“Here We Are Nice” at The Soap Factory: Creepy, cool, colorful, contemporary

Here We Are Nice opened at The Soap Factory Saturday night; it includes art from 25 artists who volunteer at The Soap Factory. The theme of the show is explained on the website…A handwritten sign on the side of the road proved an unlikely impetus for The Soap Factory’s 2014 Volunteer Biennial. Spotted in its haphazard black scrawl, the sign read “ARE YOU EVEN NICE?”. This anonymous inquiry challenged not only the ubiquitous core of our Minnesota Nice aspirations, but brought us face to face with one of the most overused four-letter words of our common vocabulary. …And to answer that inquisitive piece of graffiti, we may not be able to vouch for the beneficence beyond our walls, but within the galleries of this local art space, given the many years of hard work and tireless volunteer efforts witnessed within The Soap Factory, it’s safe for us to at least offer this title as a kind of manifesto: HERE WE ARE NICE.It’s a great theme for a gallery known for very out there exhibits (Haunted Basement to Venus Demars’ Queer’s Book of Journey) because it strengthens the connection to Minnesota and mainstream. Continue Reading

Brilliance! Made Here: Public art project spans 15 blocks downtown Minneapolis

Many Americans’ Black Friday experiences come tinged by the excesses of consumerism and the excesses of consumption. A taste of something different awaited the crowd that showed up the following night for the opening of Brilliance! Made Here, the latest incarnation of the downtown Minneapolis public art project curated by the Hennepin Theatre Trust. If Brilliance! has any excesses, they are in that very American (or, some here would say, Texan) department of size: Its free art showcases are spread across 15 city blocks and display work by more than five dozen Minnesota artists. According to HTT, this broad swath of paintings, sculptures, interactive exhibits, and more is the largest storefront window art program in the United States. Continue Reading

Sculptor refuses to be pushed around by racism

St. Paul sculptor Frank Brown describes himself as a “gofer,” someone who “goes for it, who doesn’t sit around waiting for someone to come looking for them. I take the initiative to go out and initiate the conversation that hopefully will create a positive response.”

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Continuing Mount Sinai’s legacy

In February 1951, within a climate of local anti-Semitism, Mount Sinai Hospital opened its doors at the corner of Chicago Avenue and 22nd Street in Minneapolis. The hospital — described in the AJW as “a house of healing for all mankind” — was a gift from the Twin Cities Jewish community to serve and employ, among others, those not accepted elsewhere because of their race or religion.

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Meet Daniel Olson and his art

The story is drawn in simple black-and-white panels. They run cinematically through the main character Neil Wilson’s life. A faraway glance at the outside of a church or a restaurant gives you the place. Wordlessly, the characters glance at one another. Silence says more. Continue Reading

THEATER REVIEW | BareBones serves up Metamorphosoup at Hidden Falls

BareBones has been producing Halloween extravaganzas for 21 years. The themes embrace the time and space between two worlds brought on by the intersection of those worlds around Halloween. There’s always a look at the worst of humanity and glimmer of the best. The program outlines this year’s theme in greater detail:Metamorphosoup is an emotional investigation of the process of loss–loss of community through conflict, love of loved one by death and loss of oneself as we flow through the grieving.The show is performed outdoors at Hidden Falls, tucked away behind the former Ford Plant in the secret pocket of Highland Park. It’s dark, it’s near the River, though you might not know it in the dark except that there’s a watery chill in the air. Continue Reading

SUPPERTIME | Fika’s secret culinary weapon

Suppertime is a blog in comics form, exploring local restaurants, bars and other food establishments in and around the Twin Cities. I eat, I talk, I draw. This last week we went to Fika, a swell lunch spot in general but a they have a certain course that could steal your heart away. Continue Reading

Unique art on the Green Line LRT platforms

I was always fascinated by a 2011 WCCO article regarding Art Along the Light Rail (Blue Line). I took an #mspwalkin St. Paul the other day, although it was raining so it wound up being a couple hours of getting lost in the skyway. Nonetheless, I took the newer Green Line to the Union Depot and back, and saw some really nice art at various LRT platforms. Continue Reading