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Ancient Egypt, border politics, and other art happenings worth your time

"The Art of Avoiding PPL"

"The Art of Avoiding PPL" Jose Dominguez

From ancient artifacts to imagined histories, this week there’s a lot happening on the Twin Cities art scene.

“Time, Space and Process”

“Time, Space and Process”

“Time, Space and Process” reception

Where it’s at: Bethel University, 3900 Bethel Dr., St. Paul

What it’s about: One of the artists featured in Bethel’s current show, “Time, Space, and Process,” is Jill Downen, a Kansas City-based sculptor who works as an artist and professor at the Kansas City Art Institute. A recipient 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship, as well as numerous other national and international awards, Downen’s pieces explore the relationship between the human body and architecture.

Why you should go: Besides gaining insights into Downen’s riveting installations and sculptures, you’ll have a chance to check out the show, which also features Deborah Aschheim, Matthew Bourbon, Cesar Cornejo, Lang/Baumann, and Wendy Red Star.

When: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday

"Egypt's Sunken Cities"

"Egypt's Sunken Cities"

Third Thursday: Egypt's Sunken Cities

Where it’s at: Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2400 S. 3rd Ave., Minneapolis

What it’s about: See the Minneapolis Institute of Art as you’ve never seen it before, with giant Egyptian statues placed in prominent spots throughout the museum. For the Third Thursday event, you’ll be able to see these larger pieces for free, or sign up to be a member to enter the “Egypt’s Sunken Cities” special exhibition. There will also be live music by Vie Boheme, drinks, and info about Egyptian gods, history, and culture.

Why you should go: “Egypt’s Sunken Cities” is pretty great, but even if you don’t end up seeing the exhibit at this visit, you’ll be able to experience the giant statues that are temporarily housed in the main part of the museum. They are so magnificent you do not want to miss them.

When: 6-9 p.m. Thursday

“A Strange Cartography”

“A Strange Cartography”

Opening reception: “A Strange Cartography”

Where it’s at: Denler Gallery, 3003 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul

What it’s about: Artists Jennifer Danos and Natasha Pestich construct imaginary maps, timelines, and floor plans as a way to investigate shifting borders. Starting from personal accounts of living in Croatia during World War II, the artists disrupt architecture as a way to tell stories.

Why you should go: We live in a time where borders are intensely politicized, and there have been many moments in history where this has been the case. The two artists take a look back in history to inform an exploration of stability and permanence.

When: 6-8 p.m. Friday

"The Art of Avoiding PPL"

"The Art of Avoiding PPL" Jose Dominguez

“The Art of Avoiding PPL: New work by Jose Dominguez”

Where it’s at: Public Functionary, 1400 12th Ave. NE, Minneapolis

What it’s about: Public Functionary’s latest show features local artist Jose Dominguez, who creates large-scale mixed-media works as well as smaller drawings. Dominguez’s pieces capture interactions, from moments between loved ones to complete strangers, through bright colors, illustrative style, and text.

Why you should go: You need a bit more humor in your life. Dominguez’s work has an edge, but also gets at something profoundly personal and vulnerable. This show is worth checking out.

When: 7-11 p.m. Saturday