jeffrey Kalstrom).
1999 Work in “Botanica” exhibition at the Tweed Museum ("Rapunzel, or, The Radish"). Curated by Peter Spooner, “Botanica” traveled to 7 other museums around the country.
1998 Finalist, Armatage Park Neighborhood Gateway Project (with Jeffrey Kalstrom).
1998 “Nest” commissioned for Loring Park, Forecast AIDS Memorial project.
1998 “The Red Room”, a project for Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis, a collaborative installation with Jeffrey Kalstrom, March 19-April 17.
1998 Produced and performed in the Bad Luck in Love Cabaret at Sacred Heart Music Center in Duluth. Did a performance, “In da Garden a Eden,” with Jeffrey Kalstrom at this event.
Gallery 13, 811 LaSalle St., Minneapolis, MN
Public Art Review
Lake Superior Magazine
catalogue, McKnight Fellows Exhibition
catalogues, Intermedia Art in Space series
catalogue, Tweed Museum Student Exhibition
Grasslands, Kamloops, British Columbia (feature on "difficult art")
exhibition catalogues, Duluth Art Institute
New Art Examiner, Chicago
Country of Citizenship:
August 27, 1956