Amazingly realistic portraits (and other art happenings worth your time)

Cynthia Daignault

Cynthia Daignault

Art is in the air. For those who aren’t about waiting until the last minute for gift-buying sprees, check out some artist and artisan created options this season. Or take in a talk with artist, curator, and banjo player Cynthia Daignault over at the Regis Center for Art or a panel devoted to bog life over at Groveland Gallery.

Visiting Artist Talk: Cynthia Daignault

Where it’s at: Regis Center for Art, 418 21st Ave. S, Minneapolis.

What it’s about: Artist, writer, curator, and banjo player Cynthia Daignault stops by Regis for a talk about her process as a creator and thinker. Dividing her time between Baltimore and New York City, Daignault paints with a realism that’s based in concept. She often takes dramatic risks with her work, like burning it or traveling across the United States to capture as many views of the country as she can.

Why you should go: In the post-internet age, painting sometimes can seem like an archaic form. Not so with Daignault, who re-invents it for the 21st century by challenging, reshaping, and trying out new approaches. Find out what she has to say about the art world today at this talk.

When: 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday.

Amy Rice

Amy Rice

SooVAC Artists Holiday Shop

Where it’s at: SooVAC, 2909 Bryant Ave. S., Suite 101, Minneapolis.

What it’s about: It’s that time of year again, when artist pop-up shops start opening around the Twin Cities. These events are great for picking up holiday gifts, seeing what your favorite local artists are up to, and perhaps picking out something for yourself as well.

Why you should go: Tons of wonderful local artists whille be showcased here, including Ruthann Godollei, Caitlin Karolczak, Robyne Robinson, Amy Rice, Jennifer Davis, and Garrett Perry. In adition to fine art, there’ll be plenty of jewelry and other gifts.

When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays from December 1 to December 24.

Image courtesy event organizers

Image courtesy event organizers

A Handmade Holiday Market

Where it’s at: Lakes & Legends Brewing Company, 1368 LaSalle Ave., Minneapolis

What it’s about: Speaking of holiday markets, Lakes & Legends has their own collection of crafty goodness this weekend. Have some delicious Belgian-style beers while visiting local artists and makers of all stripes.

Why you should go: Hey, holiday shopping can be an anxiety-inducing experience. If it’s that way for you, this might be the event for you. Relax a bit in a festive atmosphere where you can peruse jewelry, clothing, and handmade gifts galore.

When: Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Meg Ojala

Meg Ojala

Panel Discussion and Opening: Illuminating Bogs

Where it’s at: Groveland Gallery, 25 Groveland Ter., Minneapolis

What it’s about: Before Meg Ojala’s “For the Bog” exhibition opens at Groveland there will be an illuminating discussion about these intricate ecosystems. Poet/dragonfly expert Scott King will join phenologist/radio host John Latimer and poet Katrina Vandenberg to talk about bog life to get you in the mood for Ojala’s bog photography.

Why you should go: Bogs are fascinating. Filled with plants and animals connected through their delicate ecosystem, they are hidden gems of nature. Take a deep dive, both with the artist talk and Ojala’s photography, into this precious natural phenomenon. While you’re at it, you can check out Joshua Cunningham’s “Driftless,” which also opens.

When: The panel discussion is at 12:30 p.m., and the opening reception runs from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday.