A new art space in Little Mekong, softness as a form of protest (and other art shows this week)

Jason Moran

Jason Moran

It’s a spring awakening here in the Twin Cities. After the horrendous cruelty of winter, we are finally seeing the light of day. Now it’s time to get out and about and see some art.

This week, shows in Minneapolis and St. Paul explore the strength of vulnerability, the power of healing, the beauty of destruction, and ways that sound can be seen and sculptures can be heard.

Jason Moran

Where it’s at: Walker Art Center, 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis.

What it’s about: In Staged, musician and interdisciplinary artist Jason Moran's first museum exhibition, the the jazz set is explored through the intersection of sculpture and sound. Evoking historic music venues and jazz history, the show also includes a new commissioned work.

Why you should go: How do the tenets of jazz, including improvisation and collaboration, come to life in visual form? Find out with this show that includes charcoal drawings, sculptures that you can hear, and collaborations with artists such as Theater Gates and Kara Walker.

When: 5-9 p.m. Thursday.

Anisha Yang

Anisha Yang


Where it’s at: FUSE: 422 University Ave. W., Ste. 14, St. Paul.

What it’s about: Hmong American designer and artist Christina Vang embarks into curation for the first time in “ALOUD.” FUSE is a new mixed-use artist space in the Little Mekong district of St. Paul. For the show, Vang has selected five artists all examining the process of healing, transformation, and the diverse identities of first and second generation Asian Americans through art. Pieces include 3-D installation, embroidery, and illustration. Artists on view include Anisha Yang, Nicollazzi Xiong, Peter Phung, Tori Hong, and Xee Reiter. Come early to get some yummy snacks by Soul Lao.

Why you should go: Christina Vang hit the Twin Cities scene two years ago, working as a designer and an artist. She recently collaborated with Oskar Ly to create a large outdoor fence installation at the Hmong American Farmers Association in Hastings through a grant from Forecast Public Art. Now Vang is stretching her creative muscles, shifting from being an artist to being a curator, to advocate for her community.

When: The opening reception is from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, and the show is on view this weekend at the Saint Paul Art Crawl.

L-R: Amanda Hamilton, 'Dark Painting XXIX'; Syed Hosain, 'Redemptive Imaginings'; Mary Gibney, 'Woman on Water Bust'

L-R: Amanda Hamilton, 'Dark Painting XXIX'; Syed Hosain, 'Redemptive Imaginings'; Mary Gibney, 'Woman on Water Bust'

Three openings at SooVAC: Syed Hosain, Amanda Hamilton, and Mary Gibney

Where it’s at: Soo Visual Art Center, 2909 Bryant Ave. S., Suite 101, Minneapolis.

What it’s about: SooVAC is going to be hopping on Saturday night with new exhibitions from the intensely talented Syed Hosain and Amanda Hamilton. It's also the start of a new residency program at the gallery, where Mary Gibney will be creating new work over the course of five weeks.

Why you should go: There’s a certain cheeriness in the air now that we have finally reached spring, so lest you get too happy, Syed Hosain and Amanda Hamilton have a dose of somber offerings for your evening. In Hosain’s work, beauty meets destruction in richly detailed works that mix abstraction with a sense of place and history, while Hamilton’s dark paintings will draw you into a meditative melancholy. Meanwhile, you’ll get glimpses of Mary Gibney’s process as she embarks on her new five-week residency.

When: 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday.

L-R: Blair Moore, Mikki Coleman, shhhhame

L-R: Blair Moore, Mikki Coleman, shhhhame

Soft Boundaries: curated by Juleana Enright

Where it’s at: Gamut Gallery, 717 S. 10th St., Minneapolis.

What it’s about: Curator Juleana Enright has gathered a cohort of seven artists all navigating ways in which vulnerability can be a tool for resistance, liberation, and healing. Works on view include illustrations, photography, video and audio installation, mixed media, book art, and sculpture. Participating artists include Blair Moore, Dom Laba, Lamia Abukhadra, Laurie Borggreve, Mikki Coleman, Nadia Honary, and shhhhame.

Why you should go: While it might seem counterintuitive at first, sometimes the way to gather strength is to accept and relish in your vulnerabilities. That’s the idea with this show, where the artists are displaying their rawness as a shield and a sword.

When: 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $5.