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Xavier Rucker, Michael Ingram and Marvin Humphries (left to right) all competed in the ball.
Photo by Jeff Wheeler.
Northern Sparkers watch the "SitandSpinShanty" at the 2012 Northern Spark. Star Tribune photo by Megan Tan.
Northern Spark, a one-night festival of avant garde art events, will focus its activities in St. Paul's Lowertown in 2013.This year's festival will start about 9 p.m. Saturday, June 8 and run til dawn on Sunday morning.
Many of the events will occur in or near Union Depot, a 32 acre site that includes a vast former train station and concourse now being renovated as a transport hub for light rail, bus and Amtrack transportation.
"We are a roving experimental, interactive, media arts organization and we're doing some roving and some experimentation," said Steve Dietz, president and artistic director of Northern Lights.MN, the non-profit sponsor of Northern Spark.
The city of St. Paul did not chip in any special funding to lure the event there, Dietz said. His organization has been developing a $500,000 public art commission for Union Depot for the past 18 months, however, and exposure to the depot's space and its potential inspired him to move the Spark there for one season.
"Working with Union Depot is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so we're going to focus a lot of energy on it and Lowertown this summer," Dietz said. "It's a place really no one has seen much of since 1971and, while it's now reopened, it hasn't reached maximum use. We're going to take over all 32 acres and have indoor and outdoor projects and stages."
Spark events will spill out into Lowertown including Mears Park and the riverfront. Nevertheless, it will be "more compact than either of the first two years," said Dietz.
Since it was first launched in 2011, Northern Spark has been staged throughout the Twin Cities but tended to concentrate in Minneapolis. Many events clustered near the Stone Arch bridge spanning the Mississippi River and at key venues including Walker Art Center, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and the Soap Factory.
The 2013 festival will have about the same number of participants as in the past, Dietz said, that is 45 partner organizations and about 75 artist-projects involving about 100 artists.Highlights are expected to include a house that artist Chris Larson plans to build -- an exact copy of a Marcel Breuer house that overlooks the Mississippi River -- plus several new public art commissions.
Dietz acknowledged that attendance could fall because of the move, but insisted the risk was worthwhile. "When you change location, there's always that chance, but I think we'll gain some new audiences, and it's all part of trying to remain true to our mission of being experimental," he said.
Besides, in 2014, "We'll be back in Minneapolis for sure, and looking forward to it," he said.
The Museum of Russian Art in Minneapolis will stage its first jazz concert featuring Estaire Godinez (vocals), Peter Schimke (piano), Billy Peterson (bass) and Irv Williams (saxophone). Given the intimate size of the concert hall in the lower level of the museum, seating is limited and pre-registration required.
(5 p.m. - 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, $20. The Museum of Russian Art, 5500 Stevens Av. S., intersection of Hwy 35 W. and Diamond Lake Rd., in south Minneapolis. )
Everyone loves photographer Cindy Sherman it seems, so much so that Walker Art Center is adding hours on the Sherman show's final weekend. (It ends Sunday, February 17).
Here's the deal: The popular show will open to Walker members one hour early, i.e. at 10 a.m., on Saturday and Sunday, February 16 and 17. And it will remain open for everyone two hours longer at the end of those days, i.e. until 7 p.m. General adult admission to the Walker is $12 and includes the Sherman show.
But, wait, there's more! Savvy art shopers know that the Walker is always free on Thursday evenings and that it always stays open 'til 9 p.m. Thursdays. Couple those fab facts with Valentine's Day, which just happens to fall on Thursday this year, and you've got a huge February 14 bonanza for your sweetie.
Other Valentine nite fun stuff:
5 p.m. - 9 p.m. Valentine's Day three-course prix fixe menu at Gather by D'Amico, plus Love Potion cocktails.
6 p.m. - 9 p.m.: Party People Pictures photo booth (dress up in Sherman drag, please)
7 p.m. - 8 p.m.: Social/Brief: The Love Version (share your own Hallmark-style love poems in 20 seconds or less)
8 p.m.: Take a "Love and Heartbreak" tour of Cindy's show.
A small craft beer bar with big ambition debuts in northeast Minneapolis Tuesday. New Bohemia Wurst & BierHaus is opening quietly for lunch at 11 a.m. in a former Panera Bread. In June, co-owner Jeff Bornmann told me he hopes to open more locations in the Twin Cities with an eye toward nationwide expansion.
The bar currently has 34 craft beers on tap, many of the them coming from local and regional breweries: Lift Bridge, Badger Hill, Fulton, Harriet, Indeed, Lucid, Bell’s, Founders and Dark Horse to name a few. They’re also offering flights ($8-$12). View the beer menu here. There’s some great pedigree behind the beer portfolio. Jason Alvey of the Four Firkins consulted on the menu and Catherine Pflueger, formerly of the Happy Gnome, will manage the place.
Pegged as a Euro-style beer hall, the food is mostly sausages (18 to be exact) and fries. Beyond the Belgian frites, they’re offering German potato salad and Krautsalat (slaw). Check out the menu here.
Bornmann definitely has the backing for a potential expansion beyond Minneapolis. One of his partners is Noel Bowman of Las Vegas ice bar, Minus5.
Details: 233 E Hennepin Av., Mpls., 612-331-4929, www.newbohemiausa.com.
Hours: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sun.-Wed. and 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Thu-Sat.