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Saint Paul artist Chris Larson selected for 2013 Whitney Biennial

Until now, Saint Paul artist Chris Larson was best known nationally for his entry in Northern Spark last summer: a full-scale model of a Saint Paul house designed by architect Marcel Breuer, which he burned down outside the Union Depot.

Of the spectacle, the New York Times wrote: "Mr. Larson was planning something more than an ordinary house fire. He aspired to an inferno. To this end, he had hired a company called Hollywood Pyrotechnics Inc. to string up baggies full of denatured alcohol as an accelerant. And a custom print shop had donated a few tons of scrap paper (obsolete business cards, defective wedding invitations) to stuff the shell with kindling. 'I want to burn it so fast there’s no time to mourn it,' Mr. Larson said."

Based on that work, plus Larson's other large-scale forays into construction, art, and ritual, the 2014 Whitney Biennial recently announced that Larson will be one its artists. On the Whitney website, Donna De Salvo, chief curator and deputy director for programs at the Whitney, noted that, "Together, the 103 participants offer one of the broadest and most diverse takes on art in the United States that the Whitney has offered in many years."

Larson teaches in the art department at the University of Minnesota. His specialities are scultpure, film/video, and performance installations. More of his work can be viewed on the Magnus Muller website.

Source: Whitney Biennial website

National "Beer Geeks" TV show spotlights Minneapolis craft breweries

“Beer Geeks,” a locally produced and nationally broadcast TV show about craft beer, recently featured two local breweries: Indeed Brewing Company in Northeast Minneapolis and Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub in the city’s southern quadrant, according to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. 

Both breweries are relatively new to the city. “The Minneapolis brewery episode is the 10th of the first national season,” the story states.  

The episode showcases the breweries’ specialty beers, including one made with jalapeno and Fresno peppers, and an imperial smoked porter, the story adds.

Source: Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal 

Local bookstore gets a shout-out on Flavorwire

Recently, Flavorwire published a list of "45 Great American Indie Bookstores to Support This Holiday Season."  

“No matter how bleak the news about publishing gets, independently owned bookstores are surviving, and in some cases thriving,” the story reads. 

Flavorwire looked at bookstores all over the country, including Magers and Quinn, an independent bookstore in Minneapolis’ Uptown area. 

“You can pretty much get whatever you want at the Twin Cities’ biggest indie, including new, used, rare, and just about any other kind of book you’d need to get through the city’s cold winter,” the piece states. 

Source: Flavorwire

Franke+Fiorella awarded at international design competition

Franke+Fiorella, a brand identity design firm in Minneapolis, has received three awards from the international Creativity 43 Print & Packaging Awards, according to a prepared statement from the company.    

The firm, which focuses on Fortune 1000 companies, stood out for its work for clients such as Edmentum and The Mosaic Company.

Franke+Fiorella was awarded for design excellence in the Edmentum Corporate Identity Brandmark and Edmentum Brand Guidelines Brochure, and Mosaic GROW magazine from March 2013, according to company materials.  

Source: Franke+Forella 

Minneapolis dancer featured in the New York Times

A recent New York Times story gives a shout-out to Minneapolis dancer, Aparna Ramaswamy, who recently performed to critical acclaim in New York City, saying she "lit up Pace University's Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts.

The dance review titled, “Pleasing Deities, and the Eyes, With Storytelling Steps From India,” examines performances by  four classical Indian dancers.   

Ramaswamy, who is the co-artistic director, choreographer, and principal dancer of Ragamala Dance company in Minneapolis, “exuded a brisk, eager energy in her hourlong program, 'Sannidhi (Sacred Space),'" reviewer Siobhan Burke wrote. "Joined by four superb musicians, she gorgeously embodied the swooping violin; the plunking mridangam; the wailing, warbling vocals."  

Source: New York Times 

Minneapolis a top choice for twentysomethings

The Greatist list of the country’s top 20 cities for people in their twenties includes Minneapolis.  

Although it can be tough to gauge what specific traits make a city attractive to young people, “There are common factors such as cleanliness, park space, and efficient transit systems,” the website reads.  

This time around, when the website was putting its list together, it delved even deeper, looking at other qualities, such as the ethnic and cultural diversity of a place and whether it’s pedestrian-friendly. The list draws from research from the American College of Sports Medicine and Apartment Guide

Minneapolis is “pretty much perfect for anyone who likes to stay active,” the post states. 

It’s the nation’s fittest city and it ranks highly for its park system, urban forest, bike trails and more.  

Source: Greatist 

Local artist Michael Gaughan featured in 'Beautiful Decay' magazine

“Michael Gaughan’s Visual Punchlines Bring Comedy To Art,” is the headline of a recent piece from the national art magazine, Beautiful Decay. 

Gaughan, a local artist, “represents a new breed of hyper-creative talents whose work spans an absurd amount of media,” the story states. 

His work is characterized by intense detail, which is tough to come execute, especially in watercolor, his medium of choice. His paintings are “painstakingly rendered for the sake of humor," the story reads. 

Whatever his subject matter, “Gaughan creates with an almost child-like glee. Despite the playfulness in the work, however, there is a sophistication and consistency that separates it from most. This is particularly evident in his highly-technical watercolor paintings,” the story adds.  

