Public Functionary’s Fall exhibition featured two Northeast Minneapolis based artists, printmaker Edie Overturf and illustrator/painter Derek Van Gieson. “In Search Of” examines narrative, truth and culture through a conceptual collaboration presented as a visual storybook. This will be the first exhibit at Public Functionary that features two artists who live/work in the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District within which PF is also located.

The collaboration between the two artists, in progress over the past year, is not only highly experimental in concept, but also unanticipated as the two artists have not previously collaborated. Edie’s choice of medium includes relief prints, screenprints, woodcuts, monotypes and mixed media; Derek’s concentration is on ink and coffee stain illustrations on paper and oil paintings on canvas. While Overturf is a well-known artist within the Twin Cities art landscape, having exhibited extensively, newcomer Van Gieson will be exhibiting locally for the first time.

This project was funded in part by a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant 2014.


[THE ARTISTS] Edie Overturf (Minneapolis) & Derek Van Gieson (Minneapolis)


DEREK VAN GIESON is artist and musician currently living in Minneapolis. His work explores the more secretive and moody aspects of life. He previously attended full time at The Art Students League NYC and studied design, letterpress, and lithography at State University of New York (Purchase).  He has authored three art/fiction monographs (one of which was funded with the Irving Gilmore Emerging Artist Grant) and his work has also been published by The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Stranger, Fantagraphics Books, and Uncivilized Books.

EDIE OVERTURF is a transplant to Minneapolis by way of Illinois and California. Edie is co-founder of LegUp Studio in Northeast Minneapolis, and in the fall will begin a term position as Assistant Professor of Printmaking at University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Since moving to Minneapolis she has co-founded a cooperative print shop, curated a number of shows, exhibited in many shows, received a Minnesota State Arts Grant, and returned to academia in teaching at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities printmaking department as an adjunct since 2012. Edie recently attended a school residency at the Frans Masereel Centrum in Kasterlee Belgium with the students of the University of Minnesota Printmaking department.

[DOCUMENTATION] The Exhibition

exhibit2 exhibit1 exhibit4 exhibit3

In the spirit of Public Functionary’s 2014 exhibition theme of “Narrative,” the collaboration for “In Search of…” began by creating the stories of five “tribes” to begin at a similar point of origin. After a few key story points were determined, printmaker Edie Overturf and painter/illustrator Derek Van Gieson worked in secret, developing their two distinct story threads. At a mid-point of the collaboration they shared the work with each other and incorporated the culture of the imagined groups into respective story lines. This cross exchange serves several purposes. The secrecy and idea exchange keeps the story lines singular and allows for pure narrative development.  The concept is pushed further by recognizing points in real history when trade routes were developed and isolated cultures started influencing the rest of the world (ie: the orient, art nouveau, etc.). Techniques and styles drawn from these specific art moments in history are also incorporated into the work.

The artists each had two tribes to develop and simultaneously gain intimate knowledge about. Their knowledge of the other two tribes were kept to a minimum, to keep the mystery of the unknown alive to create ‘untrue’ assumption about those cultures. In essence, the collaboration provides a narrative that inspects the act of narration, and questions the authenticity and origin of narratives.

To view the full album of images documenting the exhibition CLICK HERE.
To view further documentation of the opening celebration, CLICK HERE.


[DOCUMENTATION] Process / Installation

installed3 installed2 installed1

To view further documentation of the installation process, CLICK HERE.