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Thursday, January 1
10:00am - 5:00pm


Emily Gray Koehler Studio & Gallery
Thorp Building
1618 NE Central Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55413
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Emily Gray Koehler
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Call 231-590-2274

Over the last two decades, you and other collectors, friends, and family have supported me and my career as an independent artist through a move from Michigan to Minnesota, multiple studio changes, stormy and sticky-hot art fair seasons, solo exhibitions, those infamous lean months (I’m looking at you Minnesota Winter) and a global pandemic. In that time, my work has changed and grown as any artist hopes their art will. I thank you all for affording me the opportunities that have come with this support. A side effect of my productivity, however, is a glut of older work from my first decade of making prints professionally that is taking up much needed space in my flat files. I have a plethora of new ideas and am eager to make lots of new art this year and beyond, but I am out of storage space!

So… I’m inviting you to my first ever, and possibly only, portfolio purge. There will be etchings, woodcuts, collagraphs, screen prints, and monotypes from 2013 and earlier. All will be priced between $10 and $50. Much of this work is from my years in college and has never been shown in Minnesota. Here’s the kicker: prints that don’t find a new home on March 11 will be burned, with reverence, in a private ceremony among my close friends!

Yes. I am going to burn my art.

Okay, I know many of you may have just had your hearts jump into your throats upon reading those last few sentences. Allow me to provide a deeper explanation. It’s not that I don’t value my art. In fact, I’m doing this because I value it so much! This is emotional for me, as well, but the reality is that I am a prolific artist and a printmaker who, by definition, makes multiples of most of my images. In other words, I have a lot of art and I’m out of space to store it. There’s more to it, though, than the practicality of storage space.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret… we artists, all of us, destroy our own art all the time. Painters reuse canvases, potters smash their pots to make mosaic tile, metalsmiths melt down old rings to reuse as raw material. For my part, only about two thirds of my prints end up in my editions, the rest become artist cards or even scrap paper for sketching and notes. This sort of art destruction usually happens behind closed studio doors. It is a private, personal process which is practical, cathartic, and maybe a bit spiritual. Creation from destruction and all that… With this portfolio purge, I am opening my doors. I am inviting you in to be a part of the process, this creation from destruction, this transformation.

I may never do this again. In the event I do, the next one probably won’t happen for another decade, so mark your calendars for March 11 and save some art from the fire!

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