The collective genius of MINT

As the MINT collective prepares to leave their space on 42 W Jenkins and start a new chapter in their story, I asked the members to share their memories of the space so that I could post them on Minus Plato. As a new member I cannot possibly know the mix of emotions that the collective is going through at this transitional time, but I wanted to post these memories as a way of marking what we could call ‘the spirit of the place’ of 42 W Jenkins. While the contemporary expansion of this ancient Roman religious idea of the genius loci is based on describing something special about a particular place, the Romans were actually more specific and associated this spirit less with the space than something or someone who populated it. For example, they imagined this spirit to be a guardian spirit (typically represented as a snake), to which sacrifices were made when the name of the deity associated with an area was unknown. It also expanded to the figure of the Roman Emperor who was himself the genius loci of the whole Roman Empire, as a kind of protective force. In speaking with MINT members, they acknowledge that the collective is more than 42 W Jenkins, it is something that they each share and cultivate as artists and as a collective. So, as both a way of marking the importance of 42 W Jenkins and also the next phase in MINT’s history, here are some memories by Angela Jann, Liz Roberts and Tala Kanani, with an extended account by Ethan Schaefer (pictured below):

Community, safe, pushing art in columbus and creating a critical dialogue on art and culture today, diverse, welcoming, music, performance, video, film, farm, warm summer days hanging out outside in the grasses having amazing conversations, dancing to great music all night, watching performers create music that i still cant shake off and dont want to, cold nights and days in the studio with friends and loves laughing and painting and getting pissed off at my work. So much great work, ive learned so much from all the artists, musicians, djs, performers. I love mint so much

Toothpaste, nightmode, blvck ice, all4thelove, pre-above ground mint, band in a hat, our scene, the altar Bobby made and the curtains Racheal made for Metalhead, brunch meetings, life on mars, the summer of mint, we did mad max and art prom first Making the NSATSAT&A tent, My Body Your Surface install and when the skater kids came to gallery hours and then came back for the closing, Leachate and Thomas passing out while Henny Rose played sax which I thought was part of the performance, when Rose came from MOCA Cleveland and did studio visits dumpster donuts

racoons, life on mars, south side safari, repelling from the roof of the front garage to gain access to the garage code, twice. courtyard swing set, trap studio, Every beautiful figure drawing especially the holiday one in red meat cooler. field bon fire nights, sharing homemade gluten free sugar free cake with icing for maritts birthday.

during a summer meeting in 2016, almost a year of our occupation of 42 W Jenkins ave someone mentioned that they had finally opened a door in the “library” revealing the original house that the warehouse was built around. collectively we were amazed by this discovery and as a group 12 or more people decided to explore the newly discovered space. we walked through a recognizable door that had been latched shut with a small lock since we moved, up a creepy stairway creaky wooden stairwell into a disheveled living space. while no furniture as present, the lasting feel of the room was retained by the arcade-like columns that occupied and held together the center of the room. light poured in through the mostly opaque painted windows. as we moved into a long hallway off of the room we came upon several rooms that were likely used as office space most recently, a bathroom that had been ransacked for copper pipe, and a series of file cabinets that retained several unwritten checks from what the certainly a long-defunct bank account of the meat processing company that once made a home in the warehouse. as a group we were stunned it was as if the entire building had been turned upside, what we saw as cold concrete cave had at its core a lived-in, perhaps loved-in, cocoon.

when we first moved into the building were surprised and possibly horrified by a series of paw prints that were set in the concrete floors of most the rooms in the building. as time went peoples paintings and other materials began to accumulate dirty paw prints of a similar size. eventually we understood this to be the mark of a family of raccoons that had likely occupied 42 w jenkins since it’s construction in the early 1900s. the raccoon we initially thought was singular—who we named harple—was in fact countless raccoons struggling to remain in a home we had moved into. 

rest in peace the almost entirely mummified cat that was waiting for us in the parking lot when we moved in august of 2015

late at night when the wind is blowing you can hear the building shift back and forth in the wind as though it’s nestling into its bedrock for a long sleep

in the first couple months of our occupation of the building we noticed a door that seemed to have light coming through its cracks. at this time we were unaware of any areas in the space that had windows which drove our curiosity. upon opening the door by way of force we discovered a very small courtyard which we later discovered to be a decompression area for c02 tanks, that since had begun growing a tree—that now reaches up to the sun everyday as if it were not surrounded by tons of concrete 

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