First Avenue was packed on Saturday night with a lively pre-Soundset bash. DJ Fundo, Blvck Spvce, Bobby can rap, Fashawn, and Prof provided the jams at the official Rhymesayers Soundset Before Party. DJ Fundo hosted the night and kicked a diverse mix of old and new school, from vintage A Tribe Called Quest to Bobby Shmurda.
After about a 10-year hiatus, Two Rivers Gallery, located in the American Indian Center in South Minneapolis, celebrated its grand opening last weekend with a new exhibition showcasing Native artists. The gallery aims to support emerging Native American artists of all ages. “Our focus is really on local artists who are just starting out and kind of providing them with exhibition opportunities and space to do collaborations,” says Maggie Thompson, the gallery curator. Thompson grew up in Northeast Minneapolis and studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, where she received her Bachelor’s in textile design.
It’s hard to believe that nineteen Art-A-Whirls have gone by since the first one, in 1996. I almost missed that first Art-A-Whirl, but my state representative, Diane Loeffler, suggested I go and maybe do some videotaping. So I went out on the last day of that first Art-A-Whirl and asked a few people who they were and what was going on.
As a society, we are often ignorant of the deeper ideas, the larger events and even the items of material culture that serve to connect us to other global societies, a complicated condition that the installations “ATTENTION!” by Pao Her and Near and Far by Shana Kaplow address in unorthodox and insightful ways. That such links are oblique or overlooked rather than obvious, abstract or intangible rather than specific is the point. As discrete but complementary projects, “ATTENTION!” and Near and Far innocently unite to create one of the most quietly beautiful and intellectually resonate MAEP offerings in recent memory.