Ten 2012 visual arts moments to remember

Categories: Art
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Frank Gaard, Satanic Housekeeping
Photo by Mackenzie Orth
The Twin Cities art scene is alive and thriving. This year saw a wide variety of visually stimulating events, including retrospectives on controversial artists, self-guided tours, 24-hour parties, and a miniature Prince. Let's take a stroll down memory lane.

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Artists in Storefronts turns Eat Street into an art installation:

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Photo by Steven Lang
Rudy Fig's storefront at Blacklist Vintage
This year, local artist Joan Vorderbruggen transformed the Whittier neighborhood not once, but three times with her Artists in Storefronts series. The project uses business storefronts, abandoned spaces, and pop-up installations to create artsy surprises along Nicollet Avenue and its side streets. The third event, ongoing now through February 16, boasts bar crawls, tours, live performances curated by Jaime Carrera, new murals, and fashions featuring work by local designers who used the drawings by Louis Bustos, a five-year-old boy, as inspiration.

David Byrne turns Aria into a musical installation for "Playing the Building":

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This November, the Talking Heads founder visited Minneapolis to celebrate the opening of "Playing the Building." The interactive art installation -- previously hosted on Stockholm, New York City, and London -- turns older buildings into a playable instrument using the space's plumbing, beams, electricity, and natural creaks and groans to create a truly unique sonic statement.

Field Trip Day Minneapolis introduced participants to the quirkier side of northeast Minneapolis

Brickmania, one stop along the way
How well do you think you know your city? Last September, Permanent Art and Design Group invited folks to explore the unusual areas of northeast Minneapolis in a self-guided tour (via a smart-phone app). There were about 30 stops along the way, including  mixed-media artist Lauri Svedberg's home studio, Michael Thomsen and Keith Holmes's installation space and workshop, and a bocce-ball court built on an old cemetery.  

Constellation DIY festival
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Photo by France Barbeau
For the second year, Constellation DIY festival invited folks to south Minneapolis for a weekend filled with fun, information, and creativity in various garages, backyards, and porches. There were pop-up galleries, guided meditation walks, skill-share talks, and even a mobile karaoke machine roaming the Powderhorn and Seward area. What a great way to get to know your neighbors.
Soo Visual Arts Center founder Suzy Greenberg, artist Daniel Kaniess pass

Suzy Greenberg image by Tom Sweeney
Sadly, this year the Minnesota artist community saw that loss of two talents on the scene. This past spring, artist, musician, and poet Daniel Kaniess passed away after a long battle with cancer.  Kaniess was an award-winning painter, and was a recipient of the McKnight and Bush Fellowships. Over the years, he had exhibited at the MIA's MAEP Galleries, the Walker Art Center, and the notorious Speedboat Gallery, were he was one of the first artists to show in the space.

SooVAC founder/curator Suzy Greenberg died suddenly last summer of natural causes. Over the years she nurtured up-and-coming local talent while bringing in national artists to the space. Friends and family celebrated her life with a party in the gallery and the nearby C.C. Club. Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak also proclaimed September 10, 2012 to be Suzy Greenberg Day.

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