Poster series pays tribute to inventions from Minnesotans

A poster series from local creative agency Replace highlights the ingenuity of Minnesota scientists and inventors through history, City Pages reports

Many people probably don’t realize that local creative types developed the first pop-up toaster, the first retractable seat belt, and the first commercial computer to use RAM, the story reads. 

That was the inspiration behind “MN Invents,” the brightly colored, informative poster series that can be viewed online here

Among the other inventions that originated with Minnesota thinkers, according to the story: handles on paper bags, a deep-sea submarine, and a remote-controlled helicopter. 

Minneapolis in second place nationally for bicycle commuting

In Minneapolis, biking or walking to work is becoming increasingly commonplace, according to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey.

The survey shows that 6.9 percent of Minneapolis residents walked to work in 2012, which was an uptick from 5.8 percent in 2011, according to city materials. Another 4.5 percent of residents biked to work, over 3.4 percent the year before.  

“While these estimates are within the margin of error, they show that pedestrian and bicycle commuting in Minneapolis is holding steady and likely growing,” a city web post reads. 

The city “has the second highest per capita bicycle commuting and ninth highest pedestrian commuting” of major US cities, it states. 

Local author gets early press for forthcoming title

RT Book Reviews, which shares information about forthcoming titles in a column called "Forewords," recently gave a shout-out to a local author in its nonfiction category. 

Margret Aldrich, who used to work for the Utne Reader magazine, “is ready to celebrate the new miniature library craze with The Little Free Library Book, a collection of stories, images, and tips,” the column reads. 

Her book is expected to come out next spring, it states.  

Forewords draws from the “web team’s most-anticipated upcoming releases across the genres,” just as projects are announced. 

Minnesota chef lands Food Network show

Amy Thielen, a Minnesotan, is leading a new TV show on the Food Network, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reports.

The show, titled “Heartland Table,” will first air this Saturday. 

“Heartland Table” features Thielen cooking at her home in Two Inlets, a rural area north of Park Rapids. 

“The show gives viewers a look at the former Manhattan chef's recipes for Midwestern dishes like fried bologna, rhubarb spears and blueberry lemon pie,” the story reads. 

Thielen stopped cooking professionally when she and her husband relocated to their Minnesota cabin. She turned to food writing and she even snagged a James Beard Foundation Journalism award for coverage, the story states. 

Twin Cities farmers markets land on list of nation's best

Food and restaurant site The Daily Meal highlighted the importance of farmers markets in a recent feature designed to showcase them--101 Best Farmers Markets in America.
Six local markets landed on the list, with St. Paul Farmers Market coming in at the no. 5 spot. Others included Midtown Farmers Market, Kingfield Farmers Market, Northeast Farmers Market, and Fulton Farmers Market.
To get the results, the site ranked markets based on the quality, number, and variety of products sold, the availability of each vendor's background information, what people are saying online about the market, and any awards or other recognition received.
"Farmers' markets are a place where the community comes together to support each other and the sustainable practices farmers use to produce," the article notes. "Farmers are the backbone of our food supply, and we love meeting and getting to know the people who grow what we eat at our local farmers' market."

Food site highlights Minneapolis Indian cuisine choices

Indian and other South Asian cuisine can sometimes get overlooked in the Twin Cities food landscape, notes food-centric site Eater, but "Minneapolis has lots to offer, from the more familiar chicken tikka masala and naan to dosas, momos, and brand-new creations like the Indurrito."
From food trucks to downtown dining to suburban strip malls, superb Indian and South Asian restaurants are popping up all over the metro. The site offers a handy guide to help diners, along with suggestions for what to order at each restaurant or food truck.
Chosen as the top three on the list are Darbar India Grill, Namaste Cafe, and Gandhi Mahal. Others getting a nod include food truck Hot Indian Foods and Brooklyn Park favorite Great India. Another suburban pick, Dosa King in Spring Lake Park, got a mention for its 13 different varieties of dosas. 

Bicycling magazine gives props to Midtown Greenway

The October print issue of Bicycling magazine pays tribute to Minneapolis’ Midtown Greenway, a 5.5-mile bike and pedestrian path, in photos and words. Alongside a photo of a solo rider journeying down the Greenway in the wee morning hours, the piece reads, “Well-loved and heavily trafficked, the Greenway is an expressway of sorts for pedestrians and cyclists.”  

The Greenway, a former railroad corridor, has a scenic trail that “bypasses streets and highways and leads to the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes to the west and the Mississippi River to the east,” it adds.   

Handmade candle company inspired by geek culture meets Kickstarter goal

A local project called Nerdy Candles: For Nerds reached its fundraising goal of $5,000 on Kickstarter last month. 

The project, led by Tom Lubanovic of Frostbeard Studio, centers on handmade candles inspired by video games, movies, and comics. It’s a “fun mash-up of traditional craftsmanship with geek culture,” the Kickstarter page reads.  

This is the group’s second foray onto Kickstarter. In the past, the group created book-themed candles for the literary set. “It's become apparent that people really like our candles, both for smelling nice and for being... different,” the Kickstarter page continues.  

The new line of candles will take inspiration from Zelda, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Doctor Who, among other pop culture icons.  

225 arts and culture Articles | Page: | Show All
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