Four open studio events in Northeast, and other art happenings this week

California Dreamin' in the California Building

California Dreamin' in the California Building L-R: Work by Faye Passow, Amy Rice

Northeast Minneapolis is the place to be this weekend, as artists open their studio doors to visitors.

Before that happens, Augsburg presents two artists working on timely material, and fascinating Iraqi-American performance and video artist Wafaa Bilal stops by the University of Minnesota.

Adam White

Adam White

"Sorta Like Conversation” by Adam White and "Adrift” by Chris Willcox

Where it's at: Augsburg Art Galleries, 2211 Riverside Ave., Minneapolis

What it's about: In Adam White's installation at the Christensen Gallery, the artist appropriates comic book dialogue bubbles to create an intricate mass of narrative-less speech that turns out to have relevance to current events. Meanwhile, over in the Cage Gallery, Macalester professor Chris Willcox investigates the global refugee crisis through abstract painting.

Why you should go: With so much social and political upheaval in the world today, it's nonsense to think that art would simply live in a separate realm from the world around us. At Augsburg, White and Willcox dive in headfirst into our current existence and moment through artistic practice.

When: 6-8 p.m. Thursday

Wafaa Bilal

Wafaa Bilal

Wafaa Bilal - Visiting Artist Talk

Where it's at: Regis Center for Arts, 405 21st Ave. S., Minneapolis

What it's about: Iraqi-American performance and interactive video artist Wafaa Bilal is at the Regis Center for Art this week, where he'll discuss his extensive career of making daring, boundary-pushing art. Bilal fled Iraq during the first Gulf War, eventually ending up in the U.S.

Here, he has garnered acclaim for international for projects like Domestic Tension, where he locked himself in a room and set up a remote controlled paintball gun that viewers, watching on a 24-hour webcam from the internet, could shoot at him at any time. More recently, Bilal surgically implanted a camera in the back of his head in order to capture footage 24 hours a day.

Why you should go: Wafaa Bilal is the kind of artist who puts his whole soul and being into his work and, as a result, there have been occasions where he suffered both physically and emotionally for his art. This talk will be a chance to hear the stories about the evolution of his practice.

When: 7-9 p.m. Thursday

Tara Costello, John Gaunt

Tara Costello, John Gaunt

Open Studios Galore in the Northeast Arts District 

Where it's at: Northrup King, the California Building, Solar Arts, and the Casket Building

What it's about: While each artist studio building might have a different name -- Art Attack at Northrup King, California Dreamin' at the California Building, Art This Way at Solar Arts, and Open Casket at the Casket Arts Building -- the idea is the same. Stop by each one or all of the vibrant arts district buildings and see what northeast Minneapolis artists are up to.

Why you should go: Whether you're checking out the darkly satisfying paintings and sculptures of Michael Thomsen and Caitlin Karolczak at the California Building, interactive art installations by Preston Drum at Casket Arts, or the hundreds of other artists working in all different mediums, Northeast is the place to be.

When: Friday-Sunday

Art Attack 2018 in Northrup King Studios

Art Attack 2018 in Northrup King Studios L-R: Work by David J. Cunningham, Laura Hallen, Sid Kaplan

Passage island; not available

Where it's at: Rosalux Gallery, 1400 Van Buren St. NE, Minneapolis

What it's about: Tara Costello and John Gaunt share their paintings at this dual opening at Rosalux.

Why you should go: Tara Costello is an abstract painter, and she works with Venetian plaster and trowels on wood panels, while Gaunt draws on research done at Isle Royale for his abstract paintings. Both artists are working with shape, form, texture, and gesture in interesting ways, and are worth checking out this weekend.

When: 7-10 p.m. Saturday