Crystal Quinn and Oakley Tapola take over SOOlocal

Crystal Quinn and Oakley Tapola take over SOOlocal
Oakley Tapola and Crystal Quinn

SOOlocal, Soo Visual Art Center's outlet space at Nicollet Avenue and 35th Street, has been busy these days with a new series, called Equinox, curated by Crystal Quinn and Oakley Tapola. The pair, whose own artwork was featured earlier this year in the gallery, approached SooVAC  about curating other artists' work in a series of short-run exhibitions. 

Currently on view is the second exhibition in the series, "Make the Machine Feel Human," which includes abstracted landscapes created by James Penfield; the sprawling, frenetic, multimedia work of Brian David Downs; and music by the Seawhores. Like "Somethin's Rippin'," Quinn and Tapola's exhibition from February, the current show has an ambitious sense of chaos.

Crystal Quinn and Oakley Tapola take over SOOlocal
L-R: Work by Brian David Downs, James Penfield

Both Quinn and Tapola were familiar with the SOOlocal location from its days as Art of This, where they both had participated as artists. "We knew this space had potential," Quinn says. Even though the neighborhood has changed quite a bit since the business's closing, she says the space still holds the possibility of tapping into something in the same vein.
Crystal Quinn and Oakley Tapola take over SOOlocal
Work by Lyndsay Rhyner

The Equinox Series is the first time the two artists, who are also roommates, have curated a show together, though each has curatorial experience. Quinn used to co-curate the Dressing Room series in a loft apartment with Art of This co-founder David Petersen. For that project, Quinn would work with participants to create an artist book that would be available at every show. Meanwhile, Tapola runs an artist publication, called Wopozi, that's circulated around the country.

Both curators were interested in "creating arts events for people to go to that weren't necessarily in an insular sphere," says Quinn. So for the Equinox Series, they put out an open call, and chose artists based on who had the most solid visions. 

"Make the Machine Feel Human" concludes next weekend. Then textile artist Lindsay Rhyner will be featured in a solo exhibition from September 13 through September 20. The Equinox series will conclude with a pop-up shop in the gallery based on a similar event they held in their home last fall. The duo turned their whole house into a shop where artists took 100 percent of their sales. The same thing will be true for the Equinox pop-up happening on September 27-28. 


"Make the Machine Feel Human"
Work by Brian David Downs, James Penfield, and Seawhores
The closing event is Saturday, September 6 from 6 to 9 p.m.

2638 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis.

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