Untitled, scanned objects, 5.5" x 7.5", 2015


Mallard Island in Rainy Lake, Minnesota, was formerly home to Ernest Oberholtzer, intellectual, artist, explorer and environmentalist. The island now hosts artist residencies. Artist Kate Casanova successfully, applied for a residency, proposing “our group as a young nature-centric group of makers and thinkers.” In June 2015, Christopher Atkins, Kate Casanova, Chris Koza, , Laura Bigger, Alexa Horochowski, Will Hutchinson, John Kim, Ben Moren, Stefanie Motta and Daniel Dean traveled to Mallard Island.

During their stay the group learned that in 1912 Oberholtzer wanted to explore an unmapped northern territory, but knew he needed a guide and companion. He sent a telegram to his good Ojibwe friend, Billy Magee, asking Magee to join him on the 2,000-mile expedition. Magee’s response was “Guess ready, go end earth.” Casanova’s group adopted the name Guess Ready Review to symbolize their collective quest into a creative frontier on the Minnesota-Canadian border.

“We collectively felt that Magee’s statement was ambiguous,” Casanova says, “a commitment to go, but with some reluctance. That, of course, mirrors the creative process, which often requires a leap into the void. But taking that leap with others makes the journey all the more possible and rewarding.”