WORDS BY PHOEBE MCGOWAN
This year the Twin Cities in October will be filled with more than changing leaves, cold autumn nights, and expertly carved pumpkins: From October 12 to 16, the inaugural Twin Cities Art Week takes over 24 galleries, including Highpoint, Katherine E. Nash Gallery, Law Warschaw Gallery, Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Mia), and the Walker Art Center with soulful, immersive exhibitions.
Spearheaded by Dreamsong, a multidisciplinary arts venue and commercial gallery in Northeast Minneapolis founded by Rebecca Heidenberg and Gregory Smith, Twin Cities Art Week is a celebration of the vibrant local contemporary art that will include a full calendar of special events and the opportunity to connect with local artists.
Events include gallery crawls, live performances, exhibition walkthroughs, film screenings, artist talks, and more.
The idea for what will become an annual event came to Heidenberg last summer after she and Smith opened Dreamsong. “We were meeting all these great people in the local contemporary art scene—artists, curators, dealers, collectors—and I thought it would be wonderful to create a special event that linked like-minded galleries, spaces, and institutions together,” says Heidenberg. “We had also heard that many local collectors only acquire works from major galleries on the coasts, and we wanted to change that. In a relatively small scene such as ours, banding together is imperative—the sum is always greater than its parts.”
A few highlights of the week include, but are not limited to:
On Wednesday, non-Natives will be granted a major privilege: Access to powerful Native art, community leaders, and history makers. Please be respectful of the BIPOC art that you enjoy during this week.
Visit All My Relations to see she who lives on the road to war, an immersive installation and dance performance created by Rosy Simas. Gallery director Angela Two Stars—who is Dakota and Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, was the first Indigenous artist commissioned by the Walker Art Center to create a work for the museum’s Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, in summer 2021—will be walking patrons through she who lives on the road to war, which Simas created in response to global loss and the collective need to come together in peace and reconciliation. Simas’ artist statement reads: “Audiences are invited to gather, rest, grieve, condole with one another, and to consider how we can all work towards reconciliation during the dual pandemics of systematic racism and COVID-19.”
On Friday, head to St. Paul’s Papa Projects for a look at archival, biographical, and ecological records from Mexico’s Oaxaca region by artist R Yun Matea (formerly Keagy). Pulling from index, testimony, and cinematic forms, she truncates histories of disease and accounts of ancient tree life and agricultural practice. Matea’s multimodal research and field work converge as punctuated visual forms cut into view in this two-channel video installation.
Saturday, October 15, is all day, all art across Minneapolis. Start the morning with coffee and donuts to preview the American debut of African Studies, a series of 14 large-format photos from internationally renowned artist and photographer, Edward Burtynsky. Burtynsky is known for his large-format photographs of industrial landscapes. This is his third solo exhibition with the gallery.
At lunch, catch Mirror Lab’s Multi-Media Installation, a performative installation that includes moving images and sound. It celebrates the creation of experimental arts on Minneapolis’s Southside. End the evening with Gazing into the Full Moon Night, a solo exhibition by Roshan Ganu. This ephemeral creation emerges when light and darkness layer together. If you enjoy diving into the complexities of the modern human condition, this night is for you.
On Sunday, the final day of Art Week, there will be a live printmaking demo at Burnet Fine Art and Advisory with Mike Marks, the subject of a solo exhibit at the gallery. Marks often combines elements of nature, shapes, and hard lines in his prints. His work has been shown nationally and internationally. For some pieces, Marks uses woodcut, the earliest printmaking technique, developed in Han Dynasty China.
Heidenberg says she her own unmissable picks include Painting Show with nineteen artists at Hair + Nails, Leslie Barlow’s solo exhibition at Bockley Gallery, and A Picture Gallery of the Soul, with more than100 Black artists working in photography including Dawoud Bey, Kwame Brathwaite, Nona Faustine, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Lorna Simpson, and Carrie Mae Weems at Katherine E. Nash Gallery.
“I’m also really excited about Dreamsong’s special screening for Art Week, curated in conversation with Allison Baker’s solo exhibition on view at the gallery, which is titled Women’s Work and features video art and films by Courtney Stephens, Ja’Tovia Gary, Piplotti Ris, and Illana Harris-Babou, among others,” she says.
Art Week brings both of the cities together in a way that is rare for our communities–most art crawls span a certain district or area. Twin Cities Art Week engages artists and supporters across the river, and most importantly, cultures.
“One of Dreamsong’s founding principles is to foster engagement between artists working locally and the broader contemporary art world. To do that, you first need to draw attention to what’s happening locally and demonstrate that there’s an exciting, relevant scene with artists making important work here – which they are!” says Heidenberg.
This opens up major opportunities for Twin Cities’ artists–especially for Black and Indigenous artists who are creating historical work, but who are consistently marginalized for it. Not only will goers be able to experience this incredible local art, but for many of the events, you’ll get to be in conversation with the artists, galleries, and leaders of Minnesota art and activism.
Twin Cities Art Week makes local and global art accessible. In a time when we seem to be becoming increasingly disconnected from the present moment, this art week will bring you into grounding spaces for discovery, hope, and creation.
WHEN YOU GO
Find the entire calendar of events on www.tcartweek.org/schedule