TC Art: Thai art at Art-a-Whirl


by Paul Schmelzer, 5/15/08 • One of the many challenges facing artists today (and always) is how to do what you love and be able to pay the rent. For my wife Mok and I, we’re rolling several endeavors together, under the aegis of Mok Studio, and they’ll all be on view this weekend at Art-a-Whirl, the three-day art crawl in Northeast Minneapolis.

• A sculptor and potter trained at Chiang Mai University and the Bauhaus, Julaporn Mok Buakaow will be selling her sculptures (including Nong), photographs on canvas, and an array of functional and ceramics. We’ll also be offering, hot-off-the-presses, copies of her new limited-edition book Nong in Minneapolis, a project she created at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design during her Bauhaus semester abroad.

• We’ll also be showcasing and selling oil pastels by Chiang Mai-based artist Luck Maisalee, his first representation in the midwest. During our last trip to Thailand, we met with Luck, an undergrad classmate of Mok’s, and sorted through a stack of his works, arriving together on what we felt were the strongest pieces. It’s a nice confluence: we can support an artist and a friend and offer affordable original art otherwise unavailable in this region.

• Finally, Mok has curated a collection of textiles from Thailand. During our travels, I realized that while there’s plenty of silk to be found, the challenge is finding items that stand out, aesthetically and in terms of quality. As a native, Mok has an eye for quality, an artist’s sensibility for selecting clothing that contemporizes traditional styles and the linguistic and cultural chops to negotiate fair prices. Mok will show a range of pieces, including Thai fisherman pants, patoongs (Thai sarong), silk scarves, blouses, handbags and dresses.

Mok Studio @ The Thorp Building
1618 Central Ave NE, Suite 02 (Basement), Minneapolis
Free parking is available on the building’s south side

Friday, May 16, 12 noon–10 pm
Saturday, May 17, 12 noon–10 pm
Sunday, May 18, 12 noon–6 pm