Even Break Gallery - 2014

Magic Marc Productions

I am an independent concert, music and event promoter based in the Minneapolis / Saint Paul, Minnesota area.

I am interested in creating unique, one of a kind, once in a lifetime, never to be forgotten events!

I am open to all ideas, suggestions, and comments for any kind of artistic endeavor.

Please feel free to email me with your thoughts.

Thank you.

Marc Evan Percansky

marc@magicmarcproductions.com

Gretchen Seichrist Talks About Her Art and the Founding of Even Break Gallery in Minneapolis

I met Gretchen Seichrist last Saturday as part of my whirlwind tour of Minneapolis. I'd gone there to hear motivational speaker John Geneen at Even Break Gallery before sliding through the rain to see a fragment of Northern Spark at the Walker. Driving home later that evening I was accompanied by the music on her CD Even Breaks. Tomorrow I will share Part II of this interview where we talk more about her music.

EN: How did you come to take up making art, especially painting?

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Gretchen Seichrist: My father was a designer / photographer and I would sit on the floor by him with his markers while he worked at his drawing table. He taught at The Minneapolis College Of Art And Design and I would tag along when he had to go into the school. I was exposed to art, film, and photography all the time. It was the 1970’s, so all these political and social movements were connected to art and the college. He talked to me about interesting people and things going on in the world and showed me things in a visual way. He took me to see things that maybe other parents would have thought were too intellectual for children. He made a point of talking to us about other cultures and the why and how things came to be. I remember he took me along on photo shoots and on some of these shoots I met Roman Polanski, Walter Mondale, and Dennis Banks, Russell Means and Clyde Bellecourt of The American Indian Movement. This is when I was about eight. Then he would explain who they were and what their viewpoints were. I took it to heart. I think he cultivated empathy in me by showing me these things going on in the world whether he intended to do that or not.

I can't remember not being around art, or not making it. It was never a question that it was an important part of life. I gravitated to poetry, music, drawing and painting, and a strong interest in social justice. So, I guess I was born with that tendency, and I was also taught to see things that way. I wouldn’t be able to stop myself from making art. As I grew up and experienced many traumatic events, I held on to being an artist and it gave me that inner life that nobody can take away…

EN: Who have been your influences as a painter?

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GS: Probably a lot of the German expressionist painters. I went to an exhibit once in Chicago (I think) as a kid, and the large, wood sculptures of Erich Heckel were being shown. I remember vividly how exciting that was to me. These carved figures were rough, and painted in bold colors and they were more gutsy to me than anything else I’d seen. Plus they were naked and all blue, red, yellow and green.Other painting influences are probably so - called outsider art or folk art.

EN: How did Even Break Gallery come to be?

GS: I had to move fast. I happened to find this place where I could make a small gallery. Prior, I couldn’t find a place where I could show my work, perform my music and other ideas as often as they came to me, so, with help from my friend, Marc Percansky, we just started having coffee together in the mornings at the new place here, then just opened up the door to show my paintings on Saturday mornings. Most of the time it was just the two of us sitting there telling each other jokes or coming up with things we wanted to see done at the gallery, and my band mate Danny Viper would come over and play music when we were doing this, too. Then we put in a stage etc…

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My music performances and visual art are intertwined and I was finding that the venues/bars were too limiting. Nobody understood what the hell we were doing. I got a lot of angry reactions. And It seemed like I wasn’t considered a real artist or musician in the community enough to be included in the music events around etc…. Anyway, I just didn’t have it in me to figure out the code or play that game. I was busy raising kids alone while I was making art and music. I was also being harassed at the time and I was just really bewildered by the pettiness and bullying all around at the time… people were bad-mouthing me professionally, sending hate emails and I was getting tons of online misogynistic harassment from the old, rock-and-roll boy-network and their girlfriends in town. The Minneapolis music scene was, to me, so clique & passive aggressive, so I just said screw it, I’ll do it here. So it happened by default, too. I was pretty down, but I couldn’t stop making art and music.

I’ve been put in this sort of freak-novelty-crazy woman category here. My band, Patches and Gretchen got some good press a few albums back when I had local well-liked male musicians playing with me, but still I was always portrayed as sort of a novelty. They’d haul us out on Halloween or whatever... but my songwriting -- composing is integral to me -- and my two band members, Danny Viper and Christopher Thompson can do anything musically, so we just kept going and creating. We released two albums last year while we made the gallery.

Later, we started inviting other musicians to do events. We’ve had musicians of all sorts perform. I purposely didn’t want to just get acts that fit a type of music. Sometimes our band might interact in the performance or not. We did some theatrical stuff here and recently my former band, Patches and Gretchen worked with an improv group weekly on our show, Even Breaks. The shows are always free. We put out the donation can, but for me, it’s more about trying to find open, creative people trying to make life more bearable or making something better for someone. But it’s tough. It’s hard to break through and make those connections. Everybody is all grouped up here and it’s the tendency to call somebody weird or crazy instead of imaginative. Or maybe it’s just me. 

