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The Twin Cities' 5 must-see art exhibitions this weekend

The weekend has come upon us swiftly, just like the rainstorm that hit the other day. But where there is rain, there is art. Or something like that. I cruised around and found these shows that I’m now recommending to you, dear reader. Check them out. Maybe I'll see you at some openings. Write to me and tell me if you liked them, what you thought, and if you are pleased or if you’re pissed: alicia.eler@startribune.com. Or hit me up on Twitter @aliciaeler. See you around town and the internet, lol. 

OPENING -- Queer Street Art, Fighting for Legitimacy

Opening: Friday, April 28 at 7 p.m.

Amalgamated MPLS, 720 Central Ave., NE, Unit 1, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (612-998-3361)

Event information here

The first time I saw two butch bearded dudes making out, probably on some street in Chicago’s Boystown neighborhood, which is lined with phallic rainbow poles, I thought to myself: “Dude, that is hot!” I am certain that street artist Jeremy Novy thought the same thing. For the last two decades he’s been covering the streets of San Francisco with his queerdo artwork, decorating sidewalks and pavement with koi fish and dudes smooching. He’s not nearly as “anonymous” as, say, Banksy, but some only refer to him as the “queer street artist” whose work is for social change. Novy is stopping in Minneapolis while on his whirlwind cross-country tour. For those with some extra cash to spend, sign up for his one-day stencil workshop ($60) by calling 612-998-3361 immediately.

OPENING – "Transitions. A Daughter’s Journey"

Opening reception: Friday, April 28 at 6 p.m.

MPLS Photo Center, 2nd Floor Gallery (2400 North 2nd Street, Minneapolis, MN 55411)

Event information here

Life: It’s a journey! In this photography exhibition by artist Terry Gydesen, the artist displays 30 color photographs documenting her father, who slowly slipped away through four years of Alzheimer’s in 2015.

OPENING -- A Mussel is to A House

Yeah Maybe Project Space (2528 East 22nd St, Minneapolis)

Opening reception: Saturday, April 29 at 5 p.m.

Open hours: Sunday, April 30 from 11 a.m. -3 p.m.
Artist discussion on Sunday, April 30 at 3 p.m.

Gallery website here

The word-playful title of the group exhibition “A Mussel is to A House” at Yeah Maybe Project Space actually has nothing to do with shellfish. Actually, it’s a collaboration between Yeah Maybe, the Walker Art Center and University of Minnesota students Havilah Aos, Paige Carlson, Torey Erin, Lexi Herman, Daniel McCarthy Clifford, Xavier Tavera Castro and Emily Swanberg. The show uses the humorous, poetic conceptual work of Belgian artist Marcel Broodthaers, whose work is on view as part of “Question the Wall Itself” at the Walker, as the starting point for critical inquiry.

Nathan Hylden, "embracing the dark" (2012). Pen and ink on paper, 3.5 x 2.5 inches

OPENING -- Nathan Hylden

“Nearing On To Do”

Midway  Contemporary Art (527 Second Avenue SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414)

Opening reception: Saturday, April 29, 6-8 p.m.

Event information here

Artist Nathan Hylden’s hyper detail-oriented drawings overflow with patterns that often times create a mirror reflection of either side. Ritualistic and entrancing, they seem like images that one can only enter after staring at them for a very, very long time. So it’s fitting that a magnifying glass would be the only image on the Midway website promoting this show, as if to say KEEP LOOKING . . .

ONGOING ---  Vesna  Kittelson, “BABEL LIBRARY”

Form + Content (210 N 2nd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401)

Open hours: Thursday-Saturday 12-6pm

Kittleson’s sculptures look like finely tuned findings from archaeological digs. Working with materials as fine as gold dust to as dirty as tar, the artist creates objects that occupy spaces of conflict.

Exhibition information here

Terri Traen on her ouster from KQRS: 'It feels like death'

Terri Traen/Star Tribune photo by Carlos Gonzalez

Terri Traen knows that almost every on-air radio personality has been fired at some point in his or her career. But that didn't make the end of her 31-year career at KQRS any easier.

"I feel like part of my life is gone," Traen said Wednesday. "It was my family, the listeners and KQ. It's very heartbreaking. Very sad."

The devastation didn't just start earlier this week when Traen got a phone call telling her she needn't bother coming into the office. Last April, she was removed from the Tom Barnard morning show and moved to the 5-7 p.m. shift with Brian Zepp, another ex-member of the Barnard program.

"Let me set the record straight: That was not my idea," she said, struggling to hold back tears. "I loved working with Brian, but I did not want to leave the morning show to start my own show. I don't want listeners to think I'm high and mighty. I'm not at all like that."

Traen would not comment on why the company took her off the morning team or what they gave her as an explanation for letting both her and Zepp go this week. Ratings numbers from 5-7 p.m. did not change significantly up or down with Traen & Zepp at the helm.

Both Barnard and KQ operations manager Scott Jameson declined to comment citing company policy on personnel issues.

Over the past three decades, "The KQ Morning Show" grew into one of the country's most successful radio programs, in part because of Traen's chemistry -- or lack thereof -- with Barnard, who didn't mask his frustration with her corny jokes and naivete. The tension was palpable; listeners ate it up.

Less recognized was her work behind the scenes as the show's booker, setting Barnard up with both well-known celebrities and various oddballs. The latter were her favorites.

"We once had a guy who had gone off searching for the Loch Ness Monster. That's a classic," she said. "I'm really proud of tracking down those kind of people. That was really special."

It's been a rough couple years for Traen. In 2015, she lost her mother. Shortly after that, a tornado wiped out half the trees in her family's orchard business. In both cases, the KQ audience came through

"I really appreciate all the support from the listeners, the sponsors and members of the media who have called to offer their support, some of which I don't even know," she said. "They will never know what they've done for me and my family."

Traen said it's too early to speculate whether she'll ever return to radio.

"I might be interested if the right thing came along, but right now I haven't slept," she said. "Well, I've slept, but it's the kind of sleep where you wake up every few hours and say, 'Is this real?' You know how that it is. I would have to say that other than my parents dying, this is probably the saddest time of my life."

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