Ari's studio in the Ivy Building for the Arts was destroyed during the unrest in Minneapolis on Friday May 29 2020, when embers from the burning Hexagon Bar across the street landed on the building roof which caught fire.
Over 1000 gallons of water from firehoses and sprinklers crashed down through the disintegrating roof and ceiling, covering all of his paintings and drawings with a deluge of wet sludge. He had to immediately evacuate the space, moving everything that might be salvageable to a temporary warehouse shelter over the following week.
A wonderful story about his outlook on life and art, and his optimistic willingness to start over, was written in the midst of the emergency evacuation week by PJ Grisar of The Forward:
An amazing feature article by Alicia Eler with photos by Jeff Wheeler was published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The full version that appeared online on Tue Jun 9 has an in-depth photo essay with 23 photos, and a shorter version appeared in the Variety section of the Fri Jun 12 print edition:
The Costs of Restarting
Although money cannot replace any of the finished work or work in progress that was completely destroyed, money can help with the significant costs of damage remediation, replacing materials and tools, and moving into a new space.
Ari is still assessing the full extent of the water and smoke damage.
It's already clear that as part of the damage remediation, many of the finished works will need to be reframed and rematted. The costs of that will be high, his initial estimate is $10K-$20K for that alone.
Many supplies and materials were completely destroyed, as were some of his tools and equipment. The replacement costs could be up to $5K-$10K.
There will be costs associated with temporary storage, moving, and setting up a new studio space. It will be difficult to find suitable space that is as affordable as his previous studio, where he was a longtime tenant with favorable terms.
All funds raised will go directly to him to be used to defray the costs of damage remediation, and of establishing a new studio space. Any amount from you is welcome at any time.
Another way to support Ari, as always, is through acquiring his work. His web site, http://www.aribertmunzner.com documents much of his lifetime output, and includes a list of all currently available major and minor work. We will be updating those pages over the coming weeks and months as the damage assessment and remediation process unfolds; in the meantime, please do contact him to ask about any specific works that interest you.
You can see and hear more about Ari's work in A Conversation with Ari Munzner, a great 40-minute video by Raven Miller, shot on location in 2019 in his now-destroyed Ivy Building studio.
Ari has been a mentor to a huge swath of the art community in Minneapolis and beyond, inspiring many students through his 50 years of teaching as a professor at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD).
We are grateful to his many friends, colleagues, and former students for their outpouring of help evacuating the Ivy Building studio in the long and hard week after the fire, a time of immediate crisis.
I am Tamara Munzner, one of Ari's two daughters. I created this GoFundMe on his behalf one week after the fire, after many people asked how they could help and support him at this difficult time.
Photo credit: Oleg Volk, who first met Ari as a student at MCAD, created the wonderful photo collage above of Ari in his element - the Ivy Building studio - ten years ago.