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Those sidewalk signs you see, advertising a sale on Dr. Pepper or Doritos? Don't be surprised in the next few days if you see the familiar sandwich-board signs covered instead in original art work along a stretch of Chicago Avenue in south Minneapolis.
Twenty artists from the Powderhorn and Central neighborhoods teamed up with a group of middle-schoolers to create CurbCulture, a public art show that will be displayed on sidewalk signs outside stores on Chicago Avenue between 32nd and 38th streets.
All the artworks will be gathered for a free reception on Thursday (Aug. 2), 5-7 p.m., at Pillsbury House and Theatre, 3501 Chicago Av. S. Beginning Saturday, they will be on view in front of various businesses on the street. The timing coincides with this weekend's Powderhorn Park Art Fair.
The CurbCulture exhibit was created by a group of middle school youth working with professional artists Masa Kawahara, Xavier Tavera, and Peter Haakon Thompson. The youth involved in CurbCulture created an open call for artists, constructed the sandwich boards, selected the artists for exhibition, and went door to door to meet business owners to secure locations for artwork to be exhibited. The artist's donated their time and talent.
The project was developed in partnership between Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association and the Pillsbury House + Theatre youth program. It is funded in part, by the Minnesota State Arts Board through the arts and cultural heritage fund with money from the Legacy Amendment.
These are the artists whose work will be on view: Megan Longo, Florence Hill, Levi Oftelie, Kelly Brazil, Molly Van Avery, Bruce Silcox, Christopher (CREW youth), Ellie Kingsbury, Joanne Jongsma, Flo Razowsky, Natasha Pestich, Munir Kahar, Angela Olson, Khyla (CREW Youth), Michelle Barnes, David Steinman, Maria Cristina Tavera, Xavier Tavera, Peter Haakon Thompson and Pramila Vasudevan.
The touring version of the Broadway musical version of the television version of the cartoon version of "The Addams Family" opens Tuesday night at Ordway Center in St. Paul.
The clip above, from the Letterman show, features Broadway originators Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth as Gomez and Morticia. The touring version has Douglas Sills ("The Scarlet Pimpernel," "Into the Woods") as Gomez, and Sara Gettelfinger ("Seussical," "Nine") as Morticia.
Graydon Royce recently wrote about the show and talked with Sills.
The show got very not-great notices when it came to Broadway (Ben Brantley called it "genuinely ghastly"), but as Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune points out, it was significantly retooled, with new songs, new music and a revised book, for the tour. Jones said it was a rare case of a touring version that is better than the Broadway staging.
The Star Tribune review will appear Wednesday on the website, and Thursday in the print edition.
The clip below gives a look at the touring version.It runs at the Ordway through May 20. 651-224-4222.
Anonymous 5 in. by 7 in. painting donated to Art 4 Shelter
Art from as far as Iran arrived in Minnesota this spring in response to painter Megan Rye's call for donations to her Art 4 Shelter benefit.
Now in its second year, the one-night event raises money to support Simpson Housing Services, an overnight shelter for the homeless sponsored by the Simpson United Methodist Church, 2740 1st Av. S. Last year 450 artists contributed and 900 people turned up at Circa Gallery to buy the art and support the cause. The little gallery was packed and all the art was "sucked off the walls in 20 minutes," Rye said.
Needing a bigger venue this year, she sought help from Burnet Gallery in the Le Meridien Chambers Hotel, 901 Hennepin Av. It joined a long list of sponsors including D'amico Catering, several banks and art businesses.
The event is May 9 and there's no admission charge. Preview viewing will last from 5 to 7 p.m., with the sale from 7 to 9 p.m.
All the art is postcard sized, anonymous and inexpensive to encourage participation. Each piece is just 5 in. by 7 in., priced at $30, and signed on the back. The art savvy may recognize work by such stars as photographer Alec Soth, but the point here is not to seek a trophy but to buy from the heart.
"The quality of the work is extraordinary," Rye said. "Out of the 1200 pieces, I'd say 800 are spectacular, but that's pretty amazing."
Besides the 300 professional artist-friends that Rye "leaned on," there are contributions from 20 art departments including St. Paul's College of Visual Arts, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, the Perpich arts high school and several Twin Cities private schools.
Ann Ruhr Pifer
St. Paul’s chichi Grand Hand Gallery plans to open a second shop in Napa, California in June.
The new venture will showcase many of the same Minnesota and Northern California artisans which the shop presently showcases, among them Minnesota-based fiber artist Tim Harding, painter Sarah Wieben, potter Jason Trebs and jeweler Emily Johnson. California stars include Micah Schwaberow, known for his Japanese-style woodblock prints, and Jerry Kermode whose turned-redwood bowls and wine accessories attract an international clientele.
Trendy Napa was a natural expansion site for gallery owner Ann Ruhr Pifer, who has family in the area and artist friends in San Francisco and environs. After scouting Santa Fe, N.M., and other high-end tourist destinations, Pifer picked Napa as the most promising expansion site in part because it is “something of a second-home for me already,” she said.
In our era of Big Gulp sodas and bushel popcorn buckets, it’s only fitting that theaters themselves should go supersized. As part of Carmike Cinemas’ nationwide rollout of jumbo-screened auditoriums, Marketing Director Terrell Mayton visited Apple Valley Thursday to host the ribbon cutting for Minnesota’s first state-of-the art “BIG D” theater at the Carmike 15.
This is a theater that could show "Godzilla" life-sized.
The format features a humungous screen 80 feet wide and over three stories tall, a special projector pumping out 20 percent more light than the industry standard, a proprietary lens configuration that fills the screen edge to edge, and a digital visual display with “over 34 trillion colors,” Mayton said. (This may be going overboard on a Titanic scale. Estimates vary but according to Jay Neitz, a renowned University of Washington color vision researcher, the average human can distinguish about 1 million different hues.) There are speakers and subwoofers to beat the band, and Mayton notes with pride that the custom audio system is ready to accommodate futuristic surround sound configurations that haven’t been invented yet. The Regal and AMC theater chains have theri own versions of the ubertheater format as well.
The Apple Valley theater will celebrate the opening with a weeklong series of recent hits, with a special introductory admission of $5 and reduced price concessions. Friday it’s “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol,” followed by “The Lorax” Saturday, “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” Sunday, “The Vow” Monday, “ Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” Tuesday, “ The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” Wednesday and “Act of Valor” Thursday. It hasn’t been decided which first-run film will be the first on the big screen next Friday.