Thursday, May 19, 2011

Weekend What's What: Art-A-Whirl Special Edition


It's here! The art-crazy weekend we wait for all year is back again and better than ever. Every spring we think it couldn't possibly out-do itself, but Art-A-Whirl proves us wrong time and time again. This year's neighborhood-wide art extravaganza goes above and beyond with big outdoor events, gallery shows, hundreds of open studios, live music, food, drink and pretty much every manner of awesomeness you can imagine. Our listings below highlight the events and shows that we plan on hitting, but for even more info on AAW, including a map, an online artist directory, trolley stops and additional special events, visit Regular AAW hours this year are Friday 6-10pm, Saturday Noon-8pm, and Sunday Noon to 5pm.

Happy whirling!


No Hard Feelings

@ Nomad World Pub
501 Cedar Ave

9 p.m. / Free before 9 p.m., $5 after / 21+

Kick of a weekend of Art-a-Whirl p(art)ies with not one, but two floors (and hopefully a patio) of shenanigans at the Nomad. Created by Tarnish & Gold Gallery and Bloodtime (mixed media duo Jesse Draxler and Justin James Sehorn), No Hard Feelings will feature a killer musical lineup featuring Mike Mictlan, Spyder Baybie, La Manchita, Alicia Steele, and Human Bear Trap, not to mention DJ sets all night long. And since it is Art-a-Whirl eve, after all, oodles of visual artists, including Miles Mendenhall, Jesse Draxler, Garrett Perry, Nick Howard, Daniel Luedtke, the Bloodtime boys and more, will also have some arty tricks up their sleeves for us. No hard feelings if you don’t go, but really, you’d be silly not to.

Click HERE for the Facebook event


Curio: A Michael Thomsen Retrospective

@ Rogue Buddha
357 13th Ave NE

friday 5-10 p.m., saturday noon-8p.m., sunday noon-5 p.m. / free

Curiosity may have killed the cat and TLC shows may scold the hoarders, but in the case of the artist, indulging your knack for “junk” scavenging is just another way to heighten the creative process and produce a highly interesting, eye-catching span of works. For Art-A-Whirl weekend, the Rogue Buddha proudly celebrates the 20-year art career of sculptor/installationist, Michael Thomsen. Curio highlights Thomsen's best from past years while debuting brand new pieces from the artist. Merging antiquities into the personal, Thomsen's sculptures and mixed media pieces often include trinkets, old-timey miscellanea and relics he obtained during an aberrant childhood filled with carnivals and live auctions, surrounded by a family of clockmakers, violinmakers and painters. More fanciful than a thrift store and more magical than a flea market, Thomsen's multifarious “retrospective” is not to be missed for lovers of all things unusual.

Click HERE for this art event and more at


Art Form 1040: Mission Accomplished

@ Fox Tax
503 1st Ave NE

5-10 p.m. / free

As we say “adieu” to the “oughts decade” – yes, that is what we were calling the 00's – virtually every opinion peddler has something to critique. “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” And with all the antithetical prattle going around between politicians, these days we're more interested to know our artist's commentary. As part of this week's blooming Art-A-Whirl, Fox Tax owners Mark and Alyssa Fox commissioned local artists to create dual artworks conveying their stance on the “ought decade” aka: the season of the Bush. From photography and collage to screenprinting and painting, check an eclectic and often disparate collection of original works from locals Nicholas Golfis, John Diebel, Colin Kopp, Melissa Loop, Aniela Sobieski and David Hansen. Like what you see, señor? Ten signed and numbered prints of each work will be on sale and available for purchase – via printer master, The Lab Digital's Eric Recktenwald – for a mere $40 each. Thus the cheeky 10:40 reference. Get it? Let the animadversion begin!

Click HERE for the Facebook event


Future Presence II

@ Future Presence Gallery Space
1126 2nd Street NE 55413

Fri: 5-10 p.m., Sat: 1-8 p.m., Sun: 1-5 p.m. / Free

Now here’s a sequel to actually get excited about (no, really, we’re so excited we decided to sponsor it): Future Presence II, a group art show by some Minneapolis faves , including colorful creature creator Chuck U, comic book artist/genius Chris Park, light art maestro Bryant Locher, vivid and lovely painter Kate Burgau, and many more. Even better? This second installation is in the group’s shiny new NE gallery space, located a hop, skip, and jump from Shuga Records and Matchbox Coffee. Your future: be present at this show.

