MIA’s once-a-decade Foot in the Door show goes virtual

Published 6:50 am Wednesday, November 4, 2020

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By Euan Kerr

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts’ popular Foot in the Door show has opened in virtual form.

Held every 10 years, the Foot in the Door show accepts everything submitted by Minnesota artists — as long as it fits inside a 12-inch cube.

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In years past there as an actual box, and a line stretching out the door as artists entered objects. The last time the show ran in 2010 there were 4,800 entries

COVID-19 precautions made forming such a line impractical this year, and mounting a physical show much more difficult as well. So the museum decided to make the show virtual, and use the honor system, asking artists to guarantee their work is smaller than one square foot.

Foot in the Door 5 received 2,066 entries.

“A colleague once called it ‘orchestrated chaos’ and I love that,” says show coordinator Nicole Soukup.

She says all the objects are now on the show website. It’s searchable, but she says you can just plunge in.

“Our website for Foot in the Door is kind of like Google. You just never know what you are going to get if you click that ‘I’m lucky’ button,” she said.

There is an extraordinary variety of objects in the show, created by a wide array of artists.

“That’s a huge exhibition and it really cuts across all media: paintings, ceramics, photography, to all ages. We are talking [ages] 2 to 93 from all areas of the state” said Soukup.

There are also advantages in taking the show virtual, Soukup says. It’s made it accessible to a larger audience at a critical time. And she says artists who were unaware of each other are already making connections with each other within and across artistic disciplines as a result of the show.

Soukup says taking a spin through the website is also a respite from the current woes of the world.

“Virtually Foot in the Door is a really great chance to escape from the onslaught of the other other un-orchestrated chaos of our world in 2020,” she said.

Foot in the Door 5 runs through early January.