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Leslie Barlow's portraits capture truths about love (and other art shows this week)

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Artists tackle some complicated, messy topics this week, including class mobility, the body in social spaces, and how mixed-race families fit into the larger dialogue on race in America. Expand your mind and check out some great art in the Twin Cities.

"Leslie Barlow: Loving" opening reception

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

What it’s about: In anticipation of the 50th anniversary of Loving vs. Virginia, the landmark Supreme Court case that made laws banning marriage of interracial couples illegal, Leslie Barlow paints portraits of couples and families made up of different races, showing that love is love, no matter what color you are.

Why you should go: The playful use of paint and intimate sense of realism Barlow employs in her portraiture shines through in this solo show, highlighting a positive message about the endurance of love. She was also one of City Pages’ 2016 Artists of the Year.

When: 7 p.m. to midnight. Saturday

"FOOR Folx" opening reception

Where it’s at: Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis.

What it’s about: Adja Gildersleve joins Anna Min and Tina Cho of Min Enterprises Photography LLC to put together a show about the experience of growing up poor and then not being quite so poor later in life. Featuring photographs by Min Enterprises and Historically Robbed: Minneapolis, a new documentary by Gildersleve, the show explores issues often not talked about, including class mobility, the acquisition of wealth and privilege, and how those things impact a person’s personal and professional lives.

Why you should go: The “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” trope is one of those common American Dream myths that gets dangled as proof of the all-powerful purity of capitalism. In reality, gaining wealth and privilege isn’t always a Cinderella story, and in “FOOR Folx: The Invisible Bridges Across Class and Consciousness,” these three artists grapple with these taboo topics through their art-making practice.

When: 6-8 p.m. Thursday.

"New Works: Past & Present" opening reception

Where it’s at: Ambiente Gallery, 505 First Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

What it’s about: Part yoga studio, part chiropractic clinic, part wedding receptions hall, and part art gallery, Ambiente pretty much has options for everyone. This Saturday, they’ll host an opening reception for their latest exhibition, featuring work from artists Andy Tinkham (Geeky Monkey Photography) and Peter Baehr. The evening will include refreshments and the chance to win prizes.

Why you should go: If you need a break from all that’s happening in the harsh world, take some deep breaths and find some calm in Tinkham’s meditative nature photographs and sketches and other works from Peter Baehr.

When: 6-10 p.m. Saturday.

“Art and the Social Body: A Public Dialogue”

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

What it’s about: Curator and critic Rosa Puleo and artist, writer, and educator Sarah Petersen stop by Rosalux for a dialogue about the artwork of Emmett Ramstad and Shana Kaplow, whose pieces are currently on view at the gallery. They'll use the exhibition as a jumping off point to talk about the body, social spaces, and political structures in relation to art.

Why you should go: Take a deeper look at two savvy and thought-provoking artists at this talk that uses their practice as a way to think about the politics of the personal and how art can reveal truths about what it means to exist.

When: 2-4 p.m. Saturday.