Ennyman is a Life Under Construction. Writer, artist, philosopher, friend... visit www.enewman.biz to put your mind at e's.

Original Article: http://pioneerproductions.blogspot.com/2014/06/gretchen-seichrist-talks-about-her-art.html

On the Edge with Gretchen Seichrist (Part II)

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Yesterday Gretchen Seichrist talked about her art and the founding of her Even Break gallery space. We briefly touched on her music and I wanted to make sure we got into that a little more here. With her bandPatches and Gretchen, Seichrist has earned numerous Twin Cities accolades these past few years.

EN: Your musical sound is quite outside the mainstream. How did your style develop?

GS: It began with my words and probably phrasing that I wanted to keep in the forefront and build music around. My experience in life has been outside the mainstream, so that makes sense that the music would be. I’m lucky that the last few years, that I found two incredibly versatile musicians who are completely unruly to co-compose the music. I think the music we make starts with my words and mood and then pulls from all kinds of elements and styles of music that we all have a love of -- knowledge of… definitely humor and the oddness of life. Nothing is off limits and we don’t try to stay in a genre.

We’re all very full, expressive personalities and I think we don’t try to smooth that personality out of the final work. When I am performing or composing I'm not trying to stay in the role as female singer. I tend to forget all of that in creating and I’m focused on what I want to explore at the time. There are definitely conceptual art things going on in the music and performances sometimes. 

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EN: Who have been your influences? 

GS: Bob Dylan, of course…. soul music. 

EN: How much of your songs are worked out in advance? Is there an improv element to your recordings? 

GS: Actually they are worked out to a T. Every single ping is thought out precisely and then sometimes there is that decision to trust in a certain spot that we’ll know exactly what to do when we get there. Live, there is always a lot of room left for improv. I think my favorite place to be is at the "we are falling apart and this is not my body anymore" dimension.

I love that feeling on stage when I have no idea what is going to happen and yet I do. 

EN: If someone were to ask what kind of music you sing/record, what would you call it? 

GS: Expressionistic. 

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EN: I especially enjoyed your song The Voot, which has a recurring Daniel Boone riff in it. For what it's worth, I myself am a descendant of Daniel Boone. Can you tell me a little more about the backstory for this song as well? 

GS: Oh my, that is amazing! Well, let me think... It's about how evil operates in tiny ordinary doses in a hidden way and bringing to light the little sacrifices of humanity people sometimes are really asking you to make. The Voot represents the last stand against it all. I think of it like Gregory Peck playing Atticus Finch in front of the jail house when the town mob came..... he's standing in The Voot!

Also, this is funny, you said whirlwind before....it was a song on my first album.... pretty rough song.

EN: Do you have some other videos online that I can share?

GS: SUBDEATHKICKBLUES - COVER BOB DYLAN

THE HEAVY WOOL COATS OF BUMS- PATCHES AND GRETCHEN 

PAY IN BLOOD - COVER BOB DYLAN

SAY IT TO MY FACE - PATCHES AND GRETCHEN 

THE BROKEN-HEARTED GARDENER - PATCHES AND GRETCHEN

EN: What are your current career goals as an artist?

GS: Have my own bedroom.

I want Bob Dylan to cover one of my songs and wear one of my spaceship, lonesome kid t-shirts on his tours. Alternately, he can pose for a painting with the t-shirt on while he learns my song.

To record the first album for my new band, The Lonesome Kid, out-of-state with an innovative producer by next fall.

Acquire a mobile Even Break Gallery vehicle and go on the road with my band doing improv-music performances.

Move Even Break Gallery to a storefront-workshop space.

Locate running support for gallery.

Continue to experiment with shows and performances at the gallery.

To host activists and climate related speakers for conversations/shows at Even Break.

To take action in climate change events and protests against climate destruction and for indigenous land protection.

To build up a barter bank of lessons and services. Continue to experiment with shows and performances at the gallery.

To connect to others who are geared towards a sharing economy.

Continue and expand the Even Break Garden partnership with North Country Food Alliance.

Paint every day.

Find an agent to sell my paintings so I can do all of the stuff above. 

EN: Thanks for sharing so much of yourself here. I do love your song selections. Very much a yes to Dylan's Pay In Blood cover. Best to you as you press on.

Ennyman is a Life Under Construction. Writer, artist, philosopher, friend... visit www.enewman.biz to put your mind at e's.

Original Article: http://pioneerproductions.blogspot.com/2014/06/on-edge-with-gretchen-seichrist-part-ii.html

Videos

PART TWO - MOCK - EVEN BREAKS https://www.facebook.com/EvenBreakGallery/posts/271128816391359 Even Break Gallery shared Gretchen Seichrist's video.

Photos

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