Cloud Cult's incredible journey brings them back home

First Avenue to host nationally acclaimed local band

"It's really great because painting is one of those things where people just see this quiet, still result, you know, where they can sit and they ponder it," says West, who grew up with the Minowas in Owatonna and started collaborating with Craig when they shared a studio space in Minneapolis. "But they don't see the type of movement and the type of time involved in creating that process and how it evolves and how it changes."

After each show, the paintings are auctioned off to audience members.

The results owe a lot to the respective character of the painters: Whereas Minowa layers her paint thickly with short, delicate gestures, West paints in broad, rhythmic strokes, his brush often dripping wet with colors. A musician himself outside Cloud Cult, West draws on the energy of the show and the commonalities of the different mediums to create his own mini-narratives.

For the current tour, the painters added a new weapon to their arsenal, set to make its Twin Cities debut at First Ave: custom-made rotating easels. The pair can spin their canvases at random intervals, adding an extra element of unpredictability. But there was an unexpected side effect on the occasion of the new easel's debut at St. Olaf, when West's brake jammed and splattered Sarah Elhardt with paint.

Fortunately, there were no hard feelings.

"STILL: NEW PAINTINGS BY SCOTT WEST" is on display through December 5 at TARNISH & GOLD GALLERY; tarnishandgold.org

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