Sunday, February 03, 2013
On this day, January 16, 1988, Icebox Studio opened its doors for a group show of 11 friends and artists. The name of the show was Crystallized Phantoms; it took place on a Saturday night in a basement space named after a refrigerator. That was twenty-five years ago.
At the time Icebox Studio opened, Howard Christopherson was creating manipulated art using photographs, paintings, drawings and sculptures. The single work of art, a small-scale found object sculpture created on the bottom of a coffee cup, titled “Crystallized Phantom” (1987), put him on the path to the first gallery exhibit. The first exhibit played a key role in opening the art gallery and framing business, which helped to reshape Northeast Minneapolis into an arts community. Christopherson was one of the founders of Art-A-Whirl, now the largest art event in the state of Minnesota.
Icebox Studio began circa 1986-87 in a third floor studio in Downtown Minneapolis; in 1987 Icebox moved to Central Avenue and the studio was renamed Icebox Quality Framing & Gallery. Prior to Icebox Studio and opening his business Christopherson had a picture-framing career underway, working for several framing companies. Christopherson was a production supervisor for a large multi-location framing company and it was the experience and skill acquired that qualified him to open his own business. Icebox became a stimulating and thought-provoking art gallery and a full service frame shop specializing in handcrafted gallery style hardwood frames.
In 1987 the Minneapolis gallery scene was flourishing in the Minneapolis warehouse district just as it was undergoing gentrification. The high cost of renting space in downtown warehouse buildings was affected by the construction of the Target Center, changing the character of the neighborhood. This was the beginning of the shift of the gallery scene to NE Minneapolis. Icebox opened what became the first fine art gallery in NE Minneapolis.
Icebox Quality Framing & Gallery is an extension of Howard Christopherson’s artistic vision. It was difficult to find a gallery that exhibits experimental art like Christopherson was doing where themes and media changed with each show. It was also a huge step for Christopherson to open the gallery as owning a business initially curtailed his love of travel. Happily, over the last 25 years, Icebox succeeded with the support of corporations, private parties, collectors and artists who purchased custom picture framing and original works of art. Not to mention the loyal patrons’ who have a passion for art and Icebox Gallery.
We hope you attend the next two new exhibits, which are numbers 124 and 125 of Icebox’s total exhibits to date. Each exhibit will bring you back to the art and events that occurred over the past twenty-five years beginning in a basement space on Central Avenue to its current location on the 4th floor of the Northrup King Building.
Thank you for your continued support of the gallery and our picture framing services.
Picture: Crystallized Phantom, mixed media sculpture by Howard M. Christopherson 1987.
Features two exhibits looking back at years of art making and exhibitions.
The Icebox Years / Howard M. Christopherson
Exhibit of artwork created during the 25 years of Icebox by its founder.
February 16, 2013 Opening 8 – 11PM
Closes ~ April 20, 2013
Heart & Soul / Icebox Collection
Exhibit of artworks collected from the last 25 years.
May 17,18 &19 (Art-A-Whirl)
Closes ~ August 31, 2013