How do we make 'We the People' more inclusive? Plus other art shows worth your time

L-R: Star Wallowing Bull, Bobby Rogers, Zackary Drucker, Leslie Barlow

L-R: Star Wallowing Bull, Bobby Rogers, Zackary Drucker, Leslie Barlow

With hatred permeating our society, it sometimes can be hard to get motivated to leave the house. And yet, there’s joy and new beginnings awaiting you, brought to you by local artists and creators who refuse to give in to desolation. Get out there and make connections with your fellow humans through art. You’ll be glad you did.

We the People

Where it’s at: Minnesota Museum of American Art, 141 Fourth St., E., St. Paul.

What it’s about: These are trying times, and this was a particularly harsh week. In the mix of the public showmanship of white supremacy groups are calls to get rid of statues erected to glorify confederate heroes once and for all. Meanwhile we have a president that talks about “both sides” as if it were some kind of equal wrongs between racists and their opposers. Anyway, this context lays the entryway rather fittingly for “We the People,” a new exhibit at the Minnesota Museum of American Art that calls for an intersectional approach to American identity and cohesion. Curators Christopher E. Harrison, Johnnay Leenay, Mary Anne Quiroz, and Maggie Thompson pull work from the diverse spectrum of America to offer a more nuanced and equitable view.

Why you should go: Sometimes, when things are so bad in the world, it’s hard to know what to do with oneself. Hopelessness sets in with a dull ache of despair. These are exactly the moments where art can be of help, allowing one to perhaps help see the world in a different light, offering some hope, and helping to gain some motivation to keep on resisting.

When: 7-9 p.m. Thursday.

Tone Poems of Color Exhibition

Where it’s at: MCAD Gallery, 2501 Stevens Ave., Minneapolis.

What it’s about: Come check out work by students from MCAD as they explore color through a project conceived by MCAD’s chair of design, Erik Brandt. The exercise required the students to analyze the New York Times, eventually coming up with color schemes in both digital and analog forms that use the periodical as a kind of map.

Why you should go: The news is so bad lately, it’s probably a lot more sensible to experience it as blocks of color. Plus, you can try making your own personalized color grid at the event.

When: 5-8 p.m. Friday.

Art4Good to Benefit Contempo Physical Dance Company

Where it’s at: Q.arma Building, Q2 Gallery, 1224 Quincy St. NE, Minneapolis.

What it’s about: It’s visual art for a good cause: Contempo Physical Dance! Art4Good features works by local and national artists to raise money for the Afro-Brazilian dance troupe. Based here in Minnesota, Contempo Dance plans to take a tour to a conference in Brazil.

Why you should go: Contempo Dance is stellar, and super worthy of your support. Besides that, this is a great event to mingle and have a good time while checking out some great artists, including Julie Buffalohead, Paige Dansinger, Justine Di Fiore, and Xavier Tavera.

When: 6-9 p.m. Friday.

4th Annual Little Africa Fest

Where it’s at: Hamline Park on Snelling, 1564 Lafond Ave. St. Paul.

What it’s about: Right off the Green Line is a huge festival of drumming, performances, music dance, live painting, and lots more. Check out African clothing and food, and get a taste of African arts and culture.

Why you should go: Summer is nearly over, so your opportunity to go to these type of street art festivals is coming to a close. This one should be memorable, with tons of kids activities and plenty of entertainment and arts.

When: 2-8 p.m. Saturday.