Where others might see a slab of cement facing a modest backyard, Pete Driessen sees a performance art space. Where others might see a thin strip of sloping land between a home and a fence, Driessen sees a sculpture garden. Likewise, a raspberry patch, stuccoed side of a house, and living room are also spaces waiting for installation art projects, murals and conceptual work.
Having just turned 50 and recently mourning the death of his father, experiencing divorce and moving into a 1950s era house in Fulton, suffice it to say that local artist Pete Driessen is in a transitional stage of his life. But rather than being swallowed by stress, Driessen seems the opposite: excited and optimistic, looking at the world around him with fresh eyes.
Driessen, a visual artist with a studio in Northeast Minneapolis, envisions his new home as an art space, and he calls it TuckUnder.
Named for the charming and authentically ‘50s home’s tuck-under garage (or performance space/art installation area), Driessen’s TuckUnder is an experiment in blurring the lines. At 5120 York Avenue South, lines are blurred between home space and art space, artist and curator, residence and commercial.
But this isn’t a money-making venture. In fact, although Driessen hopes to host six to eight art events at the space annually, he said he isn’t interested in making money off of it all and doesn’t plan on charging admission to anything.
Instead, Driessen said he’s interested in “artists just coming together and having a dialogue.”
As for a formal description of just what TuckUnder is or will be, Driessen said:
“It’s evolving, it’s definitely evolving. It’s shifting, but it’s mainly a conceptual space for artists to do conceptual projects in. I’m primarily interested in emerging artists who have high goals and would like to develop a project of some sort that either engages the space or the architecture of the site. So, it could be interior or exterior, or with a particular community; it could be a social/political focus; it’s just wide-ranging.”
Driessen’s goals with the TuckUnder Projects are to showcase emerging art talent and to engage with and enhance the local community. Participating artists will be selected through networking, traditional submissions, and call for entries. Driessen is currently developing a list of neighborhood advisors made up of people who interested in art or who are artists themselves.
While Driessen is an active local artist, he plans to stay on the curatorial side of TuckUnder.
“I want it to be about other people and their work,” Driessen said. “I don’t want it to be one of those galleries that somebody runs just to show their own work. I can do that at my studio anyway.”
Driessen is interested in working with artists who aren’t afraid to ask the big questions and approach ideas like the nature of the human condition. But as a community building project, he said he also looks for work that is friendly and welcoming.
“I’m interested in work that is tactical in nature, well thought out, conceptually driven, but also has a lot of aesthetic fortitude to it that isn’t simply, ‘I want to bring my artwork to a gallery and hang it on a wall and have a great solo show,’” Driessen said. “I’m more interested in the development of the process and how the work engages the particular space.”
So when will this all start?
“It’s already begun,” Driessen said with a smile–the first project being the raw space itself, the TuckUnder.
If you are interested in showing your work at TuckUnder, email email@example.com.