'You're a keeper" is always nice to hear. At last week's Keeper Awards party at the Red Stag Supper Club, it took on new meaning.

Editors at Metro magazine came up with the concept to honor local artists, who are known for their nomadic sensibilities, to urge them to stay in the Twin Cities.

"We wanted to do a spin on the classic art award," said senior editor Chris Clayton. "When it came down to the short list, it was artists who, on a visceral level, are doing exciting, groundbreaking work."

As for the trophy itself, it's a striking glittered antler, created by Keeper winner Andréa Stanislav. "You never see just one antler," said Chuck Terhark, the magazine's associate editor.

The party at Red Stag was packed, but what does it mean that only four of the eight award winners showed up? Well, one has moved, one is on tour, one was sick and the other one just couldn't make it.

"It shows how busy they are," said Terhark, adding that it's expected that the uber-talented probably won't stick around forever. "We don't mind when they leave. It's a bummer for people in the Twin Cities, but we want them to succeed as much as anybody."

Sara Glassman • 612-673-7310