"Tracks in the Snow" highlights Muslim experience in Minnesota

Categories: Art
Photo courtesy Islamic Resource Group
Razina Motala
A traveling exhibit about the Muslim experience in Minnesota opens today at the Walker Art Center for a week-long run in the museum's Medtronic Gallery. Called "Tracks in the Snow: The Minnesota Muslim Experience since 1880," the exhibit features the stories of 25 Muslim individuals living in Minnesota, and is put together by the Islamic Resource Group (IRG). 

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"Radical Presence" opens at the Walker Art Center

Categories: Art
Wayne Hodge "Negerkuss" in performance, photo by Kathrin Heller)
"Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art," an exhibit that looks at the role of African American performance artists in contemporary art, opens at the Walker Art Center tonight. Minneapolis is the third and final stop for the show, which was hosted by the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston in 2012 and then was co-presented in New York City by the Studio Museum in Harlem and New York University's Grey Art Gallery. Packed with archival photographs, video, and objects used in performance, the exhibition will also feature a number of events throughout the course of its run, starting tonight and this Saturday. 

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A rare look at Beatles in Minnesota at the W Hotel-Foshay

Categories: Art
Courtesy the Bob Bonis Archive
One fun fact about Minnesota is that we were the only stop on the Beatles' 1965 American tour that didn't sell out. Held at the Met Stadium, where the Mall of America exists today, the show was undersold in part due to fears concerning the hullabaloo the band could potentially inspire. For many years it was thought that no photographs existed of the concert (other than shots that were taken from very far away). However, newly discovered photographs by Bob Bonis, the group's American tour manager, will be shown at an exhibition in the lobby of the W Hotel with an opening event this Thursday. The exhibition arrives just in time for Sir Paul McCartney's show at Target Field on August 2. 

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Bryant Locher's "Folded Space" at Gallery 13

Categories: Art
Bryant Locher 
For "Folded Space," at Gallery 13, artist Bryant Locher draws from a rather bizarre moment in history when art and military strategy joined forces. Beginning in World War I and continuing through World War II, British and American ships would sometimes be painted with optical-illusion designs aimed at confusing the enemy. In theory, the enemies targeting these ships (of various kinds and shapes) would be unable to determine how far away they were or which piece of the ship they were looking at. The concept, called "dazzle camaflouge," didn't work very well, but the technique lived on in the art world, inspiring artists such as Pablo Picasso.

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SooVAC is looking for new digs, seeks input

Categories: Art

It's been 13 years since the Soo Visual Art Center opened its doors in its space in south Minneapolis's Lyn-Lake neighborhood. During that time, the organization has hosted a slew of shows featuring local and national artists; successfully raised funds to stay open when times were dire; mourned the loss of its founder, Suzy Greenberg; and opened a smaller satellite gallery, SOOlocal, further south on Nicollet.

A few weeks ago, the gallery announced at a public forum that it most likely will be moving on to a new location once its lease runs out in the current space.

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Made Here launches a second round of projects tonight

Categories: Art

Photo by Steven Lang
Work by Beverly Cottman
After coming to Block E last fall Made Here, a Hennepin Theatre Trust program charged with bringing art to vacant spaces in downtown, is broadening its scope. This summer, it will be taking over storefront windows and spaces at 15 different venues. Joan Vorderbruggen, the artist coordinator for Made Here, hopes the project will be a big enough success to change the downtown culture to where property owners feel compelled to welcome creative endeavors into temporary vacant spaces.

Vorderbruggen had a particular goal with Made Here to reach out to underrepresented communities and outstate artists. So for this second round of projects, she put together an artist advisory panel made up of 17 people who helped guide the selection process and outreach efforts. Because of that effort, 40 percent of the Made Here artists are from communities of color. "I'm really proud of that," she says.

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"Americana" vs. America at the Soap Factory

Categories: Art
Kenneth Steinbach, The Machine in the Ghost, detail
The United States is a relatively young country, so we've always had a bit of an inferiority complex when it comes to our history and culture. Sure, we have monuments erected, but compared to the Taj Mahal, the Sistine Chapel, the Parthenon, or any of the other ancient relics or artworks treasured in other nations, the U.S. just doesn't have the same scope of cultural heritage.

Perhaps it is that insecurity that brought rise to the idea of "Americana," of things that are supposedly quintessentially American: apple pie, works by Norman Rockwell, drive-in theaters, Ford pickup trucks. It's a term that implies a longing for identity, of nostalgia, and of a sentimental and posed idea of what our country is all about. It's also the title of the exhibition currently on view at the Soap Factory, curated by executive director Ben Heywood, which includes work by artists deconstructing the term, often using irony to question and prod this glossed-over version of American culture. 

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Victor Khromin at the Russian Museum of Art

Categories: Art
Victor Khromin, Contemplation, 2008-2009
Now on view at the Museum of Russian Art (TMORA) is a fascinating collection of bas-relief paintings by Victor Khromin, a New York-based artist who emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1990. Thick with texture and found objects, the paintings are whimsical and colorful meditations. Characterized by abstraction and a dash of cubism, they also tell stories of childhood, emotion, and nature. 

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Beatrix*JAR play with sound at Free First Saturday

Categories: Art
Photo by Emily Floyd
This Saturday, sound-art duo Beatrix*JAR, Bianca Pettis (Beatrix) and Jacob Aaron Roske (JAR), will be taking over the Sculpture Garden at the Walker Art Center for Sonic Circus, an event where a host of musicians and sound artists will lead kids and adults through fun and participatory experiences of creating new and interesting sounds. 

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SOOLocal's latest show brings the post-internet age to Minneapolis

Categories: Art
Norah Stone, Artificial Utopias No. 1
This weekend, curator Nathaniel Smith sets up shop at SOOlocal Gallery for his take on what it means to make art in the post-internet age. The art includes pieces that respond to, push back against, and embrace to a level of absurdity the internet's stronghold on every aspect of our lives. It's a show that offers reflection on our 21st-century online-obsessed culture.  More »


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