A Northern Spark preview party, women unite at Mia, and other art happenings this week

Northern Spark

Northern Spark Dan Norman

A Northern Spark teaser party, women artists at Mia, mylar sculptures, and surreal ceramics are on view in galleries and museum in the Twin Cities this week.

Spring Howl for Northern Spark

Where it's at: The Holden Room, 145 Holden St., Minneapolis

What it's about: Northern is gearing up for this year's Northern Spark Festival by having a party. On Wednesday, you'll be able to whet your appetite for all of the public art goodness that is coming this summer during the two-night festival. There will be indoor art installations on display, a silent auction, appetizers, drinks, and sauna sessions available from Little Box Sauna for an additional fee. It all goes to support Northern Spark taking place on Friday, June 14, and Saturday, June 15, from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Why you should go: The Spring Howl is a chance to get excited about this year's Northern Spark Festival. This year’s theme is “We Are Here: Resilience, Renewal, & Regeneration,” and will be taking place along the American Indian Cultural Corridor, the Commons in downtown Minneapolis, and in the Rondo neighborhood of Saint Paul. At the preview event Kashimana Ahua and Filsan Ibrahim will sing your praises, Jennifer Newsom and Tom Carruthers have an installation that will test your balance, and other fun to explore with Andrea Johnson of Little Box Sauna, projectionist Michael Murnane, rap artist See More Perspective, and Piotr Szyhalski.

When: 5:30-8 p.m. Tickets are $25 presale, $30 at the door, and includes free beer and soft drinks. Pay an additional $15 for sauna time.

Third Thursday at Mia

Third Thursday at Mia Image courtesy Mia

Third Thursday: Women Artists

Where it's at: Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2400 S. Third Ave., Minneapolis

What it's about: Celebrate women, art, and music at Mia’s Third Thursday event, with music by Monica LaPlante, Nyasia, and DJ Rowsheen. Take a gallery tour of music-inspired artworks and women artists in the museum's collection, learn stop-motion animation with Chamindika Wanduragala, and take a vocal lesson with Jayanthi Kyle.

Why you should go: Hey, we wish that women artists got equitable representation in arts institutions too, but until equality is truly achieved, at least there's events like this that highlight women artists. Also, if you haven't yet seen Hapy, the giant intersex Egyptian statue located on the second floor rotunda, head over there to see it before “Egypt's Sunken Cities” closes on April 14.

When: 6-9 p.m. Thursday

John Knuth

John Knuth

Opening Reception: The Silver Scenery - John Knuth

Where it's at: NewStudio Architecture, 2303 Wycliff St., St. Paul

What it's about: Sculptures made out of mylar sandbags and landscape paintings are the work of artist John Knuth, who will exhibit in a solo show at the NewStudio Gallery, presented by NewStudio Architecture and the Orange Advisory.

Why you should go: John Knuth gets the viewer to question one's own relationship to land and nature in these mirrored pieces that evoke a post-apocalyptic world.

When: 5:30-8:30 p.m. Friday

Sergei Isupov

Sergei Isupov TMORA

TMORA Artist Lecture: Sergei Isupov

Where it's at: The Museum of Russian Art, 5500 Stevens Ave. S., Minneapolis

What it's about: Russian-born artist Sergei Isupov, whose audacious solo show, “Surreal Promenade,” is currently on view at the Museum of Russian Art, will be in town to speak about his work. Russian tea and cookies will be served.

Why you should go: Isupov's exquisitely crafted pieces are a treat to discover. His ceramic sculptures blends fantasy, titillation, and surprise. These pieces are often two-sided, and you have to walk around the sculpture to get the whole narrative. This talk will be well worth it to hear what he has to say.

When: 6:30-8 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $15.