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Weekend Picks: First-ever Twin Cities Art Week, events at Penumbra and the Capri, Chihuly, Queen Sonja of Norway’s visit

It’s the Twin Cities Art Week this week, a new festival of sorts where all kinds of galleries and museums are spiffed up with special events. Plus a lot more.

Together in Hope Choir performs.
Together in Hope Choir

It’s the Twin Cities Art Week this week, a new festival of sorts where all kinds of galleries and museums are spiffed up with special events. We’ve spotlighted a few here. In addition to those events, the Cafesjian Art Trust museum, which Artscape highlighted over the summer, opens its very first exhibition featuring glass artist Dale Chihuly. Also this week, Penumbra opens a new work by local playwright Harrison David Rivers, and the Queen of Norway visits Norway House. Also this week, Legends @ The Capri returns with tunes from historically Black Broadway shows, and VocalEssence sings the music of brother and sister Felix Mendelssohn and Fanny Mendelssohn Hansel.

Twin Cities Art Week

It’s the inaugural year for Twin Cities Art Week, where over 20 galleries across the Twin Cities will be hosting special events throughout the week and weekend. Besides gallery tours and openings, there will be artist talks, artist demos, dance parties, snacks, participatory activities, and more. A few highlights:

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  • There’s a special one-night-only performance event happening during “After Hours: Jannis Kounellis in Six Acts” at the Walker Art Center. See the exhibition featuring the Greek-Italian contemporary artist and enjoy spinning by DJ Yonci, live music by Lady Midnight, late night snacks and specialty cocktails. Thursday Oct. 13 at 8:30 p.m. at the Walker Art Center, free for members, $20 nonmembers. More information here.
  • Reception for R Yun Matea’s solo exhibition, “They became ill and their pages were left blank,” a two-channel video installation that brings together different sources from Oaxaca in Mexico. The reception takes place Friday, Oct. 14 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Papa Projects in St. Paul, with additional films by Matea screened Sunday from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Dreamsong, followed by a Q & A. More information here.
  • Art Soup with Second Shift Resident Artists: Cameron Downey, Jocelyn Suzuka Figueroa, Stephanie A. Lindquist and Zoe Cinel. Second Shift is an exciting space in St. Paul that supports women and nonbinary artists taking their craft to the next level. The current cohort has artists who have already been making waves with innovative interdisciplinary forms. The conversation should be scintillating, and you can see the exhibition as well. The conversation takes place Friday, Oct. 15 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Second Shift (free). More information here.
  • Pancakes and mimosas while you view contemporary art? Yes please. Head to David Peterson Gallery to see new work by New York-based artist Rose Marcus. Saturday, October 15 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. (free). More information here.
  • Roshan Ganu’s multilingual multimedia installation ruminating on space, “पौर्णिमा: Gazing Into The Full Moon Night” launches with an opening reception Saturday, Oct. 15 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at SooVAC (free). More information here.
  • Brunch at Dreamsong. Allison Baker, whose work is currently on view at Dreamsong, is a special guest at Dreamsong along with artist resident Maria Kozak. Sunday, Oct. 16 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Dreamsong (free). More information here.

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Cafesjian Art Trust Inaugural Exhibition

Squiggly clouds of cascading glass, luminescent sculptures that move with the wind and other magnificent works of art from the likes of Dale Chihuly, Andrew Carson and Lynn Chadwick are ready for you. Starting this week in Shoreview, the Cafesjian Art Trust Museum opens its very first exhibition. Besides the museum’s permanent artworks, including outdoor and indoor pieces, the first exhibition, titled “A Lasting Friendship: Gerard Cafesjian & Dale Chihuly,” highlights the friendship between the museum’s namesake, Armenian businessman, philanthropist and arts lover Gerard Cafesjian, and infamous glass blower Chihuly. The exhibition is free and open by appointment, and the first exhibition is open through March 23. More information here.


Penumbra hosts the world premiere Harrison David Rivers’ latest play, about generations of women supporting a couple grappling with grief. It’s Rivers’ first commissioned work for the company, which also staged his work, “This Bitter Earth” in 2018. On the heels of Penumbra’s announcement of its move toward becoming a national center of healing, the piece is presented in partnership with HealthPartners and Regions Hospital, and magnifies an underreported issue of systemic racism in health care, particularly in regard to Black birthing rates. Performances are Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m., through Nov. 6 at Penumbra ($45). More information here.

The Royal House of Norway
Queen Sonja

The Queen’s Visit

The queen is coming to the Twin Cities. Her Majesty Queen Sonja of Norway, that is, in her first visit to Minnesota since 2011. Her whirlwind tour includes a visit to St. Olaf College, and a meeting with Governor Walz, plus she’ll stop by Mindekirken, a.k.a. the Norwegian Lutheran Memorial Church, one of two churches that still hold Norwegian services in the U.S. You’re best bet to spot the queen will be on Saturday, when Queen Sonja will be visiting Norway House, the Norwegian arts, business, and culture center in America for the grand opening of the center’s new expansion. The events starts at 10 a.m., with a program beginning at 11 a.m. at the outdoor plaza, when the queen will assist in the unveiling of a 16-foot mirrored steel sculpture made in the shape of a pine cone, titled “Seeds.” It’s a companion piece to the artist’s earlier work “Konglo,” on view at the island of Sotra, outside Bergen, Norway. Then an outdoor block party takes place until 2 p.m. with food trucks, a raffle, and live entertainment. More information here.

Together in Hope Choir
Together in Hope Choir performs.
Since you’re already in a Norwegian mood, head to the Ordway on Saturday night for the U.S. premiere of “The Stranger,” a musical work for choir and orchestra by Norwegian composer Kim André Arnesen. Commissioned by The Together In Hope Project, in partnership with USA for UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency), the piece incorporates poetry and religious texts by authors of different faith traditions that highlight the refugee experience. The queen will be in attendance. It takes place Saturday, Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 16 at 3:30 p.m. ($42). More information here.

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Legends @ The Capri

Local jazz treasure Dennis Spears returns to The Capri with the Legends series. This week, the show is called “Broadway En Noir,” featuring music from historical Black Broadway musicals, including “Ain’t Misbehavi,n’” “Dreamgirls,” “Stormy Weather” and more. Among the featured vocalists are Kennadi Hurst, Ashley Commodore and John Jamison. Saturday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m.  and Sunday, Oct 16 at 3 p.m. at the Capri ($25). More information here.

The Mendelssohns

Before Maggie and Jake Gyllenhaal, before Richard and Karen Carpenter, brother Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn and sister Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel were tearing it up in the Romantic era. This weekend, tenor Nicholas Chalmers, soprano Maria Jette and pianist Mary Jo Gothmann team up with the VocalEssence Chorus and Ensemble along with an honor choir made up of Minnesota high school singers, plus VocalEssence’s student group, VocalEssence Singers Of This Age, for a concert that highlights the 19th century siblings. The child prodigies remained close their entire lives.  Even as Felix’s career soared and Fanny, due to patriarchal limitations, had a less public but still persistent trajectory.  Philip Brunelle and G. Phillip Shoultz, III will conduct. Saturday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. at Bethel University’s Benson Great Hall ($25 to $45.)