Posted at 5:07 PM on July 9, 2010
by Marianne Combs
Filed under: Galleries
Artist Ute Bertog checks out her colleagues' work at Soo Visual Arts Center in Minneapolis.
Usually when I attend a "re-opening" of a gallery or museum or theater, it's because the business has expanded. But in the case of Soo Visual Arts Center's new gallery space, it's actually shrunk.
This weekend SooVAC is celebrating the completion of a remodeling of its building, which actually cuts the gallery space in half, from 3500 to 1600 square feet. Artistic Director Suzy Greenberg says it's part of a plan to make the gallery more sustainable in the long term.
The space has always been a little too big - it felt overwhelming, especially if you wanted to do a solo show. We actually got turned down by artists because of that. It was 100 feet deep so you couldn't have just one staff person manage it. It felt like a great event space, but not necessarily a great gallery space.
Greenberg bought the building that houses Soo gallery ten years ago. She divided the building in two, renting out the rest of it to Highpoint Center for Printmaking. When Highpoint decided to finally move into its own home this past year, Greenberg took the opportunity to reconfigure the building, and she kept the reality of today's economy in mind.
From my perspective the economy since we opened is the problem - we opened in June of 2001 - we missed the boat in terms of the economy. We get really very little grant money.
Greenberg's new tenant - an ad agency - will now get the larger portion of the building, which will help to keep the gallery costs low.
SooVAC staff enjoy their new, smaller digs
Greenberg says the change in space is also part of a larger move to change SooVAC from being known as "Suzy's art gallery" but instead "Soo Visual Arts Center."
My goal is for this to be something - an organization that goes on beyond me. That's why I made the investment of buying a building in the first place; I didn't even own a home when I bought this.
"The Laundry" by Areca Roe, 2009
SooVAC is celebrating the opening of its new space with Untitled 7, its seventh annual juried exhibition. The main gallery room is now much more intimate, allowing visitors to take in the entire room as they walk in. Greenberg says she was happy to finally have the classic "white box" to present work in.
"Untitled" by Madison Van Holmes, made with toothbrushes, packing paper, duct tape and wood.
In addition, the gallery boasts a small front room dedicated to presenting the work of teenage artists (including the dress made of toothbrushes, pictured above). Greenberg says the goal of the space is to give young artists the opportunity to show their work, and mingle with established artists in the community.
SooVAC's re-opening takes place tomorrow night at 6pm, featuring Untitled 7 in the main gallery and SooFUZE: SooVAC's first Minnesota Teen Arts Juried Exhibition. Both exhibitions run through September 5.
Posted at 9:34 AM on July 9, 2010
by Marianne Combs
Filed under: Events
Blues legend Taj Mahal will be playing Saturday at the Minnesota Zoo. (AP file photo)
Understandably, there are going to be millions of eyes glued to television screens this weekend for the World Cup final between The Netherlands and Spain. Inevitably, about half of them are going to be sorely disappointed and wish they'd done something better with their free time. Looking for better odds? Read on...
If you're at the Minnesota Zoo this weekend, you've got a choice between Greg Brown tonight, and Taj Mahal tomorrow night - both at the zoo amphitheater.
How far are you willing to go for good theater? How about to a cemetery? Theatre Pro Rata presents "Traveling Light," the story of an imaginery encounter between Joe Orton and Brian Epstein just weeks before they both died. Performances run tonight through July 28 at the Layman's Cemetery in Minneapolis.
Saturday, Al-Bahira Dance Theater presents Oyun Havalari, an evening of dance starring Artemis Mourat, international master Turkish and Rrom ("gypsy") dance artist. The evening features a rich tapestry of ethnic and contemporary dance from the Middle East, Turkey, North Africa, Eastern Europe and the Americas. At Ritz Theater in Minneapolis.
Southern Theater presents "Solo," world premieres performed by six of the Twin Cities' finest dancers, all of them recipients of the McKnight Artist Fellowship. Performances run tonight through Sunday at the Southern Theater in Minneapolis.
The Twin Cities Zinefest is back, with an art show, live music, craft demonstrations and more. Billing itself as a destination for "rebels" and "frustrated intellectuals" to connect, create and share ideas, Zinefest plays host to some of the Midwest's best self-made talent. The event runs from 11am to 5pm Saturday at Stevens Square Center for the Arts.
Soo Visual Arts Center (also known as SooVAC) is opening up it's new, expanded quarters on Lyndale Avenue in Minneapolis Saturday night, and to break it in, the gallery is hosting "Untitled 7" - the seventh year of SooVAC's juried exhibition series. This year's exhibition explores the "authenticity of experience" (check back later today for a more in-depth look at the new space and the new show).
On Sunday, soak in the sun and take in the sounds of Tapes 'N Tapes, Eyedea & Abilities, Total Babe, Just Wulf, BubbleTeeth, and Wolf Mountain on the Walker Art Center's rolling hillside as part of Open Exposure. This daylong festival of music brings high school musicians into the mix with established bands, rappers, and performers. Bring your best music mixes to trade in a mix tape exchange, create your own musical instruments in the art-making tent, and learn more about the professional arts community at the Young Artists Resource Fair.
Looking for family friendly fare? Steppingstone Theatre presents "Stinky Cheese Man," a musical based on the children's book, which features a twisted retelling of the Gingerbread Man.
Somewhere you get the sense that the late great Chuck Jones is smiling. The creator of Daffy Duck and longtime Wile E. Coyote torturer would surely approve of Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud's hilarious "Despicable Me."
It's the story of Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) a super-villain on a mission to steal the moon. It's never really explained what he'll do with the celestial body, but it certainly looks good as he rolls out the project to his assembled Minions in a manner not unlike Steve Jobs at an Apple sales meeting.
Actually Gru is facing what turns out to be a bigger challenge than mere lunar larceny. His claim to be the world's baddest bad-guy is being challenged by a Bill Gates-like super nerd usurper called Vector. Not only does Vector repeatedly out-villain Gru, he delights in humiliating the older criminal mastermind in a manner anyone who has spent time on an elementary school playground will recognize.
Complicating matters further is Gru's decision to adopt three girls from a local orphanage. He thinks they would be useful in his plan to undermine Vector, but as tends to happen in animated films, the girls have other plans.
There is plenty of slapstick, especially amongst the endless supply of accident prone and trigger-happy minions to keep young eyes interested (particularly in the 3D version.) There's also enough of an undercurrent of wry humor, old movie references, and winks at the trials of middle age and the dire economy to keep their attending adults engaged too. The film revels in its cliches, even putting cast and audience though a roller coaster ride just in case the 3D wasn't being tested enough.
The film is such fun, it makes one wonder whether Steve Carell's movie career might improve if he no longer actually appeared on screen, and just did voice work. It's just a thought.