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December in the Cities: Art and Culture To Go

It's culture to go this month in our feature highlighting arts, entertainment and culture not to be missed in MSP. Stop into City Center for an on-the-fly dance performance. Check out--on your laptop, phone or tablet--Greycoats' music video shot in architect Ralph Rapson's Glass Cube. Catch District Energy's plume in the night sky in downtown St. Paul.
Plume Project
District Energy, St. Paul
Throughout millennia, artists have utilized all sorts of materials to create their artworks, including moving trains and falling rain, bridges and rivers, blocks of ice and tons of sugar. But the City Art Collaboratory’s newest work may the first time a steam plume has served as canvas and material. Since November, downtown St. Paul’s District Energy steam plume has been igniting the night sky with a showcase of imagery and color. Artists Asia Ward, Aaron Dysart and Emily Stover have collaborated on the Plume Project, a Knight Arts Challenge winner, while each creating their own version or display.
Stover’s “Rumblings” initiated the project. When someone calls 651-383-1378 to hear one of several poems Stover commissioned from local poets about District Energy and its presence in the city, the call triggers a theatrical light show that dances across the plume. Dysart’s “Solar System” begins December 22 and will use live data from NASA’s Solar Dynamic Observatory to determine the color and brightness of the plume. Later this winter, Ward will begin her “Plume Coloring Contest,” which she says will “use art and technology to directly connect visitors to downtown with the concept of Positive Energy, and create a chance for people to use the plume as their canvas.”
Greycoats and Rapson’s Glass Cube
If you’re an architecture buff, changes are you’ve enjoyed the opportunity to visit architect Ralph Rapson’s Glass Cube, designed in 1974. Sited on a hilltop overlooking the Apple River in Wisconsin, the retreat (which Rapson and his family often used) is a glass jewel box with “floating” wood floors and suspended sling chairs. Picnics, parties and tours are common occurrences at the Cube, which is now owned by Rapson’s son, Minneapolis architect Toby Rapson. But recently, something wholly new happened at the Cube.
Minneapolis indie band Greycoats filmed a music video in and around the architectural icon. This fall, that video, “Cleopatra” debuted on the Architecture Minnesota website. Featuring Haley Bonar, the video includes lush images of the nearby woods and beautiful shots of Rapson’s architecture. “We consider ourselves artists more than musicians,” Greycoats drummer Mike Smith told Architecture Minnesota. “We’re always thinking in a visual sense as well as in terms of music. The Cube really shaped our new album [Adrift]. And for someone like me, who is interested in architecture and design, it was a dream come true to experience the space firsthand.”

Reflection: Made Here
Through March 30, 2016
Mayo Clinic Square, Minneapolis
The fifth Made Here, an innovative storefront art program spearheaded by Joan Vorderbruggen through her role as Cultural District Arts Coordinator for Hennepin Theatre Trust, opened last week in downtown Minneapolis. This showcase of multidisciplinary art created around the theme of “reflection” will be hard to top. The fifth iteration includes 45 new window displays with work by more than 60 Minnesota artists working via photography, paintings, graphic art, textiles, drawings and multimedia installations. And that’s not all.
A new pilot program, the Made Here Holiday Market continues December 10 and 17 from 11-6 in City Center, featuring the work of more than 30 local makers. Also, grab your lunch and take in “Radical Recess,” a performance series curated by the irrepressible duo of Laurie Van Wieren and April Sellers. You can catch April Sellers Dance Collective, Taja Will and Dustin Maxwell in the City Center Atrium at 12:30 on January 8; Ananya Dance Theater, Anna Shogren and Robert Keo at the IDS Center on February 5; and Pramila Vasudevan and Rosy Simas Dance at Loring Park on March 4. Call it culture-to-go.
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