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Readers, performers will respond to artwork at Soap Factory’s ‘Fables From the New Frontier’

There’s an intriguing happening coming up this Friday at the Soap Factory. At the moment, the gallery has an exhibition of work by emerging and established New Orleanian artists on view, “Frontier Preachers.”  This group show of installations in a number of media, curated by Jayme McLellan of Civilian Art Projects in Washington, D.C., is tuned both to the frontier history of the region and to its re-emerging cultural vitality in the wake of Katrina’s devastation — the curator calls the work a reflection on the “great good and great error” that have left their mark on the history and people who’ve lived on the southernmost end of the Mississippi.

TalkingImageConnection (TIC) is an intermittent reading series that invites noted poets, performers and storytellers to create work in direct response to specific exhibitions of visual art. TIC is offering one such evening of cross-pollination later this week with “Fables from the New Frontier.” The night’s reading features an impressive lineup of writers and performers, each of whom will present new pieces inspired by the artwork in “Frontier Preachers.”

The evening’s eclectic roster includes: Minnesota Book Award-winner Kao Kalia Yang (“The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir”); poets Lightsey Darst and Steve Healey; writer Jay Orff; New Orleans native, writer and actor Sheila Bland; and writer/performer Katie Leo in collaboration with Taiko drummer Jennifer Weir.

TIC’s interdisciplinary events are always engaging, but with a lineup of readers this talented working from visual art so ambitious and impassioned, this night’s performances promise to be positively electric.

“Fables from the New Frontier,” presented by the Soap Factory, is Friday, July 17, at 8 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public. The exhibition “Frontier Preachers” will be on view at the Soap Factory in Minneapolis through July 26.

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