What are you doing this weekend, fine art folks?! Art-a-Whirl will be taking over the Twin Cities, so if that’s your plan for the weekend you may as well stop reading this right now and click here and here. But if you have other ambitious plans for art-viewing, then continue and allow me to lead you elsewhere. Bon voyage!

OPENING: Indigenous Roots Cultural Center in St. Paul

Saturday, May 20

6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Indigenous Roots Cultural Arts Center (788 E 7th Street, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55106)

FB Invite: https://www.facebook.com/events/127872994432876/

This multidisciplinary, multigenerational and multicultural center for Native-Indigenous/POC communities of St. Paul opened just last weekend but hey, why stop at one opening? This weekend the center opens the exhibition “For Directions Exhibit,” a joint exhibition in partnership with All My Relations Arts, American Indian Movement Interpretive Center, Two Rivers Gallery, Electric Machete Studios and the center. Indigenous artists present work around the themes of decolonialization, identity, resistance and survival, with work by Todd Bordeaux, Neto Ybarra, Mateo Silva, Emmanuel Sierra and Jesus Villarruel. The show runs through July 31.

Alex Becerra Untitled 2017 Oil on linen 20 x 16 inches Value: $4,500 Courtesy of the artist and Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago Photo Credit: Robert Wedemeyer

Art Auction: Midway Contemporary Art Benefit Auction

Friday, May 19th

7-11pm (7pm live auction preview, 8:15pm live auction, 9pm Afterparty)

Midway Contemporary (527 2nd Av. SE., Mpls., midwayart.org)

The good folks at Midway are not detoured by AAW’s city takeover. As AAW kicks off, Midway throws up the curtains to unveil — wait for it — an art auction! Alex Becerra, Tom Burr, Yuki Kumura, Jagdeep Raina, Nolan Simon and many more have donated works for the greater good. The tickets are a bit steep at $125 but hey, you want to support art, don’t you? All proceeds benefit Midway, helping to keep their exhibitions, library and public programs flowing. Complimentary valet and an open bar offer added incentive.

Doug Argue's popular chicken factory painting. Image provided by Weisman Art Museum

Opening: Doug Argue’s chicken paintings' triumphant return! 

Weisman Art Museum (333 E River Road, Minneapolis, MN 55455)

Saturday, May 20 from 5:30-7:30pm with toast and remarks at 6pm

The Twin Cities are all about chickens these days. With Katharina Fritsch’s “Hahn/Cock” coming to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, there’s no better time for return of Doug Argue’s chicken painting. It left the Weisman in 2012, and hung out with other birds in Armenia because that’s where its rightful owner, Gerard Cafesjian, was living. And he wanted his birds back for viewing at Cafesjian Center for the Arts. The chickens are now returning thanks to the very generous Kathleen Baradarian and the Cafesjian Art Trust. Yahoo!

Image via Flickr 

Opening -- #17 (the garage sale show)

Saturday, May 20

10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Yeah Maybe Gallery (2528 E 22nd St, Minneapolis)

Art-a-Whirl may be whirling around like a drunken fool, but Yeah Maybe is keeping it together with some art sales of their own. Artist-run project spaces and other alternative spaces such as Beyond Repair, Gas Gallery and Press, Hair and Nails, Joe Krasean, The Third Rail, Tuck Under Projects, Sadie Halie and Why World all get together to sell their goods. Come for the art, stay for the arty conversation and oddly priced goods.  

Performance: “I AM A BLACK MAN”

SPNN (550 Vandalia St, St. Paul, Minnesota 55114)

4 - 11 p.m. 

As part of the AIGA Minnesota's Design Impact Series: Print Show, artist Chris Cloud presents I AM A BLACK MAN, a seven-hour performance in which he sits on a stool and allows people to ask him anything. The in-person performance mimics the Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) format, where a person, usually a famous one, them puts themselves out there for the internet public. People from Barack Obama to Jerry Seinfeld and Joan Jett have all done AMAs. The questions and comments are usually equal parts fascinating and humiliating, a form of Internet exhibitionism, sharing, and a way to create and shape personal brands and identity online. What would this situation look like re-envisioned just with a focus on race, during a time of heightened racial tensions? Chris Cloud wants to know. “People in Minnesota are shy,” he tells me. What would this look like in other cities around the country? And what would this look like online, with the same question? The answer is TBD, for now . . .