Arts patronage on a budget

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Today is First Thursday in the arts district, opening day of the 10-day Fringe Festival, and the annual art fair weekend in Minneapolis. And near-perfect weather to boot!

Last Thursday we visited Gallery 13 for the opening reception of the Visual Fringe, where artist Tom Cassidy stood surrounded by photos of dozens of physically perfect nude women and one man, wearing a T-shirt depicting a stick figure in red short pants saying, “I’m wearing little pants to cover my genitals. It’s the law.” It’s art! We also discovered that it’s a very pleasant bike ride from the end of the LRT line downtown, across the Hennepin Ave. bridge and up Second Ave. NE about 10 blocks or so to NE 13th Avenue, a mini arts district within the arts district. And that was when the evening temp. was about 98 degrees. Imagine what a lovely ride it will be this evening.

Thursday, Aug. 3, 7-10 p.m.
Nudes: Five Photographers

Gallery 13, 302 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis. 651/592-5503.
Gallery 13 is hosting a reception tonight featuring these tasteful yet slightly naughty photos as part of First Thursday in the Arts District, a regular monthly gallery and studio crawl (the nude photos are not part of the Fringe Festival — nudity is not fringey in the art world). After you get an eyeful at Gallery 13, wander out into the fresh cool evening air and check out some of the other nearby galleries. www.gallery13.com

Thursday, Aug. 3, 8:30 p.m.
Sh*t Up Louder, a Fringe Festival event

Rarig Center Xperimental, 330 S. 21st. Ave., Minneapolis
It’s opening night of the Fringe Festival (perhaps you gathered that) and among the many sure-to-entertain performances in this unjuried annual free-for-all is this spoken word showcase with the above-mentioned Tom Cassidy, along with his mother, Inge Cassidy, and possible collaborators Nancy Donoval, Kay Kirscht, Katie Knutson, Howard Leiberman, Jules Nyquist, Kathilyn Solomon, and Erica Christ, which promises to be a spontaneous and largely (if not entirely) unrehearsed extravanganza. Last we heard, not one rehearsal with all the scheduled particpants had actually taken place! We love improv, and have heard that if it ends up being only Tom and his mother, it’ll still be great! We can’t actually make it til next week, so if you go, tell us how it went. $12 plus a $3 Fringe button (which you can use again and again). For additional performance times for Sh*t Up Louder, as well as more than 100 other shows, pick up a copy of the free Fringe Festival program guide wherever free newspapers are piled on top of each other, or visit www.fringefestival.org .

Saturday, Aug. 5, 7-11 p.m.
Green

Rosalux Gallery, 1011 Washington Ave. S. (Open Book), Minneapolis. 612/747-3942.
Rosalux usually exhibits two of its member artists together in each of its monthly shows, but this special fund-raising exhibition showcases work from each of the collective members and — here’s the beauty part — you can buy a raffle ticket for $5 and insert it into an envelope next to one of the pictures, and you might win that picture when they hold the raffle at the end of Saturday evening’s closing reception (10 p.m.) The Gallery is open now and, as always, looking is free, so why not check it out? You can also preview the works on their Web site, www.rosaluxgallery.com .

Saturday-Sunday, Aug. 5-6
Powderhorn Art Fair, Loring Park Art Festival, and Uptown Art Fair

You’ve probably seen the guides to these art fairs at your local coffee shop, possibly on top of the Fringe Festival program guide (or maybe vice versa), but if you prefer to get your information in paperless format, visit these Web sites:
www.powderhornartfair.org www.loringparkartfestival.com www.uptownminneapolis.com/art-fair/index.php?&MMN_position=1:1

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