Minnesota State Fair featured special Art Dolls exhibit

“Art of the Doll” is an exhibit held at this year’s State Fair. Nineteen local doll artists had works on display, providing a variety of interpretations on the form. Dolls have always been a part of our culture. What separates the art doll from the mass-produced toy is what makes this art form so provocative. 
Art dolls are a response to the conventional doll, in an art-for-art’s sake manner. These dolls are unique and not made for play. Continue Reading

Growing up in Wadena

I’m not going to lie—I hated growing up in Wadena. I couldn’t stand a thing about being a kid (except: Fear Street, Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, Daria and the X Files) but I kind of feel this is the plight of youth. Continue Reading

Greater Frogtown CDC celebrates urban farming, community spaces

The Greater Frogtown Community Development Corporation (CDC) celebrated the opening of its community garden on July 23 with a garden party (see video above.) Many groups contributed to building the garden, including Bolder Options, Urban Farming, and high school students enrolled in a  construction program, who built a fence and plant stands and will continue to build a gazebo. According to Boa Lee, “The garden is open for residents to come and take food home for their families. It has cilantro, spinach, carrots, tomatoes, collards, basil, sweet peppers, cabbage, squash and more.” 

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VISUAL ARTS | Metro State rededicates art gallery to pioneering African-American photographer Gordon Parks

Metropolitan State University’s Third Floor Gallery will be renamed the Gordon Parks Gallery in a ceremony taking place this Friday, May 21, from 4-8 p.m. A range of activities will include a ribbon cutting, a talk by photographer Wing Young Huie, and a jazz performance by Debbie Duncan. Screenings of the legendary artist’s films will include The Learning Tree and Shaft; also screened will be the documentary Half Past Autumn: The Life and Works of Gordon Parks. The event will showcase a travelling exhibit of Gordon Parks’s work, titled Crossroads. Gallery director Erica Rasmussen described the grand reopening as one of several efforts of Metro State to promote the arts both at the university, and also in the greater community. “For the last six years, our Center for Community Based Learning and I have provided services to Dayton’s Bluff Elementary School on the East Side,” said Rasmussen. “We’ve brought the children to campus to see exhibits, show their art, and work with local artists to express themselves through art-making workshops. Continue Reading

MUSIC | Shuga Records gets into the Art-a-Whirl spirit with a three-day showcase of local bands

The former home of the Minnesota Center for Photography will be an Art-a-Whirl hot spot once again this year with Hoolie Fest, a three-day music and art festival taking place May 14-16 at Shuga Records. 70 musicians and artists have been summoned for the free, all-ages event, which will feature art, live music on indoor and outdoor stages, vintage clothing, and—of course—tons of vinyl for sale. Shuga Records owner Adam Rosen collaborated with 331 Club owner Jarret Oulman to create the festival. The pair thought it would be cool to make a mini-SXSW happen at Art-a-Whirl. Rosen said, “As soon as I told him [Oulman] what I was thinking, he said, ‘we’re gonna kill it.'” Jonah Frailing, who handles booking at Shuga Records, emailed all the bands in City Pages’ Minnesota Music Directory, selecting bands on a first-come, first-serve basis. Continue Reading

MUSIC | Adam Olenius and Shout Out Louds put good “Work” into a thoughtful, passionate show at the Varsity

Shout Out Louds performed Tuesday night at the Varsity Theater in support of Work, the band’s third album. The band is touring without bassist Ted Malmros, who is back home awaiting the birth of his child. I spoke with frontman Adam Olenius before the show. “There’s many different reasons why we call [the album’ Work,” Olenius said. “First of all, we are very much involved in everything we do. Continue Reading

VISUAL ARTS | RAN ART targets General Mills with satirical posters and “scathing rock-and-roll”

Substance, a local nonprofit combining music and activism, teamed up with the Rainforest Action Network to organize RAN ART, an art show designed to select a campaign poster for RAN and raise public awareness. RAN ART will take place May 1st at Tarnish & Gold Gallery. Rogue Citizen, a local artist collaborative, is co-sponsoring the event, which will also feature music from Kill the Vultures, Bouncer Fighter, and Phantom Tails. Doors for the event are at 7 p.m., with music starting at 9 p.m. Tickets for the event cost $7—or $5 for bicyclists.The idea for RAN ART arose last summer, when Substance and RAN collaborated on the Tar Sands Resistance tour. RAN wanted to bring the issue of rainforest deforestation to the Twin Cities, and decided that targeting local corporation General Mills would be a good start. Continue Reading

MUSIC | Rachael Cantu and Garrison Starr play an intimate—sometimes awkwardly intimate—set at the BLB

Rachael Cantu and Garrison Starr performed at the Bryant-Lake Bowl Theater last Thursday night, in an awkwardly intimate performance by two singer-songwriters who have shared the stage with legendary musicians. Cantu will be opening for B.B. King at three shows this week, two of those at Chicago’s House of Blues. Starr has opened for Melissa Etheridge and Mary Chapin Carpenter. Cantu is currently supporting her second album, Far and Wide, released this year, while Starr is touring and working on material with Among the Ash, her roots band with Josh Joplin. Cantu started her set right around 10 p.m., introducing a male counterpart, Alex, on backup vocals and guitar. Continue Reading

MUSIC | Major Lazer whips First Ave into a craze

I had no idea what to expect going into the Major Lazer show, partly because watching DJs spin can be a bit of a bore (especially if you are not going to dance, but to report). But I was more concerned with the fact that Major Lazer is a fictional animated character, depicted as a Jamaican commando who lost his arm in a zombie war. DJ Diplo and producer Switch, the men behind the cartoon band, have worked with artists including M.I.A., Amanda Blank, Santigold, Basement Jaxx, and Lily Allen, among others. The “Lazers Never Die” tour stop in Minneapolis was Sunday, April 11 at First Avenue, which is typically a difficult night in the week to draw a decent crowd to the club. But the club was was packed well within the first hour, and was a madhouse by the time Major Lazer hit the stage. Continue Reading