31 episodes

Each week three people from the Minnesota arts community talk about a performance, opening, or event they're excited to see or want others to check out.

Art Hounds Minnesota Public Radio

    • Arts
    • 4.2 • 25 Ratings

Each week three people from the Minnesota arts community talk about a performance, opening, or event they're excited to see or want others to check out.

    Art Hounds recommend photography on the struggle for racial justice

    Art Hounds recommend photography on the struggle for racial justice

    Civil rights attorney, activist and Racial Justice Network founder Nekima Levy Armstrong appreciates the work of independent photojournalist KingDemetrius Pendleton, who has long documented social justice demonstrations and events. Levy Armstrong said he’s known on the streets as the Black CNN, “because he’s always there, always documenting.”

    His photography exhibit, The Movement Never Stops, runs Friday through Sunday at Block Portrait Studios in St. Paul. Pendleton’s exhibit will include photographs taken across the Twin Cities after George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police officers.

    “I think that people will be in for a real surprise, just to see the scope and depth of what he has been able to capture through his lens, and through his dedication and steadfast commitment to the fight for racial justice and pushing for an end to police violence,” said Levy Armstrong.

    Dancer Erin Thompson of Minneapolis called the Riverside Park Sound Garden installation last spring a “delight for the senses,” and she’s looking forward to attending again this weekend.

    The family friendly outdoor event features dance and poetry along with an immersive soundscape created by J. G. Everest.

    “I just found that it kind of stopped time for me,” Thompson said. “It just combines nature and art in such a beautiful way. And it's very healing.”

    The Riverside Park Sound Garden runs noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at the northwest corner of the park in Minneapolis. The event is free, but reservations are required.

    Comedian Tane Danger wants people to know that there’s still time to catch Fearless Comedy Productions’ production of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” before it closes on Saturday.

    Delayed by the pandemic, the comedy features the epic battle of wits and witticisms between Beatrice and Benedick, who are perfect for each other — if only they could stop arguing long enough to realize it. Director Duck Washington sets the play in the postwar 1940s. The production is staged at the Mounds Theatre, a renovated art deco movie theater in St. Paul.

    The Mounds Theatre requires proof of full vaccination, including boosters as recommended by the CDC, as well as masks when not eating or drinking. Danger recommends checking out the themed cocktails that the theater pairs with its shows. Shows run Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

    • 5 min
    Art Hounds recommend folk music and international film

    Art Hounds recommend folk music and international film

    Florence Brammer of West St. Paul says the newly refurbished St. Anthony Main Theatre is “absolutely gorgeous,” and she’s excited for its new life as MSP Film at The Main. The Minneapolis St. Paul Film Society has taken over operations and will now be programming all five screens year-round.

    Brammer looks forward to attending in a space dedicated to independent and international film.

    The society will also highlight the work of Minnesota artists through such special programming as Minnesota Made, Cine Latino and Nextwave, a youth filmmaking initiative.

    The space will debut as host for the 41st annual Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, with films starting Thursday at 7 p.m. The MSPIFF has a full lineup for those attending in person as well as virtual screenings this year.

    The festival was fully online in 2020 and hybrid in 2021. Cheerfully titled “Shine Through,” the festival runs through May 19, with additional films at the Landmark Center in St. Paul, the Capri Theater in Minneapolis, and Gray Duck Theater and Coffeehouse in Rochester.

    Sarah Larsson of the Nightingale Trio is a dedicated performer and student of the Eastern European folk music of her ancestors. She recommends the Ukrainian Village Band as “an incredibly addictive party band” playing both traditional and contemporary music.

    Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the UVB has gone from party band to organizing force, and they are behind two musical fundraising efforts this weekend.

    On Friday, UVB will be performing in a “Musicians for Ukraine” concert at the Dakota in Minneapolis at 7 p.m. That concert line-up also includes the Orkestar Bez Ime, who plays music of the Rom people across Eastern Europe, and the folk-rock band SlovCzech. The event is being organized by Natalie Nowytski from Okrestar Bez Ime. MCN6 will be streaming the concert online.