Click HERE for the facebook event


Czeslaw's Loop: The Final Opus

@ Mississippi Mile Marker 856.2 / Behind the Sample Room
2124 Marshall Street NE

Fri: 6pm (performance at 8), Sat: Noon-10pm (performances all day, and starting at 8pm), Sun: Noon-5pm

You may recall from Art-a-Whirls of yore, the Creative Electric Boat Project at Mississippi River mile marker 856.2 (local bands playing on the river and an artily decked-out houseboat behind the Sample Room, anyone?) You may not recall Czeslaw Janecki, a late 1960s electronic composer whose final opus was never performed. But what you definitely will recall some day in the future, misty eyes and all, is Czezlaw’s Loop: The Final Opus, the event that bridges these two strange happenings together, produced by Permanent Art & Design Group (of which our own Editor in Chief holds the position of Creative Director). This weekend, some of Minneapolis’ core artists and musicians have signed on for a four-act opera split over a three-day period. For example: Act One: Desire, will be conducted by Gayngs’ Ryan Olson and P.O.S.’ Stef Alexander and will feature members from Marijuana Deathsquads, Martin Dosh, a fleet of drummers and musicians from local bands, electronic overtures, and large-scale projections and light visuals. Saturday night's phantasm will be conducted by legendary local producer Chris Strouth with a little help from his friends, including punk icon Tom Hazelmyer (AmRep Records, Halo of Flies), members of The Time and The Family, Paul Robb (Information Society), soprano Maria Jette (you seriously don't want to miss the finale), and oh-so many more. During the day on Saturday and Sunday be entranced by the experimental sounds and artworks of John Keston, Ben Garthus, Ostraka Performance, and Sean Connaughty. Performances and shenanigans run all weekend, and trust us, you’ll want to catch them all.

BONUS: Can't make it? Implex will be live-streaming the Friday and Saturday night performances HERE.

Click HERE for the Permanent Art & Design Group site



@ 2800 Block of Johnson St. NE

10 a.m. – 7 p.m. / Free

While it may not change rock n’ roll history, Johnstock definitely marks a pivotal moment in the Minnesota calendar: block party season! Head to the 2800 block of Johnson Street Saturday and Sunday for an exposition of music, food, and arts and crafts in the sunshine (er, hopefully, it’s still Minnesota after all). Bands include ECID, Static Kill, These Unknown, No Man’s String Band, Vanessa Bray, and a Sunday afternoon dance party with DJ Riley. Eats are courtesy of the Johnson Street businesses Hazels, Amici, The Coffee Shop Northeast, and Jungs. Can’t hold off celebrating ‘till Saturday? “Tangled” will be playing outside Friday at dusk next to Hollywood Theater. Kids and kids at heart equally welcome.

Click HERE for the Johnstock Facebook


Art-A-Whirl at Humans Win! Recording Studio

@ Humans Win Recording Studio
1423 29th Ave NE

Regular Art-A-Whirl hours + party on Saturday 8pm-1am / Free

Humans Win! Recording Studio has decided to get in on the art-tastic action once more with an arty party and weekend-long exhibit. On top of hosting a late night party on Saturday (starting at 8pm), the studio which has recorded artist such as P.O.S., Dearling Physique, Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles and more is raising the bar starting Friday as they line the walls with new works from seven Midwest painters, illustrators, computer artists, sculpters and drawers - Dennis Conrad, Serita Hewitt, Jon Quijano, Lance Conrad, Josh Journey-Heinz, Alex Molitor, and Ben Nylen. Be sure to pop in after 8pm on Saturday for a late night soiree complete with snacks and music (of course!).

Click HERE for the Facebook event


The Best and Worst of Frank Gaard & BRLSQ Garage Sale

CO Exhibitions
1101 Stinson Blvd NE Suite #2

Friday until 8pm / Sat Noon-8pm / Sun Noon-5pm

The Art Institute of Chicago, MoMA and the Smithsonian may house some of his works, but Minneapolis is where art vanguard Frank Gaard calls home. And by golly if we aren’t just bursting with pride about it - especially so throughout all of our Art-A-Whirl shenanigans. CO Exhibitions has jumped on Frank Gaard by putting together a best and worst (more best than worst, of course) exhibit entirely in his honor. But, instead of getting worse, things just get better! In addition to the Gaard goodness, the Burlesque of North America boys will be holding down the fort with an Art-A-Whirl fire sale, shilling prints, t-shirts, old-school records, mags and books as well enough beef jerky to break your jaw.

