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Art Shanty Projects

When: Saturday & Sunday 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Where: Lake Harriet/ Bde Umna

This is your last chance to see the fantastic Art Shanty Projects, a collection of 21 mini on-ice installation/performances that take place above where the frozen fish swim. Seriously though, unless you live in Iceland, there’s a slim chance of finding an artist project that willingly takes place outdoors, on a frozen lake, in the middle of winter, anywhere in the world but Minnesota. So who needs to travel to Iceland when you can discover the Art Shanty Projects, a collection of 21 ice-fishing houses turned art installations, on view weekends through Feb. 11 on Lake Harriet in Minneapolis. Imagine if a carnival met up with a weird public art installation, all on ice. The shanties actually are officially categorized as “dark houses,” which is what Minnesotans apply for when they get a permit for an icehouse. Read more about it here:

Above: “Food Center #2 (Brown)” by Carolyn Swiszcz (2017). Unique | Watercolor monoprint | Paper: 18 1/4" x 23 5/8" | Frame: 21 5/8" x 27" | $1,800 framed


Carolyn Swiszcz: New Suburban Mysteries

Opening reception: Friday, February 9 from 6:30-9 p.m.

Where: Highpoint Center for Printmaking (912 W Lake St., Mpls)

Exhibition run dates: February 9-March 24, 2018

Welcome back to suburbia, a landscape that St. Paul-based artist Carolyn Swiszcz explores through watercolor monoprints. Inspired by the seeming mundanity of sprawl, from pizza parlors to delis and food centers, Swiszcz literally brightens this otherwise bleak landscape. More info here:


Winter Group Show

Where: Bockley Gallery (2123 W 21st St, Mpls)

Dates: February 1-24, 2018

When: Wednesday-Saturday, 12- 5 p.m.

Bockley Gallery busts out of the winter blues with this group celebration, featuring work by gallery artists Andrea Carlson, Edgar Heap of Birds, Jim Proctor, Maggie Thompson, Zoran Mojsilov, Stuart Nielsen, Dyani White Hawk, Star Wallowing Bull, Jim Denomie.



Where: Law Warschaw Gallery at Macalester College (Fine Arts Commons 105, 1600 Grand Ave., St. Paul)

Dates: January 26-March 4, 2018

When: Monday-Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Thursday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Artist Ruthann Godollei plays with the medieval motif of hellmouth, which is literally “the damned and the unrepentant swallowed by the gaping jaws of a demonic beast.” Certainly, that motif has been applied to President Trump, but more than that, Godollei investigates the political circus that is America. To do this, she draws on antique circus imagery that she discovered at the Circus World Museum in Baraboo, Wisconsin. Giddyup!


Adiós Utopia

When: Nov. 11-March 18 at 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Wed., 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Thu., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun.

Where: Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls.

Admission: $9-$14; free for 17 and younger, and for all Thursday evenings. 612-375-7600 or

The run of Adiós Utopia has about a month left, but go now before everyone’s rushing the galleries to catch it. Below there's an excerpt from my article about the show. Read the whole thing here:

Fidel Castro’s voice echoes through the darkened gallery: “Cien, cien, cien!” (“One hundred, hundred, hundred!”) he says with gusto, sounding louder each time. Except there is no audience, and Castro is nowhere to be seen. There’s just a black screen with white numbers flashing on it, counting upward, for nearly five minutes. In “Opus,” an immersive video work by Cuban artist José Ángel Toirac, these numbers represent statistics — Cuba’s sugar cane production, the number of Olympic gold medals won by its athletes, the size of a 1995 potato harvest — spouted off during Castro’s notoriously long speeches glorifying the new Cuba, post-revolution. But here, they become empty signifiers.

Such a piece is characteristic of what to expect in “Adiós Utopia: Dreams and Deceptions in Cuban Art Since 1950,” a big exhibition at Walker Art Center that opens with a party Friday night. With 106 works by 63 artists spanning seven decades of creative production from the island nation, the show presents a different view from the Cuban exile experience that Americans are used to hearing. This is the history of modern Cuba, told through the artists who stayed or were born after the 1959 revolution.