Inside View: Art is Blooming

Each year, I look forward to Art in Bloom at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Typically in late April, it brings together dozens of participants who use flowers and plants to create arrangements inspired by artworks throughout the museum. Some of the arrangements are literal (and astoundingly accurate) recreations of an artwork, and others are more conceptual and thought-provoking. All are beautiful. Thousands of people attend, and it’s one of the surest signs that another long Minnesota winter is melting away and spring is preparing to arrive.

COVID-19 meant Art in Bloom couldn’t happen in 2020, and in 2021 it had to go virtual. At first, I was disappointed. Staring into a laptop screen for the umpteenth hour that day just isn’t the same as going to that beautiful Neoclassical landmark on Third Avenue South and seeing the displays in-person alongside people who are just as happy to be there as I am. It just isn’t. That feeling started to fade though, when I saw all the programming the Art Institute had lined up. It created a gallery of arrangements from years past. It displayed newly acquired artwork from Dakota artist Holly Young, offered signature cocktail and mocktail recipes, and held virtual talks, tours, and Q&As. The staff at the Institute of Art had clearly put a lot of thought into providing an engaging line-up of events, and they succeeded. Sure, it wasn’t like Art in Bloom events of the past, but that turned out to be okay. It was something new.

When the editorial board members of Hennepin Lawyer were discussing how to assemble this Art and the Law issue, we wanted to think broadly. We wanted to make sure we thought beyond the limits of narrow, accepted ideas of what art is—and I’m glad we did.

In this issue, we have an article that looks at providing CLEs through live theater. We take a look at the artwork several lawyers have on their walls and what it means to them, and we share pointers on how attorneys can provide more and better service to creators. And John Medeiros, whose recently published memoir, Self, Divided, won the Howling Bird Press Nonfiction Prize, shares his writing experience and provides advice for other attorneys looking to publish a book.

In addition, we wanted to devote space in this issue to highlight artistic creations of HCBA members. Following calls to the membership for submissions, we’re pleased to showcase these creative expressions, both on our cover and inside the issue. I hope you enjoy seeing work from some of these talented attorney-artists.

As long as we’re thinking about art broadly, I suppose you could say there’s an art to putting together issue after issue of substantive, thought-provoking content, the way the staff of Hennepin Lawyer does. My stint as a guest editor renewed my appreciation for those people and my fellow editorial board members. I think I speak for all of us when I say we hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as we enjoyed creating it. Thank you, as always, for the time you spend reading us.

Will-Ashenmacher-150Will Ashenmacher
July/August 2021 Issue Editor

Will Ashenmacher is a licensed attorney, former journalist, and communications manager in the Minneapolis office of Ballard Spahr. In his role, he works across the national firm’s seven Western offices to find and further stories about Ballard Spahr’s attorneys, work matters, and
firm culture. Ashenmacher volunteers with the University of St. Thomas’ ThreeSixty Journalism program. He lives in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis with this dog, Kitsu.
Managing Editor
Elsa Cournoyer

Executive Editor

Joseph Satter