Click HERE for the CO Exhibitions site


Hoolie Fest 2011

@Shuga Records
165 13th Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN

4 p.m. / $1 per day, $2 for the weekend / AA

Shuga Records is once again bringing the rock—for three days, with over 75 bands on both indoor and outdoor stages! Does it get any better? Rogue Citizen and Chuck U will be creating original art all weekend in honor of Art-A-Whirl, and you can pick up some fresh screenprinting from Intrepid Minneapolis and Andy Mcinnis. On Saturday night, Anonymous of Wide Eyes will be hosting Hoolie’s hip hop lineup from 5-10 p.m., and on Sunday night, there will be mini-trivia happening between sets with free beer for trivia-ers and prizes.

Click HERE for the Hoolie Fest site


Art-A-Whirl at 331 Club

Friday through Sunday

10 p.m. Friday
Noon to 10 p.m. outside Saturday
10 p.m. to 2 a.m. indoors Saturday
1 p.m. to 9 p.m. outside Sunday

It would appear that this Art-A-Whirl, the 331 snuck in first and grabbed up all the finest bands in Minneapolis for their bill. We would run out of breath slash our hearts would explode if we listed them ALL here, but here’s a snippet: Friday features Gospel Gossip and the Blind Shake; Saturday at the outdoor stage it’s Blue Sky Blackout, Dosh, Satellite Voices, Crescent Moon is in Big Trouble, and Grant Cutler and the Gorgeous Lords; Saturday inside it’s Charlie Parr; Sunday inside it’s the Pines, Zoo Animal, the Goondas, Matt Latterall, and Bella Ruse. Plus more. Plus all the goodness that is the 331. Plus… oh, c’mon, just go already. You don’t need another excuse.

Click HERE for the 331 site


Grumpy's NE Art-A-Whirl BBQ Rock Show

@ Grumpy's NE
2200 4th Street NE.

All Day / 21+ / Free

In the last few years, Art-A-Whirl has become like our own little artcentric SXSW - hopping from studio to studio, eating street food, seeing everyone you know, and of course drinking all day. This year promises to be the biggest yet, with epic parties such as Grumpy's annual Art-A-Whirl BBQ, which in past years has been one of the staple cant-miss events. Hosted by Ian Rans of Drinking With Ian, Grumpy's has thrown together all the ingredients for quite the grand shindig: an excellent line-up of music featuring the Huckleberry's, Pink Mink, the Seawhores, and a special secret guest (!!!) BBQ and booze galore, PBR-A-Gami, and even an Evil Magic Show. Once you've made your Art rounds, this is the place to stop for all your rock & roll needs.

Click HERE for the Facebook event


Art Treasures

@ Kingman Studios
1901 Grant St NE

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. / Free

One man's art is another man's...treasured art. Today, prepare your paws to sift through tons of awesome, locally-crafted art during Kingman Studio's multi-artist sale. Kingman, whose wild late night art parties are legendary in the Twin Cities, announced this week that he has given up his multi-year battle with the city to keep entertaining, so this Saturday's sale will include a slew of party-centric items and must-have nostalgic Kingman artifacts. Who knows whether you'll discover a decadent piece of art, a kick-ass accoutrement for your living room, or your own secret after party starter kit! Check original poster, paintings, mixed media and more from artists Kara and Hal Lovemelt, Silvia Yordanova, Dan Craker, Carolyn Kopecky, Brant Kingman and many more!

Click HERE for the facebook event


The Erasers

@ Soap Factory
518 Second St SE

7-11 p.m. / free

In the French mystery novel, The Erasers, a detective attempts to solve a series of small town murders by searching for a made-up piece of evidence – an eraser – he may or may not have actually encountered in his past. In his fixation over the intangible eraser, the detective gets lost in a tangled web of past meets present. In the spirit of this time warp confusion, Berlin-based curator Corinna Kirsch heads a national and international exhibition where culture, origin and imagined pieces take on the physical shape of the past. In this exhibit, the artists take inanimate objects and explore how they emphasize and express human relationships, culture and language. Like “things washed ashore on a beach belonging to someone's else's past,” the artist examine whether time really erases the past or whether the past – people, events, experiences – form a web of interconnectedness, a shadow for the next generation.

Click HERE for this art event and more at


@ 1618 Central Ave

For being the official birthplace of Art-a-Whirl, the Thorp holds an extra-special place in our hearts. Well that, and for still being the life of the party fifteen years later. This year, the snazzy Thorpians are again hosting a giant opening night party in the big space, from which you can expect even more beer, art, music, and tom-foolery than last year’s. Woot! Also be sure to check out one of the many live music and dance performances happening throughout the weekend, the
special art shanty exhibit, as well as open studios with l’etoile faves Carrier Pigeon and Needle & Black.

