» Mike Hoyt
How did you become an artist?
I’ve always been making art since I was a kid. I loved to draw and it was the only thing I was ever good at; it kept me busy for hours on end.
What inspires you?
It’s always different and changes throughout life. I’m in a place in my life where being a parent is inspiring. I’m mostly inspired by artists that break the rules and step outside of our preconceptions about what art “is” or what art is supposed to “be”, or even whom is an artist? whom is art for? and why?
How can art be a tool for speaking out, for creating change in the world?
Art can simply be about creating access, and building independent vehicles for unfiltered expression. That is an incredibly liberating mechanism in a world where everything is increasingly privatized and mass marketed. I have tried to use art to bridge disparate communities or cultures, to be the cultural hyphen between points of complex cultural intersection. I use art independently as an artist, and as a tool for youth development work.
How has Intermedia Arts been a part of your story?
I have been involved with Intermedia Arts in varied capacities for roughly 15 years. Some of my connections to Intermedia Arts have been as a contracted artist, a mentoring artist, an exhibition co-curator, and community non-profit partner. Intermedia Arts serves as a cultural hub, a place to connect to artists and community stakeholders. I often felt that Intermedia Arts former Director Tom Borrup was an unofficial mentor of sorts. Although he never signed on to this I always knew his door was open for a talk or some good advice.
What is one of your most memorable experiences with Intermedia Arts?
Working with John Marshal and having him guide me through the process of curating a community exhibit, called Minneapolis 55408. It was such an intense show because the format of the exhibit stated that anyone living or working in the 55408 zip code could automatically be included in the show, and every artist would get a one-on-one studio visit by one of the curators.
“Art has allowed me to see and experience more of the world that I ever imagined, and to find ways to give back to the communities in which I live.”
- Mike Hoyt
Keep in mind this was a community exhibition that represented more than 70 artists. The artistic pool was made up of an immensely diverse grouping; some self-taught, some students, some emerging, some professional exhibiting artists, and many whom fell outside a convenient category. Going into these artists studios, living rooms, kitchens, and basement apartments to view and discuss their artwork was an incredible experience and forced me to see that the life of a person making meaningful art has nothing to do with a fancy loft, or artists studios, of some romanticized idea of the “important artist” that comes packaged with a BFA.
How has art changed you?
Art has given me the license to live a truly unique life. It gave me the opportunity to connect with artists and homeless youth for over 11 years. I have created opportunities to travel, exhibit, and teach in cities or countries I had not ever dreamed of visiting. Art has allowed me to see and experience more of the world that I ever imagined, and to find ways to give back to the communities in which I live.
What do you see as Intermedia Arts' role in the community?
Intermedia Arts is a cultural container. It is one of several important nucleuses in which artists and the community can connect, grow, share, and build anew.
MIKE HOYT is a practicing professional artist who produces participatory public art projects locally, nationally, and abroad and through teaching residencies, including Roanoke College and the University of Hawaii, Manoa. Mike has exhibited visual art through Intermedia Arts, the Soap Factory, the SOO Visual Arts Center, The Walker Art Center, the Katherine Nash Gallery, the Weisman Museum, The Arts At Marks Garage, University Hawaii Art Gallery, Soma Museum of Art Korea, East Hawai‘i Cultural Center, University of Mississippi Museum - Sarah Spurgeon Gallery, LSU Museum of Art, Shaw Center for the Arts, Zhou Brothers Center Chicago among others. Mike proudly resides in the Central Neighborhood of South Minneapolis.