VISUAL ARTS | CVA casts a “Minnesota Eye” on contemporary photography

Why are numerous Twin Cities galleries showing photographs this month? Because the esteemed Society for Photographic Education (SPE) held its annual three-day Midwest conference here last week (October 29-31) to great success. Titled Freeze/Thaw: Cycles in the American Heartland, the regional Midwest conference drew photographers, educators, historians, and critics from 13 states.Alec Soth, internationally recognized Magnum photographer and Twin Cities native, was a featured speaker and Gary Hallman, a revered professor of photography at the University of Minnesota for 38 years and a noted photographer in his own right, was the Honored Educator. Established in 1963 by such photo luminaries as Nathan Lyons and John Szarkowski, SPE is a non-profit national organization dedicated to the education and critical understanding of the medium in its myriad of forms.Anyone connected with the local art scene knows that the Twin Cities has a long and impressive track record in photography, perhaps beginning with Gordon Parks (1912-2006). Parks worked in the late 1930s as a fashion photographer for Frank Murphy, the legendary St. Continue Reading

VISUAL ARTS | Painter Jim Denomie puts Pawlenty, Franken, and Coleman at the mercy of his “Indian humor” at the Bockley Gallery

There is something known as “Indian humor,” and Jim Denomie’s paintings evoke it with gusto. Variously wry, blatant, ironic, subversive, harmless or even obvious, Indian humor, in general, makes evident what is right and wrong with the world and presents new perspectives on received notions. More specifically, it prompts one to take a hard look at the inner and outer self, and it often clarifies the spiritual in Native culture itself. In Recent History, his current exhibition of oil-on-canvas paintings, Denomie does not miss a beat, continuing the hyper pace he’s set over the last few years with shows at Ancient Traders Gallery, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and now the Bockley Gallery—where Recent History is on display through October 10.

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“RE/Vision”: Local artists Interact with Wing Young Huie at Augsburg

RE/Vision: Interact Responds to Wing Young Huie is the kind of art exhibit that reaffirms there are still things right with the world. Like nationally acclaimed Twin Cities photographer Wing Young Huie. Like giving Interact artists a new and challenging opportunity for creative expression and artistic growth. Founded in 1992 and expanding their vision in 1996, Interact Center is a dynamic and creative organization for visual and performing artists with disabilities. RE/Vision is hot. Continue Reading

Art-a-Whirl 2009: Now with 20% more art and 33% more whirl!

What do you get when a few thousand people for three days gravitate to a certain neighborhood like zombies on steroids to move through a half a dozen huge warehouse buildings just to look at art? That annual cult classic: Northeast Minneapolis’s Art-a-Whirl. And just like those propagating zombies, each spring there always seems to be more and more Art-a-Whirling. More art. More places. Continue Reading