    Then on Sunday, members of UVB will host as eight Twin Cities bands play in the “Band Aid for Ukraine” concert at the Minnesota Music Cafe from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The event will also be live-streamed through its Facebook page. Funds raised go to Stand With Ukraine MN.

    Dinesh Krishnajois of Bloomington loves listening to improvisational music from around the world, and he wants to spread the word about the “ethereal voice” of scholar and vocalist Pooja Goswami Pavan. Pavan will perform "Jashn-e-Awadh,” a celebration of love ballads from the Awadh region in northern India, written during the early days of British occupation.

    “Awadh was the epicenter of intense political, cultural and social activities,” Krishnajois explains, adding that “in these tumultuous times, the poets, composers, and folklorists wrote music and poetry full of hope, compassion and communal harmony.” Some of these classic songs have since entered the public sphere through Hindi film.







    More about Pooja Goswami Pavan Songs of Sufi love from a Hindustani voice anchored in Minnesota







    The chamber music format will also feature Kedar Naphade on harmonium, Pankaj Mishra on sarangi, and Pavan on tabla. The 6 p.m. Sunday performance is at the Plymouth Playhouse, located within the Ramada Hotel and Conference Center in Plymouth.


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    • 4 min
    Art Hounds describe when art forms collide and complement each other

    Art Hounds describe when art forms collide and complement each other

    Miles Taylor of Wood Lake, Minn. is a burlesque DJ and visual artist with a particular interest in glitch art. He admires the innovative work of Autumn Cavender, a Dakota artist and midwife. Her art finds a common thread in digital media and traditional Dakota quillwork and hide processing.




    Courtesy of Autumn Cavender

    Autumn Cavender's artwork is of the digital form of the sounds of her son's birth.





    A year ago, she recorded the sounds of the birth of her second son. Cavender turned those sounds into a digital image which Taylor says bears striking similarities to her quillwork. “Wowicakekage: Dakota Art Encoded” is currently at the K. K. Birge Gallery through May 7, and then it will travel through the summer. The exhibit will be at the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council in Marshall May 12 through June 17, then spend August at the Crossing Arts Alliance gallery in Brainerd.






    Adam Wiltgen, residency coordinator and development director at the Anderson Center at Tower View, is enjoying the ongoing collaboration between Minnesota artists and poets through nearby Red Wing Arts. This year is the 21st annual juried Poet Artist Collaboration, which asks artists to illustrate selected original poems. The result, Wiltgen said, stretches visual artists outside their comfort zone to create something new.

    Wiltgen recommends visitors check out Jacob Yeates’s visual response to Casey Patrick’s poem “Medusa,” where the hyper-realistic image changes and morphs; and Cole Redhorse Jacobson’s “provoking artwork” in response to Gwen Westerman’s poem on the significance of the Mississippi River for our wildlife and our collective wellbeing.




    Courtesy of Red Wing Arts

    Jacob Yeates illustrates a poem by Casey Patrick.





    The exhibit is on display at Red Wing Arts through May 15, with Thursday night poetry readings running through that date. Red Wing Arts has created a chapbook of this year’s collaborations. A reception of the participating poets and visual artists will be held Friday starting at 6 p.m. at the St. James Hotel in downtown Red Wing and is open to the public.






    Amy Garretson of the Rochester Arts Center has her tickets for the Mid West Music Fest in Winona Friday and Saturday. The two-day event offers a full line-up of artists from the region performing indie rock, pop synth, classic folk and more on multiple outdoor and indoor stages.

    Garretson said it’s a great opportunity to discover the bars, coffee shops, and other venues in the Mississippi River town on a spring weekend. She’s looking forward to catching headliners Polica, Haley, and Bad Bad Hats. Proof of full vaccination or negative PCR test within 72 hours of event start is required.

    Garretson offers a  tip: VIP tickets to this Mid West Music Fest also include admission to a sister event in LaCrosse, Wisconsin in September. 

