Downloading From The Universe

Cate Whittemore "Where Do Ideas Come From? Palette" 2017
Cate Whittemore   2017     “Where Do Ideas Come From? Palette”    

Presented at The Anderson Center, Red Wing, MN  There Is A Ladder: Reaching for the Unknown/ an exhibition of the early stages of original creative work


I am a painter who often prefers my palettes ~ the surfaces on which I mix paint color ~ because they  contain juicy freedom and immediacy, making them more alive to me.  

color mixing
Cate Whittemore   palette / color mixing

My preference for my palettes led me to surprising results ~ I began to explore the instability and fluid logic of the materiality of paint,  simultaneously while trying to paint the massively gorgeous landscapes of Northern California, where I was then.    I printed my color explorations on dye-infused aluminum, so they could be placed IN the landscape, as indestructible as Coke cans.  I convinced a metal shop to bend them, so they could be freestanding ~ to install in a landscape.   

"Mermaid's Book" Cate Whittemore 2015
Cate Whittemore   “Mermaid’s Book”   2015

I also often prefer my notebooks, as much or more  than the art work they support.  The more scrawled-upon and splattered they are, the better I like them.  I prefer being in the realm of possibility ~ before things congeal into reality~ that zone of spaciousness and potential where I can tune in to the frequency of infinite possibility ~ a sort of downloading from the universe.    It is a risky, uncertain, suspended place, without guarantee, full of doubt, fiasco,  and indefensible experiment ~ all of which I prefer to the methodical, the safe, the known. 

I wondered what it might be like to exhibit that realm of investigations, by showing sketchbooks and works-in-progress, to present projects closer to the chaotic end of coherence continuum, to demonstrate creativity germinating.

 The Anderson Center is itself a REAL result of experimenting in the realm  possibility.  Dr. Alexander Pierce Anderson, The Anderson Center’s ancestral founder and muse, invented puffed wheat.  Included in this unusual exhibition are his notes and an experimental piece of machinery.   

Cate Whittemore "Egg" watercolor 2016
Cate Whittemore “Where Do Ideas Come From? Egg” watercolor 2016

There Is A Ladder

There is a Ladder Postcard
“There is a Ladder”   2017                The Anderson Center                Cate Whittemore curator

There Is A Ladder” :  Reaching for the Unknown

 An Exhibition of the Early Stages of Original Creative Works

There is A Ladder” :  Reaching for the Unknown  October 6 though December 15, 2017

The Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, RED WING, MN


Delving into the unknown is an aspect of original creative work in a wide array of disciplines, including the sciences. To dispel the prevalent impression that inventions and art arise fully formed,  this exhibition reveals and honors the creative scribbles, and leaps of faith  of 17 local and international, award-winning luminaries.

 I collected this unusual array of sketchbooks, manuscripts, palettes, and artifacts of original important creative projects and inventions in their formative stages, to demonstrate VISION.  

The exhibition spans ten disciplines ~ visual art, architecture, archeology, drama,  musical composition, poetry, prose, psychotherapy, science, and sculpture,    demonstrating the fragility of creative trajectories, and         the will and wrong turns required to bring vision to fruition.  

I wanted to show work in varying stages of completion, to trace ideas from their first appearance to their eventual expression, following what the Anderson Center’s Executive Director Chris Burawa calls the “unconscious thread”.  Burawa chose the title for this exhibit, “There Is  A Ladder” from a line in the famous 1973 Adrienne Rich poem, “Diving Into The Wreck” …. in which ‘diving’ deepens into revelation. 


1. Quilomene Bar    ARCHEOLOGIST

2.  Robert Hedin      POET

3.  AP Anderson      SCIENTIST

4.  Louise Erdrich    WRITER

5.  Rosemary Moore    PLAYWRIGHT

6.  Scott King            POET & NATURALIST

7.  Wayne Horvitz      MUSICIAN/ COMPOSER



10. Vesna Kittelson         VISUAL ARTIST / SCULPTOR /  CURATOR 


12.  Diane Katsiaficas    VISUAL ARTIST

13.  Mary Griep            VISUAL ARTIST

14.  Kevin Kling             PLAYWRIGHT

15.  Molly Reichert        ARCHITECT

16.  Cate Whittemore /curator        VISUAL ARTIST

17.  Phil Docken        FILM MAKER

Diane Katsiaficas 'testing the fire' gold leaf, wood, tin, wax 2017
Diane Katsiaficas ‘testing the fire’ gold leaf, wood, tin, wax 2017


Vesna Kittelson "Altered Language Dictionaries" from "Babel Library" 2017
Vesna Kittelson “Altered Language Dictionaries” from “Babel Library” 2017
Louise Erdrich early notes for the novel LaRose
Louise Erdrich early notes for the novel LaRose
Rosemary Moore notes & model for play "Side Street"
Rosemary Moore    notes & model for play “Side Street”
Fred Hagstrom sketchbook from the Cook Islands
Fred Hagstrom sketchbook from the Cook Islands
Robert Hedin Snow Country and notes
Robert Hedin        Snow Country      and notes
Molly Reichert "Divining Rod" prototypes Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Molly Reichert      “Divining Rod”  prototypes      Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Gaylord Schanilec unfinished proof from My Mighty Journey project
Gaylord Schanilec   “Sawmills”     unfinished proof     from My Mighty Journey project
Diane Katsiaficas laser prints and their original drawings
Diane Katsiaficas      laser prints &  original source drawings







Skopelos International Film Fest for Youth 2017

Cate Whittemore SIFFY 2017 Premiere Screening
Cate Whittemore   SIFFY 2017  Premiere Screening     Skopelos
Cate Whittemore 2017 Skopelos Newspaper
Cate Whittemore   prop newspaper  Skopelos International Film Fest for Youth 2017  PLEASE SEE MENU FOR LINK
Cate Whittemore 2017 fake news/ SIFFY premiere screening
Cate Whittemore  “fake news”   SIFFY 2017 Premiere Screening  PLEASE SEE MENU FOR LINK
Cate Whittemore SIFFY 2017 Premiere Screening
Cate Whittemore    “Beautiful Mistake”   SIFFY 2017  Premiere Screening  PLEASE SEE MENU FOR LINK
Cate Whittemore & Costantinos Mpatakas @ SIFFY 2017 Premiere Screening
Cate Whittemore & Costantinos Mpatakas @   SIFFY   2017    Premiere Screening