About The Letterpress Shanty, Northern Spark, & The Art Shanty Projects

Art Shanty Projects

In January, artists from Minnesota and around the nation gathered on the ice of Medicine Lake to form an artist’s community known as the Art Shanty Projects.

Inspired by ice fishing shanties, Art Shanty Projects is a biennial experiment in folk architecture, artist festivals, and multidisciplinary happenings on the ice—a carnival of unique structures, performances, and games that engage visitors and artists.

The Art Shanty Projects are returning this summer to participate in Northern Spark.

Northern Spark

Inspired by White Nights Festivals from around the world (otherwise known as Nuit Blanche), Northern Spark is a city-wide, all-night arts festival held in Minneapolis Minnesota.  This year, it will begin at sunset (8:59 PM) on Saturday, June 9th & end at sunrise (5:26 AM) on Sunday, June 10th.
Hundreds of artists, located throughout the city, will be engaging the public in a wide variety of art forms and participatory events.

The Art Shanties will be located on Main Street in St. Anthony Main,  just across the river from downtown Minneapolis. 

The Letterpress Shanty

The Letterpress Shanty first appeared during the 2012 Art Shanty Projects, bringing the art of hand-printing from moveable type to the ice of Medicine Lake.  We hand-set, printed, and distributed 9 issues of our collaboratively-authored free daily broadside, The Shantyquarian, and read them aloud in the common areas of the shantytown in the tradition of town criers.

All content for The Shantyquarian was sourced form online social networking sites, shanty artists, and on-site visitors. We had contributions from around the world, including Alabama, New York, Paris, and Dublin.

We are returning June 9th to participate in the 2012 Northern Spark arts festival. 

This time, we're engaging you in a collaborative writing exercise inspired by surrealist games such as exquisite corpse. Online participants will contribute bits of text (phrases or entire sentences) without full knowledge of what other participants are contributing. We are soliciting contributions now! 

To contribute, follow prompts from @shantyquaria on Twitter, and tag your tweets with #shantyQ, or fill out our online form. Submit early and submit often!

We'll bring your submissions together and assemble them to create a unique collaborative text. We'll print this document on an old-fashioned letterpress, set in metal and wood type, and distribute copies to visitors to The Letterpress Shanty during Northern Spark. Last year, over ten-thousand people participated in Northern Spark. We won't produce anywhere near 10,000 copies, but we'll be operating the press all night.

Come visit us on June 9th to get a copy, or visit us online to check out the downloadable PDF.

The Artists

Organizing Artists:
  • MC Hyland (ASP, NS)
  • Jeff Peterson (ASP, NS)
  • Jonathon Peterson (ASP, NS)
  • Sara Parr (ASP)
  • Sarah Fox (ASP)

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