Glowtown was conceived by internationally renowned artist, Sharon Louden. With an M.F.A. from Yale University, Sharon has been exhibiting in museums and galleries since 1991. She has also been an educator for the past 20 years to students of many ages, from college level on down and has been conducting Glowtown workshops across the country since 1999:
“In the summer of 1999 at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut, I had the experience of creating Glowtown with a group of about 30 children. We worked together for an entire day building a town that glowed in the dark and consisted of cotton dental rolls, glue, cardboard, popsicle sticks, and luminous paint. The idea was to build a town that could be transformed when the lights were turned off. This workshop was directly inspired by an installation I did at the Aldrich Museum entitled Tips.
Since then, I have conducted this workshop all over the country in many venues, including the Education Departments of many museums including the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Katonah Museum of Art and the Birmingham Museum of Art. Participants of all ages have participated in my workshop, from young children to high school students to adults in corporate team building retreats. Glowtown is for all ages and meant to be an exercise to bring people together to create a fantastical world with simple materials, creating a wonderful experience along the way.”
For more information about Sharon and her work, please visit her website.
The Executive Director of Glowtown is Vinson Valega. He coordinates all of the preparation neccessary for a successful workshop, working hand-in-hand with partner organizations in the lead-up to the "Big Day." Also residing in Minneapolis, Vinson is a jazz musician (drummer/composer) who runs a non-profit organization (Consilience Productions) that is devoted to music and activism, in addition to a video production company (Mill City Profiles).
Finally, Sharon and Vinson are assisted by the various interns that work in Sharon's studio, in addition to the many wonderful volunteers who generously give their time and effort on site at each Glowtown workshop.
Glowtown's Advisory Board is instrumental in bringing to life each workshop, not only with ideas and initiatives, but with help organizing community members, recruiting kids, and contributing their time and expertise assisting the pool of volunteers that are essential to every Glowtown. We are thankful for their generous time and support:
Shana Kaplow is a full-time professional artist who lives and works in St. Paul, MN. She graduated from Connecticut College with a B.A. in Printmaking in 1984, and the Maryland Institute College of Art with an MFA in painting in 1987. She has been an adjunct Professor in Painting at various times since 1994 at Minneapolis College of Art and Design and The College of Visual Art in St. Paul. She was a visiting Professor of Painting at Macalester College in St. Paul in 2004, and since 2004 has been a Professor in Painting/Drawing at St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN. She has been exhibiting her work since the early 1990's all over the country and has received numerous fellowships, awards, and residencies. Her work will be featured in Minneapolis this April in a one-person show at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and in September in The Midwest Biennial group show at The Soap Factory.
Anne Labovitz is a full-time professional artist who lives and works in St. Paul, MN. Her practice includes painting, drawing, and printmaking as well as experimental film and sound. Labovitz has a degree in psychology and art from Hamline University in St. Paul. She has exhibited locally (Burnet Gallery, Minneapolis) and the Tweed Museum (Duluth, MN), as well as internationally in Germany. This year she has a solo exhibition scheduled to commence in Thunder Bay, Canada, that will travel through 2017 to Sweden, Russia, Japan, Iraqi Kurdistan, and will close in Duluth. Anne is currently a member of the Board of Trustees for the Walker Art Center, in Minneapolis, an Advisory Board member of The Artist Book Foundation in New York City, and a former member of the Colleagues Advisory Board at the Weisman Art Museum. Her passion for art education both in schools and in the community is reflected in her commitment to providing portrait-painting workshops to children of all ages and Social Practice Interventions at art events such as Northern Spark, Twin Cities Rain Taxi, and Target Free Saturdays, to name a few.
Tammie Rosenbloom is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Minnesota School of Social Work. She runs a full-time therapy practice that combines counseling, walking, and nature entitled, "Walk Talk Therapy," and is a DBT Therapist at Minnesota Center for Psychology specializing in young adults. She has a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and a Masters in Social Work at Loyola University of Chicago. Tammie has a wide range of experience in her field of expertise, including: Management Consultant at United HealthGroup focusing on metal health issues in the workplace; intensive training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), an evidenced based cognitive behavioral treatment; training in "Mastery of Anxiety and Panic Treatment" an evidenced based treatment for Panic Disorder. She is married, the mother of three children, and lives in Minneapolis, MN.
Christopher Atkins is an experienced curator who served as coordinator of the Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program at Minneapolis Institute of Art from 2009-2015. He lead MAEP through an important transition and reinvigorated the program with a fresh relevancy by championing ambitious exhibitions and site-specific projects. He has a well-established reputation of working with and supporting Minnesota's artists and presenting high-impact installations by nationally recognized artists. Atkins has served as an adjunct lecturer at the College of Visual Arts, Minneapolis College of Art & Design, and Macalester College where he taught courses on museum studies and contemporary art. He holds M.Res & M.A. degrees in Visual Cultures from Goldsmiths College, University of London, Graduate Certificate of Museum Studies from Harvard University and B.A. History of Art from the College of Wooster.