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"Hallways" gets creative in weird spaces at Casket Arts

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When Preston Drum was asked by Russ White, an artist at the Casket Arts Building, to help curate a show for the space, his first surprise was that none of the art could be hung on the wall with hangers or screws. As an MFA student at MCAD who knows mostly painters, that rule could have proven difficult. But he took the obstacle and turned it into the whole concept for the show this week, titled “HALLWAYS ::: Encounters in a Narrow Space with Light, Sound, and Objects.”

“I used that invitation as an anchor point for the show,” Drum says. So instead of looking for two-dimensional art that needed to hang on a wall, he sought out work that sits on the floor or hangs from the ceiling. 

Drum invited several people who he respected and knew would come through on the short timeline. “I explained that this was a show about encounters in space,” he says. He approached a few artists who primarily work in 2D, but invited them to enter into the forays of 3D, whether that would be through sound, light, or space.

For example, one piece by Sam Weinberg is made out of bean bags, with faces painted on each bag. Another piece, by Peng Wu, is made out of Christmas lights shaped as text that says “Cool.” Alex Mitchell has made a rug that has a hole in it that looks as though you can fall in its mouth. Traditionally working in digital art, Mitchell is venturing into sculpture for the piece. 

The particular boundaries for the exhibition work well with new directions that Drum himself has been exploring as an artist. Recently, he’s began making cardboard sculptures. For the show, Drum has built a closet that will house several sculptures. For the opening, he will be giving a performance involving moving the sculptures and playing music that he creates using a drum, an amplifier, and a microphone.

Drum’s co-curator Russ White, who has a studio in Casket Arts, “wanted to get some new blood into the building,” Drum says. So all of the artists are people who don’t have studios there. “It’s not necessarily a Casket Arts show,” he says, adding that many of the artists are undergrad or graduate students at MCAD, or alumni. “That’s my network.” 

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In addition to being a visual artist, Drum has a background playing in punk-rock bands. During the evening, there also will be numerous performances from sound artists and musicians.  

“I have a long tradition of putting on shows. DIY stuff — that’s my wheelhouse,” he says.

Performers include Transitional Species, who will play at 6:30 p.m., John Zuma Saint Pelvyn at 7:10 p.m., Yume Nikke at 7:50 p.m., and Drum at 8:35 p.m.

IF YOU GO:

HALLWAYS ::: Encounters in a Narrow Space with Light, Sound, and Objects

5-10 p.m. Thursday, July 2

Casket Arts

681 17th Ave. NE, Minneapolis