It’s my first weekend in Minneapolis that doesn’t involve schlepping tons of boxes onto elevators and rushing to IKEA for miscellaneous items that will probably break within the month. So I’m doing what any normal art critic would do: Hit art openings! Here’s what I’m checking out. See you there!  

Friday 4/7
7pm – Screening of the film "Criminal Queers" at University of Minneapolis (Hanson Hall 106, 1924 4th Street South, Minneapolis, MN 55455)

Facebook Invite

The gay movement went to market long ago, selling out to corporate and consumer-based interests. Gay is not the same as queer or trans, and the movement for queer and trans liberation emphasizes prison abolition as one of its main tenants. Filmmakers Chris Vargas and Eric Stanley imagine a world where “crowbars, wigs, and metal files become tools for transformation” in their film "Criminal Queers." The programming is hosted by the Steven J. Schochet Endowment for GLBT Studies at the University of Minnesota.

“The film is especially relevant as trans and queer people are increasingly invited into the mainstream, so long as they remain respectable,” says Lars Z. Mackenzie, doctoral candidate in feminist studies at the University of Minnesota, who helped organize the screening. “Of course, respectability is not available to all of us, and this type of "acceptance" further marginalizes queer and trans people who are people of color, low-income, sex workers, immigrants, gender non-conforming, etc.”

A critique of the ways that the LGBT movement has systematically focused on white, cisgender (as opposed to trans), normative (people who for all intensive purposes look “hetero” or pass as straight), this whimsical and weird film presents a campy way to queer liberation, a place where weirdness and otherness rule. It’s been 10 years in the making, and now the film is ready to screen.


Saturday 4/8
“Unflinching facades: New Work by Carolina Borja and Jesse Matthew Petersen”
Soo Visual Arts Center (2909 Bryant Avenue South, Suite 101, Minneapolis, MN 55408)
Runs April 8-May 20
Opening reception April 8, 6-9PM
Both artists in this exhibition use a variety of assemblage and, craft and printing techniques to create works both sculptural and collage-like. 


“Some Assembly Required” MFA Thesis exhibition
University of Minnesota, Department of Art
Nash Gallery (405 21st Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55455)

Event Information

The University of Minnesota hosts the MFA Thesis exhibition “Some Assembly Required” from April 4-22, unleashing a new round of bonafide artists into the world. These people are Nooshin Hakim, Michael Johnson, Joe Krasean, Alex M. Petersen, Bianca Pettis and Xavier Tavera. Expect to see art that includes an actual airplane wing, the Earth’s atmospheric conditions, ceramic vessels, “surprising landscape of identity and sexuality” and, of course, paintings.

Nooshin Hakim, "Wing" (detail), 2016


The Unicorn Art Show

Artspace Jackson Flats (901 18 ½ Ave NE, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55418)


Facebook Invite

“I was born a unicorn, I missed the ark but I could’ve sworn you’d wait for me,” sing the pop-y synth band The Unicorns in their song “I Was Born (A Unicorn)."  Those cheery-sad lyrics popped into my head while I perused information about the event The Unicorn Art Show 3, which draws on the unicorn as a guide for putting together this curated art exhibition. Live performances by Planchette Burns, The Night Corvettes, and DJing by Venus de Mars will also accompany the art viewing experience. Find more unicorns on IG.


Unibunny!! by @amdownsart #unicornartshow3 #bunnies #bunny #rabbits #unicornmagic #horns #fluffybunny #mplsart #nempls

A post shared by Unicorn whisperer (@unicornartmpls) on

Happy weekend!