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MCAD Art Sale goes virtual; Charles Baxter to launch new novel, ‘The Sun Collective’

ALSO: a conversation with Carolyn Mazloomi and Dorothy Burge; National Book Awards online; Thunder Band at the Cedar; and more.

Jordyn Brennan

Held every year the weekend before Thanksgiving, the MCAD Art Sale at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design is a crush, a scene, a party and a chance to buy affordable original art while supporting emerging artists. It’s the largest college art sale in the nation and the biggest community event at MCAD. This will be its 23rd year, and as you have probably guessed, COVID has turned it inside-out. The sale will be online only, no crowds, no chatter, no meeting and greeting friends and no lines except for curbside pickup.

The MCAD Art Sale has built a huge following to become one of the most anticipated arts events of the year. Speaking from experience, you never know what you’ll discover or what you’ll end up bringing home. To collectors and fans, it’s worth paying extra for VIP early access and first dibs on potentially great finds. VIP will be available this year for $50, but all other ticketing has been set aside during the pandemic. For comparison, a ticket to last year’s opening reception cost $150. Friday was ticketed at $25 advance, $30 at the door. Only Saturday was free.

Preview access for all will start Wednesday, Nov. 18.  VIP will begin Thursday, Nov. 19, at noon. Everyone else in Minnesota and Wisconsin can rush through the virtual doors starting at 8 a.m. Friday, Nov. 20. The sale will remain free and open to all until midnight Saturday, Nov. 21. So when you wake up in the middle of the night on Friday or before the sun rises on Saturday, resist the temptation to doomscroll. Stay off Twitter. Don’t answer email. Look at art instead. Maybe buy something.

Chance Tatum
Chance Tatum
Fast facts about this year’s MCAD Art Sale: Over 200 student and alumni emerging artists will be participating. More than 2,000 works of art will be available. Prices will range from $5 to $1,500. Every sale will be a curbside pickup; delivery will not be offered. All proceeds will go directly to the artists or to MCAD Art Sale Scholarship funds. Since its inception, emerging artists have earned more than $3.3 million in sales from this popular annual event.

Follow MCAD’s Instagram account @mcadedu for preview artist features. You’ll also find some on its Facebook page.

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The picks

V is for virtual, L is for live and in person.

V Today (Tuesday, Nov. 17) on Zoom: “I Wish I Knew How It Feels to Be Free: A Conversation with Carolyn Mazloomi and Dorothy Burge.” Artist, author, lecturer, and founder of the Women of Color Quilters Network (WCQN), Mazloomi is the curator of several exhibitions of quilts now in the Twin Cities or coming soon that focus on racism, police brutality and the African American experience. (View the complete calendar here.) Burge is a Chicago-based multimedia artist and community activist whose quilts can be seen at the Textile Center through Dec. 24. Today’s event is the first in a series called “We Are the Story: Let’s Talk about Race.” 2 p.m. Free, with registration required.

Charles Baxter's first novel since 2008, “The Sun Collective,” has just been published.
Photo by Keri Pickett
Charles Baxter's first novel since 2008, “The Sun Collective,” has just been published.
V Tonight (Tuesday, Nov. 17) on Zoom: Moon Palace Books: Virtual Book Launch with Mike Alberti and Charles Baxter. Award-winning Minneapolis-based author Baxter retired in May from the University of Minnesota, where he taught creative writing for 18 years. His first novel since 2008, “The Sun Collective,” has just been published by Pantheon. He’ll share the virtual stage with Alberti, managing director for Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop, who’s launching his own book, “Some People Let You Down.” Both will be in conversation with V.V. Ganeshananthan and Whitney Terrell, co-hosts of the Fiction/Non/Fiction podcast. 7 p.m. Free, with registration required.

V Wednesday (Nov. 18) online: The 71st National Book Awards Ceremony. Jason Reynolds, a #1 New York Times bestselling author, two-time National Book Award finalist and current National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, will serve as MC of the first exclusively digital National Book Awards ceremony, one of the nation’s most prestigious literary events. Tune in and learn the winners in the Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature and Young People’s Literature categories. One of the finalists in the poetry category is “Postcolonial Love Poems” by Natalie Diaz, published by Graywolf Press. 6 p.m. CST. The ceremony is free and open to all; a donation of $50 is suggested. Register here.

In September, the local Somali group Thunder Band was invited to record a performance for this year’s virtual American Musicological Conference.
Photo by Farrington Llewllyn
In September, the local Somali group Thunder Band was invited to record a performance for this year’s virtual American Musicological Conference.
V Thursday (Nov. 19) on the Cedar’s Facebook page and YouTube channel: The Cedar Public Access Channel: Thunder Band. In September, the local Somali group Thunder Band was invited to record a performance for this year’s virtual American Musicological Conference. Captured by the Cedar on its outdoor plaza, the event also included an interview of the band by Ifrah Mansour. 7:30 p.m. You can watch the stream for free, but a donation of $10 is suggested.

V Friday (Nov. 20) on Minnesota Orchestra’s website, Twin Cities PBS (TPT MN) and Classical Minnesota Public Radio: Minnesota Orchestra: Musical Originals. Former associate conductor William Eddins will lead Friday’s livestream from the stage at Orchestra Hall. The program will include a string quartet by Jamaican-born British composer Eleanor Alberga, a work for harp, flute, clarinet and string quartet by Ravel, and Beethoven’s First Symphony, which will also be the orchestra’s first full symphony of the 2020-21 season. 8 p.m. Free.