3rd Floor Emerging Artist Gallery

August 10 – September 27, 2015

Opening Thursday, August 27, 2015, 5 – 7 pm
Press conference with Chris Cloud and Mayor Ardell F. Brede, 5:30 pm

As part of Rochester Art Center’s 3rd Floor Emerging Artist Series, Mayor For a Day is a snapshot of a day spent in the city of Rochester, from the perspective of Chris Cloud, a Minneapolis-based artist. Through video, photographs, and ephemera from the day, Mayor For a Day documents Cloud’s experience with Mayor Ardell F. Brede. From lunch at the Mayor’s favorite restaurant, to taking selfies at a Honker’s baseball game, Cloud accompanies Mayor Brede, encountering and shaking hands with the public along the way. “It was fascinating to watch Mayor Brede, with a big personality, that people were drawn to. He’s a busy guy!” says Cloud.

Featuring Rochester’s theme song, Rochester’s a Number One City, 1994, by Doug Porter (musician and founder of local band Knufunk) a video follows Cloud and the Mayor as they go about their day. The song and its lyrics (“nicest people you will ever meet”) echo the visual tone of the video: engaged, friendly, and active. The day begins at City Hall, in the office of Mayor Brede, followed by visits to many recognizable Rochester landmarks: Mayo Civic Center, Chateau Theater, Peace Plaza, the Zumbro River, and a Honker’s baseball game, among others. Along the way, Cloud and Mayor Brede wave, stop to talk, shake hands and even take pictures with various members of the community. When the day ends, they return to City Hall (where Cloud finds he has gotten a parking ticket—which Mayor Brede can waive). Cloud sits at Mayor Brede’s desk—invoking the Mayor’s mannerisms by answering the phone, and picking up a pen—and a framed print of a Norman Rockwell painting, “The Golden Rule”, is visible directly behind the Mayor’s desk. Throughout, the Mayor’s influence as a popular public figure within the community is evident.

Have something to say? Come be heard! We invite you to participate in an interactive aspect of Mayor For a Day. In addition to being given an inside look into the experience of Cloud’s day with Mayor Brede in the video, photographs, and various ephemera, a soapbox, microphone, and amplifier invites visitors to give their own ‘stump speech.’ Encouraging visitors to step up on the soapbox—becoming the Mayor for a moment—invites a consideration of what it means to be mayor and the significance of civic engagement.

Another visual theme in the video is scaffolding, and “for rent” signs on various buildings as Cloud and Mayor Brede navigate the city. Capturing Rochester now, the work simultaneously calls attention to and questions Rochester’s current construction and expansion—as the city visually and structurally changes, Cloud raises the question: what will Rochester look and feel like in the future?

Chris Cloud (b. 1983) is an artist, curator, and culture maker, and a fixture in Minneapolis’s creative milieu. Cloud has made collaboration and experimentation major components of his practice. He was the co-founder of MPLS.TV, an online Do-It-Together video network and MPLSzine, a submissions-based digital publication. Recently, Cloud has exhibited work for Last Year On The Internet, at Ordinary Projects in Chicago, IL, as part of the collaborative Negative Jam with Lea Devon Sorrentino and in “SLOVV” as a part of the group exhibition, Brilliance: Made Here, a showcase in nearly 40 storefront windows encompassing 15 city blocks and 11 different locations, in Minneapolis, MN. He has attended residencies at Artists’ Cooperative Residency and Exhibitions (ACRE) in Steuben, WI and Elsewhere in Greensboro, NC. Cloud concentrates his practice on conceptual interdisciplinary projects that may include video, installation, performance, and mixed media and typically combine medium-hearted humor and irony.

The 3rd Floor Emerging Artist Series is curated by Susannah Magers, Curator, Art & Public Engagement.


The 3rd Floor Emerging Artist Series is funded by the Jerome Foundation.