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The Bakken chooses bird-safe glass; PEN America awards go virtual

ALSO: Virtual Exhibition Exploration: “Designs for Different Futures” at the Walker; Northrop presents RUBBERBAND’s  online premiere of “Vic’s Mix”; and more.

The Bakken, a science museum, is located within the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes Important Bird Area.
The Bakken, a science museum, is located within the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes Important Bird Area.
Courtesy of the Bakken Museum

Nearly 200 bird species have been documented at Bde Maka Ska, including several listed as being of Conservation Concern by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Bakken Museum doesn’t want any of them crashing into its new glass tower or the first-level windows facing the lake and a small wetlands. So a portion of its recently completed $4.5 million renovation was for the birds.

In consultation with the Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis (ACM), the Bakken built its tower with bird-safe lighting and AviProtek bird-safe fritted glass. Feather Friendly visual markers were applied to the outsides of the windows. These treatments make glass visible to birds.

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The Bakken, a science museum, is located within the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes Important Bird Area (IBA). IBAs provide essential habitat for breeding, wintering, and migrating bird species.

“While planning our renovation, we worked carefully to ensure the building would celebrate and protect our natural environment,” Bakken president and CEO Michael Sanders said in a statement. The museum also refurbished its green roof and restored the wetlands on its spacious grounds.

The Bakken built its tower with bird-safe lighting and AviProtek bird-safe fritted glass.
Courtesy of the Bakken Museum
The Bakken built its tower with bird-safe lighting and AviProtek bird-safe fritted glass.
Scientists estimate that up to a billion birds are killed by collisions with glass in the United States every year. The Twin Cities metro area is located within the Mississippi Flyway, a major North American bird migration corridor.

Located in the former West Winds mansion on the western edge of Bde Maka Ska, with more than two acres of gardens, the Bakken has reopened to the public after closing in March of last year. Admission is by timed ticket, available in advance ($6-11, members free). FMI.

Mia acquires Highpoint Editions’ 20-year archive

The Minneapolis Institute of Art has acquired the complete archive of works by Highpoint Editions, the publishing arm of the nonprofit Highpoint Center for Printmaking in Uptown. The archive includes 310 published prints and multiples and 700 items of ancillary production material – preliminary drawings, proofs, and printing matrices – from 40 artists.

Among the artists are Willie Cole, whose “Beauties” series of 28 large-scale intaglio prints, named after women in his life, were made from flattened metal ironing boards; Dyani White Hawk, whose “Takes Care of Them” suite of prints was inspired by Plains style women’s dentalium dresses; and Jim Hodges, who used 79 colors in a single print, with hidden imagery behind each collaged layer.

Established in 2001, co-founded by artistic director and master printer Cole Rogers and executive director Carla McGrath, Highpoint made printmaking a vital part of our arts ecology. In 2018, Highpoint became a McKnight Artist Fellowships program partner. The first two McKnight Printmaking Fellows, Justin Quinn and Jenny Schmid, were announced in 2019. Fellows are given all-important access to Highpoint’s state-of-the-art printmaking studio, technical support, a $25,000 unrestricted award and a solo exhibition.

Willie Cole, Savannah, Dot, Fannie Mae, Queen, and Anna Mae, from “Five Beauties Rising,” 2012
Copyright © Willie Cole, published by Highpoint Editions
Willie Cole, Savannah, Dot, Fannie Mae, Queen, and Anna Mae, from “Five Beauties Rising,” 2012
Highpoint’s archive will become part of Mia’s print collection of over 40,000 works. A new exhibition will open in Mia’s Target Gallery on Oct. 9: “The Contemporary Print: 20 Years at Highpoint Editions.” Organized by Dennis Michael Jon, Mia’s associate curator of prints and drawings, it will tell the story of Highpoint’s founding, growth and achievements through a diverse selection of prints and ancillary materials. To accompany the exhibition, Mia will publish an online catalogue raisonné. If you’ve ever wanted to know the differences between intaglio, relief, lithography, screenprinting and monotype, don’t miss this show.

At Highpoint now through April 17: “Grafisk Sällskapet: Contemporary Swedish Printmaking.” No appointment necessary, but capacity is limited to 10 visitors at a time. All must record their temperature and contact information on arrival, and face masks are required.

