What do you get when you mix art, literature, whimsy,
surrealism, and a dash of fun?
The outcome is The
Paper Darts Pop-Up. Located in a Minneapolis storefront, the six-week
celebration will produce 22 events from June 1-July 20 from the local art and
The pop-up is put on by Paper Darts, a Minneapolis-based
literary arts magazine with a bit of sass and a lot of class. Jamie Millard,
Paper Darts’ co-founder and lead Pop-Up organizer shares her vision for the
event and gives Modern Midwest a preview of what to expect.
- Fun Fact: Jamie Millard, co-founder of Paper Darts loves GIF
- Paper Darts Pop-Up
June 1-July 20
3506 Nicollet Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN, 55408
Who reads Paper Darts?
JM: People who are engaged in the
literary community from an independent model.
These are the people who are interested in good creative writing, fiction, poetry and
non-fiction and are also interested in cultural landscapes. These people want
to know what’s happening in the music and art scene. Also, the people who are
inspired by the cross-genre intersection of art and literature.
Since we illustrate everything we publish, there’s a strong art element in everything we do. In addition to illustrating all of our content, we also publish artists who fit the Paper Darts aesthetic.
Why do The Paper Darts Pop-Up?
JM: We are volunteer-run and don’t have a physical office space. We felt the need to have a grounded, physical space because a lot of our work is abstract. There’s a symbolism to having a physical space. We don’t have the resources to have a permanent space, so the pop-up is the only physical way for us to make that happen realistically.
It’s also a great way to experiment with what we would do if we did have a physical space. We would want it to be a community-aggregating place. There’s something really transformative about having a physical space that we really value.
What do you hope people get from the space when they walk into the room?
JM: It’s going to feel very branded. Paper Darts has a very strong aesthetic, whether it’s on our website or in our print magazine. Everything is overly hyper-designed. We want the space to feel like that too.
All the walls are going to be painted black and we will have neon accents, things hanging from the ceiling and art all over the walls. We will also have a book installation called, “Mellow Pages” that covers an entire wall. You’re going to feel like you are walking inside a 3D version of Paper Darts.
role does storytelling play for today’s artists?
JM: Storytelling is the unique identifier behind all types of
artists. Whether you’re an illustrator, painter, graphic designer, short story
writer, or a poet, everyone has a story they are trying to tell. Paper Darts believes
the story is best told when there’s a combination of art and words.
can people find Paper Darts?
JM: We are a print and online magazine. Most of our traffic and
user engagement is through our site and online since we publish almost every
The physical copies are available at all the major indie bookstores in the Twin Cities.
We also have some national independent bookstores carrying the publication in Washington, Colorado. We’re looking into getting into Austin and the east coast and San Francisco.
will The Paper Darts Pop-Up tell the artists’ story?
JM: The pop-up is in partnership with SooVAC, which is
the Soo Visual Arts Center and SooLOCAL, their visual arts store.
the pop-up, we hope to inject the gallery culture with the lit scene.
readings happen at bars and theaters, while art shows happen in galleries. What
happens when a reading happens inside of a gallery and these two separate
duration of the pop-up, there will always be a rotating art exhibit on the
wall. The readings and story-focused events will play off of the artist’s
display and the art can play off of the works being read in the space.
story is being told in the space, it’s going to be contextualized by the art on
are some of the events being featured in your pop-up shop?
JM: There are 22 events in total. The number one intention with
this is to go with organizations that are indie and underdog.
There is this
ecosystem in the Twin Cities of really outstanding, established literary
organizations, but on a national scene, those businesses might seem indie. On a
local level, they have been around for 30-plus years and are more established
and have resources.
been in the last five years that we have had new steam developing that did not
exist previously. It’s things like Paper Darts, Thirty
Two Magazine, Revolver, MPLSzine, The
Tangential, Story City and MIZNA. These are all literary
publications that have popped up in the last five years that did not exist
before and add a whole new layer to our publishing and art scene that wasn’t
here before. It’s now changing what it means for the Twin Cities and our long-term
Describe Paper Darts in one word.
sure to visit the Paper Darts’ Pop Up website for a full list of activities,
hours and events. Look forward to future features on the fun community happening
in the Pop-Up space.