While everyone begins bracing for winter, the Twin Cities art scene has been as pleasantly surprising as the October weather.
'Biskaabiiyang (returning to ourselves)'
Six artists tackle the broad concept of "indigenous futures," ranging from the effects of colonialism to life in a "post-Native Apocalypse world."
Summery-Harmony Twenish's digital illustrations honor queer, female and trans and "two-spirit" bodies, while commenting on our relationship to the land and pushing back against the oppressive shaming of colonialist beauty standards. Santo Aveiro-Ojeda's clever text-only cyberpunk game challenges players to investigate their relation to capitalism and technology.
Although the future is always unknown, this show — organized by Emerging Curators Institute fellow Juleana Enright — asks viewers to think more deeply about their position in the world.
Through Dec. 11. All My Relations Gallery, 1414 E. Franklin Av., Mpls. Free. Open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 10-3 Sat. 612-235-4970 or allmyrelationsarts.com
Yvette Mayorga: 'Monochromatic Dreams'
In the middle of a deeply pink triptych painting filled with gold chains and paint layered as thickly as cake frosting, there is an outline of an iPhone with an Instagram screenshot of Madame de Pompadour, chief mistress of Louis XV.
By combining colonial art historical imagery with Latinx iconography in this pink paradise, Mayorga reclaims pink from its docile hyper-feminine associations, transforming it into a razor-sharp tool. Although at times the color is overwhelming, that's the point. You'll want to eat up everything in this show, but the frosting is a hard shell, not an edible softness.
Through Dec. 5. Macalester College's Law Warschaw Gallery, 1600 Grand Av., St. Paul. Free, open noon-4 p.m. Sat.-Mon., 10-4 Tue.-Fri. 651-696-6000 or macalester.edu/gallery
'Divide Up Those in Darkness From the Ones Who Walk in Light'
The University of Minnesota marks the retirement of David Feinberg after a 50-year teaching career with two retrospectives. One surveys his art from 1968 to the present, and another is devoted to his ongoing project "Voice to Vision," which tells the stories of genocide survivors.
The longest-serving art teacher at the U, Feinberg is also just "a kid from Brooklyn," as his bio put it, and his personality shines throughout. There is so much work in this show and not quite enough space, making the gallery experience somewhat dizzying. I found myself drawn to calmer pieces, like "Green Line" (1974), a modular abstract painting with a green line that looks like a cut through a peach-colored rectangle.
In the "Voice to Vision" exhibit, I was moved by "Niagara Falls 1912," a mixed-media work by Beth Warner, the granddaughter of Armenian genocide survivors. She inserts the Armenian genocide monument into Lady Liberty's crown, a reminder of the realities of forced migration.
Through Dec. 11. Katherine E. Nash Gallery at Regis Center for Art East, 405 21st Av. S., Mpls. Free. Open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue. & Fri., 11-7 Wed. & Thu., 11-3 Sat. 612-625-8096 or umn.edu
'Inner Structures — Outer Rhythms'
This ambitious exhibition of more than 30 designers from the Middle East/North African region is an aesthetically gratifying experience for the eyes divided into four sections: visualizing poetry and music, political activism, culture and arts, and Arabic script.
In one video, learn about the ways street art popped up around the 2011 Egyptian revolution. Lebanese type designer and Arabic specialist Nadine Chahine's explores the relationship between the Latin and Arabic alphabets in "Li Beirut" — two posters in support of the victims of a 2020 explosion in Beirut, (her typeface Koufiya was the first to have matching Arabic and Latin parts). Tehran-based Homa Delvaray's posters for an Iranian cinema festival feel like they burst out of a secret forest, with their two black ravens and swirling, Tetris-like shapes.
This show offers so much to look at, it would have benefitted from more contextualization of trends in each country.
Through Nov. 6. Minneapolis College of Art and Design Gallery, 2501 Stevens Av. S., Mpls. Free. 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 10-4 Sat. 612-874-3700 or mcad.edu