    • 4 min
    Art Hounds: Art studios open for spring visitors and a musical stages in a car dealership

    Art Hounds: Art studios open for spring visitors and a musical stages in a car dealership

    Art aficionado Linda Tacke of Lanesboro says she plans to devote a day or two to this weekend’s Bluff Country Studio Art Tour. It’s the 21st year of the event, which grew from four artists to around 36, spread across 23 locations.




    Courtesy of Bluff Country Studio Art Tour

    A painting titled Country Rhythms by Joan Finnegan, one of the artists participating in this weekend’s Bluff Country Studio Art Tour.





    Visitors can stop by the studios of painters and potters, jewelry makers, woodcarvers, fabric artists and more. Print off a map of artist studios here, or download the mobile app through the website to guide your arts tour across the Driftless Region. The event runs Friday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


    John Sievers, trombonist of Loud Mouth Brass is sharing the word about a new work by fellow Rochester artist and musician Becky Schlegel. “The Lullaby Collection” is an alphabet book with Schegel’s animal illustrations with poems and original songs for each.


    From the book






    Courtesy of Becky Schlegel

    A page from Becky Schlegel's new book "The Lullaby Collection," which she wrote, illustrated and wrote music for.









    Courtesy of Becky Schlegel

    A page from Becky Schlegel's new book "The Lullaby Collection," which she wrote, illustrated and wrote music for.









    Courtesy of Becky Schlegel

    A page from Becky Schlegel's new book "The Lullaby Collection," which she wrote, illustrated and wrote music for.









    Courtesy of Becky Schlegel

    A page from Becky Schlegel's new book "The Lullaby Collection," which she wrote, illustrated and wrote music for.









    The book includes a CD, which Schlegel recorded in the granary of her family farm. Schlegel will hold a book launch and concert for Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with music from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Dwell Local in Zumbrota.


    Carol Jackson is a Twin Cities theater fan and blogger, and she’s looking forward to seeing the new show this weekend from Minneapolis Musical Theatre. The theater specializes in staging lesser-known musicals, sometimes in site-specific venues. Their new show, “Hands on a Hardbody,” about an endurance competition to win a new truck, is set in a car dealership.

    The musical, which was briefly on Broadway in 2013, is based on a 1997 documentary about 10 Texans all vying for a new pickup truck. The rules were simple: Keep your hand on the truck; last person standing wins.

    “Hands on a Hardbody” opens Friday and runs through May 8 at Luther Cadillac in Roseville. The theater offers a range of ticket and pricing options in this non-traditional venue, from regular seats to Bring-Your-Own chair to — somewhat immersive — standing room only. The show is not recommended for children under 10 due to mature themes.

    • 5 min
    Art Hounds: Creative work abounds this spring

    Art Hounds: Creative work abounds this spring

    Actor Gabriele Angieri of Burnsville went with his family to see the play “The Family Line” at the Capri Theater in Minneapolis. The 2-man show takes place entirely within a car, as a Jewish grandfather and his 15-year old biracial grandson meet for the first time and embark on a 24-hour road trip from Florida to Minnesota.

    The grandson, whose mother has just died, struggles with a sense of abandonment as his grandfather swoops into his life to deliver him to a new life in Minnesota with a father he does not know. Set in 2020 during the unrest in Minneapolis, it's a show interwoven with family secrets and social commentary that Angieri said sparked both laughter and tears, as well as an excellent discussion with his 12 year-old daughter afterward.

    “The Family Line” is the second show for Stage North, which launched in fall of 2021 with a focus on plays about urban life. Its shows are performed at the newly remodeled Capri Theater in North Minneapolis. Stage North has a partnership with Patrick Henry High School Drama Club, whose student members worked on the crew for the show.

    The show runs through April 17th, with 2 PM matinees Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday and evening shows Friday and Saturday at 7:30 PM.