Click HERE for the Thorp site


@1500 Jackson St NE

Known as the heart of the NE arts district, The Northrup King Building is a spectacular story of antiquated space reinvented, refurbished and re-envisioned, starting out as part of a complex 10
buildings built in the 1917. Originally designed to house and ship seeds across the United States, the building was uniquely renovated in the late '80s as a creative hub/art annex that houses over 190 artists, art-related businesses + non-profit organizations. Throughout the year, the Northrup building plays host to tons of locally-derived apparel and furniture shows, not to mention the building throws open its doors for both Art Attack and Art-A-Whirl. This Saturday, browse through the open houses of three vast, labyrinthine floors of artist studios featuring everything from painting, mosaics, jewelry, sculpture and clay & including the studios of Frank Mazzacco Photography, Icebox Quality Framing & Gallery, Danish Teak Classics, and more.

Click HERE for the NKB site


@ 77 13th Ave NE #203

Another architectural advocate for the arts community, the historic Grainbelt Bottling House
became home to local artists, painters, sculptors, dancers and other members of the art scene in the 1970s when finding and retaining affordable live/work space forced peeps to gravitate to the industrial neighborhood. Throughout the various stages of development, the Grainbelt building has stayed true to its commitment to support the growth of local artists and boost community economics. This weekend take a tour of the variety of open studios from Grain Belt artists and residents including a semi-annual open studio from l'etoile fave, Caitlin Karolczak featuring new works and special deals on original drawings, studies and paintings. Plus, all weekend long enjoy special events like music and dance by Mandragora Tango, an ancient encaustic painting demo from Jeff Hirst, handmade papermaking techniques taught by Amanda Degener, James Kleiner and Amy Pleticha, soldering techniques demonstrated by jeweler, Linda Koutsky, Argentine Tango lessons and much more.

Click HERE for the Facebook event


@1224 Quincy St NE

If you're familiar with NE's First Fridays, you already know the gems the Q.arma building quarters. Home to many artists and even a gallery, not to mention the print+apparel studio of Anthem Heart and the epic Worn to Be Wild parties--you may have just shook your stuff while enjoying live screenprinting and live tunes in this charming warehouse. From art gallery fave, Altered Esthetics to the studios of graphic design & print hounds, Lovelympls, the talented stylists at Maude Salon and more, Q.arma boasts an eclectic space bursting with creativity, local skill and artistry. During Art-A-Whirl weekend, pop through all the studios under the Q.arma roof including Kris Drake Photography, Yarbi Design, Look Art Below, Stephen Filla, Freeze-Dry Production Service and many more!

Click HERE for the Qarma site


@ 2205 California Street NE

Like most of us, the California Building – at least the arty hub we’ve come to know and love – was born in the 80s, when both emerging and established artists began to rent studio spaces in the former grain mill. Currently 80 artists call the building home, including Minneapolis mainstays Robyne Robinson, Susan Opitz, and Aldo Moroni. Stop in this weekend to explore six floors of artists working in glass, oil painting, jewelry, sculpture, mixed media and more, making sure not to miss Amy Toscani’s latest sculpture, “Jackalopes,” an ongoing photobooth in Studio 600 (the best of the best go on Facebook), and live figure drawing in Studio 103 on Sunday. After all that, re-energize with something delicious from the Mill City Café, celebrating “Brat-a-Whirl” all weekend long.

Click HERE for the California Building site


@ 681 17th Avenue NE

Up until 2005, the Casket Arts building served the exact purpose its name would imply: a casket
manufacturing plant. Now it houses more than 100 artists, not including the dozens of other furniture makers, jewelers, painters, sculptors, and fiber artists (to name a few) who work in The Carriage House, the Casket’s eclectic sister building down the street. Some of this year’s AAW highlights include Franconia in the City, where the folks at Franconia Sculpture Park will install a satellite sculpture park in Northeast; and Sunday’s book release and signing of “Memory of Trees,” Minneapolis writer Gayla Marty’s story of growing up on a farm in the golden triangle (Bonus: her husband Pat Mavity will also be on hand playing some classic fiddle tunes).

Click HERE for the Casket Arts Building

Editor in Chief: Kate Iverson // Contributors: Juleana Enright, Tara Sloane, Natalie Gallagher, Kate Iverson, Robyn Lewis, Jahna Peloquin, Lauren Gantner

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