The picks

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

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V Tonight (Wednesday, April 7), 7 p.m.: Playwrights’ Center: Reading of “Nancy” by Rhiana Yazzie. An award-winning Navajo playwright, filmmaker, director, performer, producer and founder of New Native Theatre., Yazzie has written a play loosely based on Nancy Reagan, a descendant of Pocahontas, and the story of a Navajo mother and daughter. Ken-Matt Martin directs the reading, part of the Playwrights’ Center’s 2020-21 Ruth Easton New Play Series. Free with registration.

V Tonight (Wednesday, April 7), 7 p.m.: Walker Art Center: Virtual Exhibition Exploration: “Designs for Different Futures.” Join a Walker guide for a virtual tour of the major exhibition that closes Sunday (April 11). The theme this week is Societies. What do designers envision when they look ahead? You’ll be invited to ask questions and share your perspectives. Free with registration.

L Now on view at Mia: “Saul Steinberg: Visual Verse.” If you’ve read the New Yorker over the years, you know the work of Saul Steinberg (1914-1999). This show in Gallery 353 features a selection of drawings from his mature career. It’s one of many reasons to visit Mia, where several exhibitions are ongoing and you’ll never again (we hope!) have the place so much to yourself. You might also check out “Intimate Space: A Noblewoman’s Bedroom in Late Imperial China” (Gallery 218), which, unless memory deceives, features several items theater artist Robert Wilson chose for his 2018 Mia exhibit, “Power and Beauty in China’s Last Dynasty,” except now they have labels, LOL. And Jess T. Dugan’s “Vision 2020,” a small selection of Dugan’s photographs of transgender and gender nonconforming older adults, which closes April 25. General admission is always free, but you’ll need a timed ticket.

V Thursday, April 8, 12 noon: Schubert Club: Courtroom Concert: PaviElle French. The program looks amazing – songs by Robert Glasper, Marvin Gaye, Erykah Badu and Tom Petty (“I Won’t Back Down”) and originals by PaviElle. She will be joined by Tiyo Siyolo on vocals, Ahanti Young on vocals and percussion, and a rhythm section of James Towns on bass, Ted Godbout on keys and Nick Dodd on drums. This will be a video presentation of a new program. Watch on the Schubert Club website, Youtube page or Facebook page. Free.

Kawai Strong Washburn is a finalist in two categories for his debut novel, “Sharks in the Time of Saviors.”
Courtesy of the artist
Kawai Strong Washburn is a finalist in two categories for his debut novel, “Sharks in the Time of Saviors.”
 V Thursday, April 8, 6 p.m. CST: PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony 2021. First handed out in 1963, the PEN America Literary Awards are among the most prestigious and coveted awards for writers and translators. (And lucrative; this year’s winners will share $380,000 in prize money.) The 2021 awards have Minneapolis connections. Kawai Strong Washburn is a finalist in two categories for his debut novel, “Sharks in the Time of Saviors”: the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award (the biggest of the night) and Debut Novel. Wildlife biologist Jonathan Slaght is a finalist in Literary Science Writing for “Owls of the Eastern Ice: A Quest to Find and Save the World’s Largest Owl.” And Coffee House Press is the publisher of Juan Cárdenas’ “Ornamental,” translated from the Spanish by Lizzie Davis, which is up for the Translation prize. The 2020 awards were held live and in person on March 2, just under the COVID wire. This year they’re virtual, so we can all go. Free with registration.

The 2020-21 Northrop season continues on film with the online premiere of “Vic’s Mix.”
Photo by Bill Herbert
The 2020-21 Northrop season continues on film with the online premiere of “Vic’s Mix.”
V Thursday, April 8, 7:30 p.m.: Northrop: RUBBERBAND. From Montreal to Minnesota, the 2020-21 Northrop season continues with the online premiere of “Vic’s Mix,” a program spanning 19 years of choreographer Victor Quijada’s distinctive work and athletic style. Born and raised in Los Angeles, the child of Mexican parents, now living in Montreal, the two-time Princess Grace Award winner began as a B-boy, then spent three years with Twyla Tharp and two with Les Grands Ballet Canadiens before starting his own company. He’s also a filmmaker who specializes in dance films. Following the premiere, the program will be available on demand through April 16. FMI and tickets ($10-25).

V Friday, April 9, 7 p.m.: MPR: MPR Connects! with Peter Sagal: “The Constitution – Can It Keep Up with Modern America?” Sagal is host of the NPR news quiz “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!” Tom Crann is host of “All Things Considered” for MPR News. Together they’ll connect Constitutional civics to everyday life. What makes the Constitution successful? Why has it lasted? Why did it very nearly fail? Free with registration.