Posted at 8:29 AM on October 29, 2009
by Marianne Combs
Filed under: Art Hounds
The Mayhem Poets
This week the 'hounds' are hunting down a showcase of the state's best photographers, some east coast slam poets who are capitivating local teen audiences, and a premier jazz event held in the basement of an iconic rock club.
(Wanna be an art hound? Sign up!)
Sarah Smith is a sophomore at the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, a performing arts high school in the Landmark Center. Sarah fell under the spell of the Mayhem Poets when she saw them at the Childrens Theatre Company. The Mayhem Poets are a slam poetry and theater troupe from New York known for its high energy, in-your-face spoken word and audience interaction. It's on stage at the CTC through November 7.
Jay Burke is a Twin Cities realtor and amateur photographer who takes in a lot of shows. Jay strongly recommends "The Minnesota Eye: Contemporary Photography" at the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul. It features 17 of Minnesota's best known photographers, who are on the cutting edge of their art form. "The Minnesota Eye" opens with a reception on Saturday, Oct. 31rst, and runs through Nov. 14 at the CVA Gallery. Check back later today when I'll have a more in-depth look at "The Minnesota Eye."
Cameron Wittig is the Walker Art Center's staff photographer. He's also a big music fan, and often makes his way to the Clown Lounge in the basement of St. Paul's Turf Club on Monday nights to listen to jazz. Cameron says the weekly "Jazz Implosion" at the Turf transports him like few other shows in town. It's curated by members of Fat Kid Wednesdays and regularly features some of the most forward thinking players in local jazz. The music starts pretty late so make sure you get your naps in.
Looking for more to do? Carin Bratlie recommends checking out Ben Folds with the Minnesota Orchestra. Maggie Passmore wouldn't pass up the chance to see the Renegade Ensemble at Inver Hills Community College.
For all of you Halloweeners out there, Kathryn Grimes recommends getting an organic scare at the ArBOOretum, while Billie Jo Konze suggests getting a whiff of the disturbing smells at The Soap Factory's Haunted Basement. Both Betsy Mowry and Heather Meyer think it's worth braving the chilly weather to check out BareBones Halloween Outdoor Puppet Extravaganza. The name of this year's show? "Devoured." Mwahahaha!
Posted at 3:00 PM on October 29, 2009
by Marianne Combs
Filed under: Photography
UV set inks on lacquered cherry veneer MDF, Courtesy of John Marshall
Opening tomorrow night is small little show with a big goal. The College of Visual Arts presents "The Minnesota Eye: Contemporary Photography." The exhibition features the images of 17 different Minnesota professionals, and indeed it's a lovely grouping.
Sometimes it takes putting a bunch of artists in the same room to make us realize just what our community has to offer. There's Alec Soth, Paul Shambroom, JoAnn Verburg, Stuart Klipper, and Tom Arndt, just to name a few. These are now national and international names, who gained their particular visual sensibility through their time here at home.
Ink on paper, Courtesy of Pace/MacGill and G. Gibson Gallery
I stopped by the CVA gallery just as the final piece was being hung. I recognized much of what I saw, and was pleasantly surprised to see some relatively new names whose images I really enjoyed (Carrie Elizabeth Thompson and Cory Prahl in particular).
But as I walked around the room, I felt that something was missing. While each image was lovely, as a whole the exhibition felt very calm - almost too calm.
Archival pigment print, Courtesy of Carrie Elizabeth Thompson
What this exhibition lacks is a real sense of energy and diversity. If someone were to base their impression of contemporary Minnesota photography on this particular show, they would miss out on a ton of exciting and important work. Where's Wing Young Huie? How about Xavier Tavera? How about Angela Strassheim?
Instead what this exhibition presents is a staid, more traditional view of Minnesota photographers. The curator, it should be noted, asked to remain anonymous, but it's not hard to guess who put the show together when you look at who provided the images (six of the photographs were loaned by the same gallery).
Inkjet print mounted to cintra, Courtesy of Weinstein Gallery
One of the major reasons the CVA is mounting this show is to immerse its students in the work of professional artists in the community. That is a great and noble idea (of course this exhibition only runs until November 14, so it's more of a quick dip than a meditative soak).
What might serve the students even better is to mount a second exhibition in a few months, this time with a different curator. Because what I think we would find is that the Minnesota photography scene is so rich, another person with an equally trained eye could pick out his or her favorites, and be able to fill the gallery space all over again. And it would be a totally different show.