The exhibit features the paintings, ceramics, and many other media forms of local artists that speak to our connection with nature. "Renewal is all about how the little green shoots begin to emerge in springtime," Robinson said, "and how we as Minnesotans emerge with it. We have gathered the best artwork that Minnesota has to offer, from Duluth to the Twin Cities... When people travel through, all they know about us is snow. But once the weather breaks we emerge too and we all begin to hear the same three phrases: 'going up north,' 'at the cabin,' and 'on the lake.' This exhibit reflects our desire to mimic nature."
Robinson, who retired from news broadcasting in 2010 before running in the DFL primary for Lieutenant Governor with Matt Entenza, accepted the position of Arts and Culture Director at the MSP International Airport this past November. The newly-created position is responsible for developing both the visual and performing arts programs at the airport, and collaborating with local arts organizations and artists to showcase the best that the state and region has to offer. "I feel really blessed to represent you, Minnesota, to the traveling community," Robinson said.
The MSP Arts and Culture Program is a partnership between the Airport Foundation MSP, a nonprofit established in 1982, and the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which owns and operates MSP International Airport and six other general aviation airports in the metropolitan area. The Airport Foundation MSP works to provide international exposure for the local and regional arts community through its rotating exhibits, performing arts, and commissioned installations to modify different spaces throughout the airport to display local artwork.
Robinson was chosen as Airport Foundation MSP Arts and Cultural Director because of her long track record as a local arts advocate. During her career as a news anchor and reporter, she developed the most influential arts coverage in Twin Cities' television and won accolades from many local and national arts publications and music critics. In 2002, Robinson was selected by Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak to be the first co-chair of Mosaic, the annual city-wide arts and diversity festival. She has also served as board member and advisor for the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, The Soap Factory, First Avenue, the Walker Art Center (one of the top contemporary art museums in the world), and many other community art organizations.
MSP is the only airport in the country that has an organization dedicated solely to enhancing the experience of travelers and bringing culture to the airport and the surrounding community. Even though the concourse gallery is not accessible to the general public, it is greatly appreciated by the 30 million travelers who the MSP International Airport plays host to every year. Miko Simmons, a brilliant interactive creative designer, created an art piece for the Renewal exhibit that is a combination of video, photography, and painting. He commended Robinson and her phenomenal vision for bringing the exhibit to reality. "The airport," Simmons said, "is where you get to showcase your city, but art isn't typically as appreciated here as it is in other cities."
Simmons is mostly known for his work in theatrical productions but wanted to utilize his experience in theater to create fine art. Although a little difficult to see at times in the glaring sunlight from the concourse windows, his moving art piece beautifully integrates different visuals of local wildlife and vegetation. "This is about growth and bridging that connection between nature and technology, because to me, they're the same thing," he said. "Minnesota has a great park system, I took all of these photos from around local parks and I discovered so many great new ones right here in the city."
The Renewal exhibit is expected to remain on display until this October when the gallery will reopen as the MSP Employee Art Exhibit. This rotating exhibit features the paintings, photographs, ceramics, textiles, sculptures, and mixed media objects of MSP employees, volunteers, and their families.