She's the sort of woman who elicits this "goddamn I wish I was a sliver as cool as her, she's like a total badass" feeling in you. Then you follow her on Instagram and start a Google Doc of tips to make yourself more badass based on everything she does. If you don't know that feeling, you will soon.
Meet Minneapolis royalty/badass lady/queen of the MILFs, Connie Mrotek. She lives in North Minneapolis, spends her days working at InkLab and as a freelance Stylist, making jewelry and raising her two kids. (Bonus, she's married to the dreadlocked babe who slings drinks at Marvel Bar and Dogwood. He has a name, ladies, and it is Keith). She's also the brains behind the upcoming Black Magik Woman show at Urban Outfitters Uptown and a generally rad person.
Black Magik Woman explores the different artistic styles of five local photographers, all given the same set of models to work with. Here's a sampling of the work that will be shown May 4th and everything you might want to know from the brains behind the operation:
First of all, what do you call yourself when you’re talking to people about this project? The Curator? Facilitator? THE BLACK MAGIK WOMAN?
Ha! Well that's a tricky question....I came up with this idea a few months back, and presented it to a few of the photographers and they thought it sounded cool, so I proceeded from there. Each photographer works differently and needs different things. So I helped on the shoots with wardrobe, posing, props, hair, makeup...whatever they needed help with. I also took care of all the little communications and planning details that come with a project like this. Jess Andrews (Urban Outfitters uptown- Store Manager) and I planned the event space together. So....I guess creator? Art director? Assistant? Stylist? All-seeing eye?! Haha
What inspired you to put Black Magik Woman together? And why the name?
In brainstorming this idea, I realized how many talented women we have in Minneapolis! I was inspired by that and all the creative energy that's around me on a regular basis. It was important to me that I showcased the different styles of photography that these women represent. With the birth of the iPhone, everyone is a "photographer" today, but this project is about the true form of photography... one that provokes emotion, desire, happiness, sadness... these women are true artists that I deeply admire. The name simply stems from that... the power of these women as a whole and individually. I also wanted a name with strong imagery to show cohesiveness in the project. That, and we are all a little witchy on the inside. Hehehe
Tell me a little bit about the photographers and why you chose them
I have met and become friends with these ladies over the past few years; through social media, mutual friends, or working on previous projects together. I've actually known Nicole (@nylonsaddle) for about 7 years. She was mutual friends with myself and my husband, before we knew each other, and was our wedding photographer! They all have very different styles of photography that are recognizable as their own, which makes for a diverse and exciting process and end result!
Tell me a little bit about the models and why you chose them
I wanted a group of women that represented different aspects of my own life, as well as being relatable to other women. I wanted women that didn't necessarily have much modeling experience... Zoe and Devyn are the only 2 with much experience. There's a mom, a student, a bartender, a fashion expert, a customer service genius... and these women are so much more dynamic than these labels, but I knew they would be relatable for these accomplishments and having a face in Minneapolis.
Urban Outfitters is a unique space for an art show - why did you pick that location?
Having never done a show like this before, I needed some help. Luckily for me, my good friend Jess Andrews mentioned the possibility of having the show at her store. Phew! Urban Outfitters does a great job embracing the local culture of their stores, and I felt like the customer base and interest of the brand was a great fit. It was really helpful having Jess there to think of little details that I hadn't thought of yet. The hope is that this project not only opens doors for the photographers, models and myself, but for Urban Outfitters as well.
It’s great to see so many talented women in Minneapolis come together for this project. Are there any women outside of photography that you admire or want to work with in the future?
Definitely! There are so many talented women in this city! A few that come to mind....Sarah Edwards, Liz Gardner, Adora Tokyo....all strong, creative, badass babes!
Do you have plans to develop more projects like this one?
I would love to do more collaborations like this! You learn so much about yourself, as well as the women you work with. I have made and strengthened so many friendships in this process. It's a lot of work, but it's so fulfilling! I've already had people ask me if I'm going to do an "all male" version! Hahaha! We shall see...
All the event details people need to know:
Black Magik Woman
Monday, May 4th
Urban Outfitters- Minneapolis, MN
Photography by @2ndtruth @nylonsaddle @byingtonsnaps @erin_pederson @serenesupreme @conrad_mumbles @uominneapolis
*adult beverages* *prints for sale* *full moon fun*
Go see the show and meet the badass ladies behind the project.