    Fiber and textile artist Nora Rickey has enjoyed watching Cecilia Rolando’s evolving art show at the Front Porch Coffee & Tea Co. in Ely. In place since January, the show has been extended through April, and Rolando has continued to add new work as pieces sell. Rolando’s creative work is wide-ranging, from realistic watercolor florals to bold abstract paintings, from collages to jewelry to haiku. Rickey says the throughlines of the visual work on display are Rolando’s vivid colors, which add to the warmth of the popular community coffee shop. If you miss the show at the Front Porch, Rolando’s work is also on display at Art and Soul Gallery and Gift House down the street.




    Courtesy of Cecilia Rolando

    Cecilia Rolando and her work at Art and Soul gallery in Ely during a 2021 show.





    Bassist Rob Morgan clearly recalls the massive transition he made from music student to touring performer, and he’s excited to see a theater version of that launching ground when the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater’s BFA students mount “The School for Lies,” starting Friday. This will be the first time in two years that graduating seniors in the acting program will take to the Dowling Stage on the Guthrie’s 9th floor. The play by David Ives is an adaptation of Moliere’s classic comedy “Le Misanthrope,” so you can expect to see larger-than-life characters and drama with plenty of witty repartee. Scenes, costume, light, and sound were all designed by University of Minnesota faculty. The show runs through April 23.

    • 4 min
    Art Hounds celebrate milestones of life

    Art Hounds celebrate milestones of life

    Artist, poet, and activist Dougie Padilla recommends a visit to ArtReach St. Croix in Stillwater to see the exhibit “Jim Denomie, Sweet Dreams,” which runs through May 7. Denomie passed away March 1. Padilla, his longtime friend, said Denomie was a “truly brilliant painter” and “a sweet and gentle man, a blessing to many in many different communities.”

    “Jim was also the master of his own style of portraiture, and of what can only be called Dreamworld painting. With his own unique palette of blues and purples, pinks and oranges, greens and golds, Jim told stories that came out of some deep underground stream from far down inside his psyche, in the psyche of his Ojibwe ancestors,” Padilla said. “It penetrates the heart softly, even while shaking the very ground beneath our feet.”

    The show in Stillwater includes portraits and character studies. Denomie painted figures with antlers and rabbit ears, riding on horseback.

    “Are they leaving this world headed for the next? Are they already in the next world looking back, waiting for us? Named almost a year ago, this exhibit “Sweet Dreams” not only foreshadows Jim's leaving us here on this troubled Earth. It takes us along with him for the first mile or two of his ride home,” Padilla added.






    Eric Heukeshoven, a jazz musician and composer who teaches at St. Mary’s University, plans to drive from Winona to Rochester to attend “A Tribute to John Paulson: Jazz at 70.” Paulson plays saxophone and flute, and he’ll perform original compositions and jazz standards. The rest of the quintet has musicians drawn from Rochester, Winona, and environs: Cliff Jack on guitar, Larry Price on piano, Miles Johnston on drums, and Robert S. P. Gardner on bass.

    The Rochester Chamber Music Society event is Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Christ United Methodist Church in Rochester. Masks are optional, and the show is free. 


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    Musician Keith Nystrom of Ham Lake says he was “blown away” by Minneapolis musician Jesse Norell’s new concept album, “Aorta Borealis.”  Norell’s daughter Alyssa was born with Trisomy 21, also called Down’s Syndrome, as well as a serious heart defect. The album describes learning the diagnosis, the darkness and uncertainty of the heart surgeries and, ultimately, the love and joy of family. Alyssa is now 6.


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    “Jesse has a real knack for doing very complicated things, but doing them in such the right way, that you don't really notice how complex they are,” said Nystrom.

    Jesse Norell has an album release show on Friday with guests Ben Noble and Chris Mason at the Parkway Theater in Minneapolis. Doors open at 7 p.m. Music starts at 8 p.m.

    • 5 min

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5
25 Ratings

25 Ratings

Lnvk ,

Good Overview, ANNOYING Intro

I love getting these tips for cool art stuff to do each weekend but I absolutely cannot stand the intros. I listen to this as a podcast and every week I try to gauge how far to fast forward so I don't have to listen to the "cheeky," "creative" introduction to the show. Please stop trying so hard, it shows, and it would be stronger if you dropped the attempt to be cool and just added another review.

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