This post-Valentine’s Day weekend, find some time to look for healing with the help of Twin Cities artists. Whether its engaging with Angela Two Stars and Jaime Black’s resonant interdisciplinary art at Catherine G. Murphy Gallery, experiencing healing music at the Cedar Commissions, or finding the humor in all the strife with Nora Montañez Patterson’s new play, art can be a way to reflect, grow and look for ways to make this world a better place. Also this week, the punk rock poetry and performance series The Riot Act, features comedian Mary Mack, and Gamut Gallery and Blu Dot give you a taste of Southern California style. At Urban Daisy in Northeast Minneapolis, ponder new directions your fashion choices might take when senior fashion majors show their stuff.
Angela Two Stars performance event
In “(Re)Connected,” Angela Two Stars (Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate) presents work that explores themes of historical an intergenerational trauma, in pieces that reference, for instance, residential schools where Native Americans were robbed of cultural language and traditions. Two Stars’ work also speaks to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) movement and to ways Native communities find healing. This Thursday, Two Stars will be doing a performance piece in conjunction with the exhibition. While you are there, you’ll be able to also view “She Holds Water” by Jaime Black, a Winnipeg-based artist who is of mixed Anishinaabe and European descent. Black uses video and installation elements to find connections between the body, land and water. Both exhibitions run through March 16. Two Stars will perform this Thursday, Feb. 16 at 6 p.m. and also on March 2 and March 16 (free). More information here.
Riot Act Reading Series
Local comedian Mary Mack reached a national audience at the end of 2022 when she appeared the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and has been busy touring. Lucky for us, the high-voiced comedian with an earthy bite to her humor makes an appearance this week at the Riot Act Reading Series, a punk variety show that returns to Milkweed Coffee on East Lake Street (not to be confused with Milkweed Editions, the book store). It’s a chance to see Mack work on new material. The Riot Act is hosted by poet and writer Paul D. Dickinson, author of “Junker Dreams,” a memoir of love and junker cars. The long-running series has travelled to different venues around the Twin Cities, including the Turf Club, Dead Media, and Ground Zero. Besides Mack, the bill includes poets Danika Stegeman LeMay and Scott Vetch. The shindig takes place Thursday, Feb. 16 at 6:30 p.m. at Milkweed Coffee (free). More information here.
Gamut Gallery teams of with the furniture design firm Blu Dot for a group exhibition that toys with the notion of appearances versus authenticity. Southern California artist Rachel Barnes (Human Shaped Animal) brings her plant-infused creations to the show along with Neal Breton, also based in Southern California, whose vivid, sunny abstract paintings will have you dreaming of California sunshine. Minnesota artists Genie Castro and Nicole Mueller are part of the exhibition, along with pieces by Blu Dot. Expect a show filled with bold pop with a hint of mid-century architecture. The public opening takes place Friday, Feb. 16 from 6 to 9 p.m. ($7 pre-sale, $10 door) with the exhibition running through March 18. More information here.
Nora Montañez Patterson, who was recently announced as the casting and producing associate at the Playwrights’ Center, is the playwright and director for a new dark comedy being presented by Exposed Brick Theatre. Previously workshopped with Exposed Brick’s “Through Our Eyes” project, which commissioned eight artists to create work during the pandemic, “Code You” takes on the pandemic era with humor and an eye toward healing. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, Feb. 16 to 18 at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 19 at 2 p.m., through February 25 at Dreamland Arts ($22, 15 discounted for students, seniors, those in the Latine community). More information here.
The Cedar Commissions
Extend your Valentine’s Day week by treating yourself to new music, courtesy of the Cedar Commissions. A fellowship program supported by the Jerome Foundation, the Cedar Commissions helps emerging artists get to the next level of their careers. It’s divided into two nights. Friday, you’ll hear music that takes on the oil industry by Aram Kavoossi (biaban), a mix of poetry, rapping, dancing and positive by DJ Fawzi | “Caruurteena,” and a song cycle by Emily Boyajian that draws on texts by transgender community members. On Saturday, Theo Langason, a familiar face in the Twin Cities theater and performance scene, mixes music and community engagement to grapple with the issues of today. Also on Saturday, Sophia Deutsch meditates on grief, and Cydi Yang’s “Soul Call” find connection through connecting to her roots. Friday, Feb. 17 and Saturday, Feb. 18 at 7:30 p.m. at the Cedar ($15, $25 two-show pass). More information here.
Apparel Design Fashion Showcase
Pick up some fashion tips from this year’s seniors at the University of Minnesota, who will be sharing their ideas for future fashion at an upcoming showcase. From fashion lines that explore adaptability for people of all abilities (like using magnetic snaps instead of zippers and buttons), sustainable collections using zero waste patterning and natural fabrics, and designs that explore gender fluidity, cultural storytelling and more, it’s a foray into what the next generation of clothing makers are thinking about. It takes place Saturday, Feb. 18 at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Urban Daisy ($35 VIP, $22 general seating). More information here.