James Castle: The Experience of Every Day

Opens Saturday: A lifelong outsider, James Castle (1899-1977) was born deaf and never learned to speak, sign, read or write. Yet the Idaho native did communicate with visual creations concocted from cardboard, wood scraps, twine, used paper and ink he made from soot and his own saliva. He sketched houses, barns and imaginary robotic-friends and made abstract designs, toy furniture and creatures such as the "Gray bird," shown here. After Castle's death, pieces of his art found their way into galleries, private collections and museum exhibitions, including major shows at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the prestigious Reina Sofia in Madrid. Now more than 40 examples of Castle's work will be shown at the Minneapolis Institute of Art as a promised gift. (Saturday through Aug. 21. Free. 2400 3rd Av. S. 612-870-3000 or artsmia.org)

Mary Abbe