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Medicine Lake Branch Library to open (weather permitting)

The Twin Cities’ newest library, the Medicine Lake branch, opens its doors this weekend. Er, door. Just one, I think. We’re in the age of budget shortfalls, so this tiny location is sadly temporary: It opens on Saturday and closes Feb. 7 — unless we get a freak heat wave and the whole joint falls through the ice.

The Medicine Lake library is located on Medicine Lake, as part of the great annual Ice Shanty Projects, a celebration of all that is good and weird and optimistic about our local arts scene. The Library Shanty will have readings, writings, a community novel-writing experiment, and books, naturally.

While most of the shanties (hopefully) stay fixed in place, a movable feast for the eyes is the art cars on ice. The 8th annual Art Car Parade on Ice is Feb. 6, although the Art Car Taxi cruises the lake every weekend.

Local writer Eric Dregni teamed up with Macalester art professor and art car enthusiast Ruthann Godellei to write “Road Show: Art Cars and the Museum of the Streets (Speck Press),” a proper art history tome on these artfully improper cars. They give the Ice Shanty parade and Minnesota art cars some nice shout-outs. They also claim the art car can be traced back to 1325 BC and a chariot found in King Tut’s tomb. Interesting theory, no? The pictures in this book are a riot, and it’s up for a Minnesota Book Award.

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