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Weekend Picks: Giant Japanese monsters; a soulful Easter brunch at the Dakota; Tommy Stinson at the Turf Club

Plus: Junauda Petrus in conversation with Valerie Castile; Melissa Borman’s [Re]collections & Earthly Artifacts; Tressa Sularz’s weaving; and more.

From monster battles to Easter brunch, this week in the arts is as varied as ever. Spring into the Twin Cities arts community by visiting an exhibition of fiber artist Tressa Sularz at Homewood Studios, or appreciate the legendary Tommy Stinson at the Turf Club.  Ginger Commodore & T.   Rambo serve up Easter brunch at the Dakota, Junauda Petrus reads her new picture book, and Melissa Borman ponders place, memory and nature at Rosalux.

Kaiju Electric Battle Masterpiece: Reverend Matt vs. 10 Items or Fewer

Get ready for some esoteric hilarity as Reverend Matt (Matthew Kessen) gets into the nitty gritty detail of Japanese Kaiju (giant monsters attacking cities). It’s part of an ongoing Monster Science First Thursdays, where Reverend Matt delivers a lecture-style comedy act investigating monsters of all kinds. He’ll be joined by post-skiffle band Ten Items or Fewer and comedic performers Jen Scott and Sam Landman. Thursday, April 6 at 7 p.m. at Bryant-Lake Bowl ($10 advance, $12 door). More information here.

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Can We Please Give the Police Department to the Grandmothers?

Minneapolis’ own Junauda Petrus wrote the poem, “Can We Please Give the Police Department to the Grandmothers,” in response to the shooting of Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014. It immediately became embraced by the Black Lives Matter movement as a piece that spoke to issues around abolition and respect for Black life. Since then, Petrus was honored with the Coretta Scott King award for her queer young adult novel, “The Stars and the Blackness Between Them,” a book that highlights Petrus’s gorgeous language, characters and mystery.  Now, Petrus returns to her earlier poem, bringing it to young audiences in the form of a picture book. Petrus will read and be in conversation with Valerie Castile (mother of the  Philando Castile, who was fatally shot by a police officer at a traffic stop) this Friday, April 7 at 6 p.m. at Open Book (free). More information here. Another reading is Wednesday, April 12 at 7 p.m. at Moon Palace Books (free). More information here.

Melissa Borman, Portals, vintage wallpaper, 5”x7” c-prints, found frames, 2023.
Courtesy of Rosalux Gallery
Melissa Borman, Portals, vintage wallpaper, 5”x7” c-prints, found frames, 2023.

[Re]collections & Earthly Artifacts

For her latest exhibition at Rosalux Gallery, Melissa Borman employs a variety of media to explore the relationship between nature and humans. Drawing on her upbringing in a military family that moved often as a young person, Borman mines her own family history with her experience moving from place to place. Using images, objects, text, and video, Borman meditates on the notion of place and how it holds our stories, our grief, and our resilience. Opening reception on Friday, April 7 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Rosalux. A conversation with Paul Shambroom will be held Thursday, April 13 at 7 p.m., and the exhibition is on view through April 30 (free). More information here.

Tommy Stinson

Former Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson hits the Turf Club with his daughter, Ruby Stinson, in a show that was originally slated for December. Tommy Stinson’s illustrious career has spanned a robust solo career as well as stints with groups like Soul Asylum, Guns N’ Roses, and his group Bash & Pop. He’s also recently played with Lucinda Williams. Friday, April 7 at 8 p.m. at the Turf Club ($20). More information here.

Fiber artist Tressa Sularz weaving.
Photo by Mike Hazard
Fiber artist Tressa Sularz weaving.

A Soul Weaver’s Journey

The 40 year career of fiber artist Tressa Sularz is honored with a retrospective exhibition that features the artist’s work. From basketmaking to sculpture, Sularz draws on ancient techniques of wicker, plaiting, coiling and twining, expertly creating gorgeous pieces. For the exhibition, 10 writers have composed poems and essays that celebrate Sularz’s work, plus there will be photographs by Peter Lee and Mike Hazard, and a book by Mark Odegard, printed by Smart Set. Saturday, April 8, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., with a program at 1 p.m. at Homewood Studios. An artist talk with a screening of the documentary “Inner Gold” takes place Friday, April 21 at 8 p.m., and another reception takes place Sunday, April 30 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. (free). More information here.

Easter Brunch with Ginger Commodore & T. Mychael Rambo

Want an Easter experience outside of a church setting? Head to the Dakota, where the soulful jazz sounds of Ginger Commodore and T. Mychael Rambo will fill your spirits and get you grooving. Ginger Commodore brings her classical training and gospel influence to rouse your senses, while T. Mychael Rambo’s humor, beautiful speaking and singing voice and presence will inspire you. Plan for a hearty brunch during this delectable morning engagement. Sunday, April 9 at 11:30 a.m. at the Dakota ($20, 25). More information here.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to correct the time of a second reception for Tressa Sularz’s work. It is on Sunday, April 30.