A new Exhibition Opening in Landmark Center’s North Gallery

All Geared Up: Artwork that Moves!

January 2 through 18

 Featuring the work of

Cecilia Schiller, Rachel (Olli) Johnson & Susan Wood


★ Opening Reception: Saturday, January 3, 1-4 PM

Free hands-on workshop with Cecilia Schiller, Wednesday, January 14, 6-8PM

Performance: Moonstruck, An Improbable Romance Written and performed by Rachel Johnson.

Friday, January 16, 7 PM with a reception to follow.

This exhibit presents three unique approaches to kinetic art. Cecilia Schiller creates colorful interactive mechanical sculptures from wood. Also called automata, these whimsical pieces have handcrafted gears and carved figures that are brought to life when you turn the crank. Her protégé Rachel (Olli) Johnson explores the possibilities of story telling through pop-up books and paper engineering and incorporates those ideas in a performance featuring scenes with interactive automata. Clock maker and blacksmith Susan Wood creates stunning sculptural wall pieces that are also precision timepieces.

Free hands-on workshop with Cecilia Schiller: January 14, 6-8PMGears1_web

Cecilia will demonstrate how she goes about the gritty process of taking an idea and transforming it into a working prototype. Participants will have the opportunity to explore how cams, gears and linkages work.

Please RSVP with an email to Cecilia@ceciliaschiller.com to indicate your interest.

Moonstruck3_webPerformance:  Moonstruck: An Improbable Romance

Written and performed by Rachel (Olli) Johnson, directed by Cecilia Schiller.

January 16, 7 PM with Reception to follow.

Maria Lou knows the moon is in love with her, but how does she tell the moon that this love is requited? Find the answer in this imaginarium of winding thoughts as a love correspondence with the moon unfolds through mechanical pictures, song, crank-able curiosities and story boxes.

Legacy Logo ColorFinalAll Geared Up! Is curated by Cecilia Schillermsab_logo_color_small
Cecilia Schiller is a fiscal year 2014 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
About Landmark Center
Landmark Center is a dynamic, historic cultural center and central gathering place in downtown Saint Paul. It is owned and sponsored by Ramsey County and managed by Minnesota Landmarks, the nonprofit programming and management agency for the building. Landmark Center is located at 75 West 5th Street, on Rice Park and is accessible to those with impaired mobility. Parking is available on street and in nearby Lawson, Science Museum and RiverCentre Ramps. For more information call 651.292.3063 or visit www.landmarkcenter.org.

It Takes A Community

Automata by Cecilia Schiller

Interactive Display for Park Nicollet Shakopee Clinic

After meeting with staff at the clinic I created a design with the Minnesota River Valley theme in mind (the clinic is located close to the Minnesota River).  While taking a walk on the edge of the Minnesota River I saw and photographed many animals.  Later I wondered what it would be like if all of these animals used their special skills to work together and what would they make?  It Takes A Community answers that question.  They would make a club house, OF COURSE!

Look for details as the project unfolds on the In Progress page.

Automata: Making Wood Move

Cranks wind, gears turn, dragons chomp and birds fly. Welcome to the whimsical world of automata: simple wooden machines that delight and amaze. Join Cecilia Schiller for a three-day exploration of the principals of making wooden machines and the simple mechanisms that make things move. Beginning with the design process, students will learn techniques to draw, drill and cut gears, cams and levers, and how to assemble machines that will actually work. There will be ample time to discuss design considerations and allow for experimentation with different combinations of mechanisms and the resulting movements. Students will choose from two different simple projects–a figure that comes to life and dances when the crank is turned or a galloping animal– and leave with plenty of ideas and inspiration to create their own whirling, chomping, and flying machines.

Dates:  Thu, Mar 26, 2015 – Sat, Mar 28, 2015

Length in days:  3
Hours:  9am-5pm
Tuition:  $285.00 per student
Materials:  $65
Levels:  Intermediate to Advanced


North House Folk School

e-mail: info@northhouse.org
phone: 218-387-9762 · 
toll-free: 888-387-9762 · fax: 218-387-9706
PO Box 759 · 500 Highway 61 West · 
Grand Marais, MN 55604



WATER IS LIFE! is now on Permanent Display

Interactive Sculpture by Cecilia Schiller

Water is Life at Maplewood Mall.

Cecilia Schiller, together with Willis Bowman, created Water is Life, an interactive, water driven, sculpture in the form of a tree that is meant to encourage the community to share in the responsibility of protecting water and keeping it clean.

The sculpture is activated by rainwater from the roof that drains into a turbine, rotates the branches and plays a melody on chimes inside the trunk.  Viewers can also make the sculpture move by turning a wheel on a crank box adjacent to it.

Schiller’s idea for the sculpture was developed over the course of a year by interacting with staff from the Ramsey Washington Metro Watershed District, volunteers and community members and exploring sites and waterways within the watershed.

Ultimately she chose the location at Maplewood Mall for its unique challenge to use rainwater in creative ways and the opportunity to reach a large and diverse audience while promoting ideas of innovative water stewardship and its benefits in a fun, inviting way. (See the process on the In Progress page.)

The creation of Water is Life was made possible by a grant from Forecast Public Art in 2013 with additional funds from the Jerome Foundation and funds from the Ramsey Washington Metro Watershed District.


See Cecilia on MN Original

Automata by Cecilia Schiller

Birdhouse at Landmark Center

Cecilia Schiller was featured on TPT’s program MN Original in early January 2013, a show that showcases Minnesota artists and their work.

The program was recorded in May in her studio and at the Landmark Center while Cecilia was finishing up work on her interactive sculpture Birdhouse.

Cecilia’s story and the full episode is posted on www.mnoriginal.org.

Visitors to the site will find additional content, web exclusive videos and links to MN Original artists.