Three free things to do this week
(Handsome Cycles, 115 Washington Ave. N., Minneapolis)
Road trips are great sources of inspiration for adventurous artists and musicians. But what about font creators? The latest output from Chank, a prolific local font artist, suggests that the answer is yes. This Thursday, he'll be stopping by Handsome Cycles in the North Loop to celebrate the publication of Travelling Font Salesman. The book is part typographic portfolio, part road diary, taking inspiration from things like overheard conversations, sci-fi novels read to kill time, things spotted in random towns, and the kindness (an oddness) of strangers. Each story plays with Chank's collection of fonts, such as Tenderloin and Fosho, with storytelling from Peter Hajinian and design by Anne Ulku. At the publication party there will be a cash bar and edible treats from Chowgirls Killer Catering. 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday.
(Burnet Gallery at Le Meridien Chambers Hotel, 901 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, 612-767-6999, www.chambersminneapolis.com)
Teo Nguyen's large-scale paintings capture the quiet stillness of the rural Midwest: unused roads, homes set back amongst fields of grain, sky and crops as far as the eye can see. This serenity and peacefulness is something that the Vietnamese artist appreciates, as he still vividly remembers the horrors of living in a war-torn region. "I grew up seeing violence everywhere, and I continue to see it in the news today," says Nguyen. "Painting these landscapes is a way to find peace within myself. This area is very beautiful, and I want to capture how it is both tender and peaceful. When I see these barns and farmhouses, I wonder who lives there and what their lives must be like. It is my escape." 6-9 p.m. Thursday.
(Rice Park: 109 W. 4th St., St. Paul, 651-632-5111)
Dancing at nightclubs with throbbing music and strobe lights can be a lot of fun, but it's not for everyone. This summer Ordway returns with its summer dance series, which offers low-key instruction and social dance with a different style each installment. This Thursday, folks can show up to learn a few of the fab moves seen at disco dance halls in the '70s from Arthur Murray. Afterward, gives those techniques a spin as Boogie Wonderland will take the stage to provide live music. For more info visit www.ordway.org/summerdance. Thursday at 5:30 p.m.