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Mixed tapes: Must-see works of art made from... tape

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This Saturday, seventeen artists will share artwork made with a brand of Japanese washi tape at TOMODACHI at the Mall of America. Locals like Jennifer Davis, Kao Lee Tao, Rudy Fig, and Christopher Straub (of Project Runway's sixth season) are among those participating in the event.

“The artists were selected through both a public call and through us approaching certain artists that we thought would work well with the tape as a medium,” says Kate Iverson, development director for Public Functionary, a co-presenter of the event. “We wanted to get a broad spectrum, from younger emerging artists to more established artists.”

Public Functionary co-curated the lineup with Denny Park, owner of TOMODACHI. The store, which sells designer art toys, anime figurines, apparel, accessories, and stationery, is one of only two venues that carry mt tape in the Twin Cities.

Sold in over 20 countries, mt tape has been on the market since 2008. It's available in more than 100 patterns and colors, and can be used on everything from bicycles and lamp fixtures to walls and doors. Thin and durable, mt tape can make almost anything “instantaneously adorable,” says Iverson. “Not only is it beautifully designed with vibrant colors and patterns, but it is very simple to work with. You can re-position it easily, and it has a semi-opaqueness to it that is great for layering.”

Artwork on display at this event will be both 3-D and 2-D creations, including paintings, drawings, fashion wear, and installations. Attendees can also decorate cubes with Place It! innovator James Rojas, an urban planner from Los Angeles. Use the cubes to create a mini-city or take them home as souvenirs. DJ Sally will supply the soundtrack for the reception, and a raffle will be held.

There will also be in-store specials so you can stock up on mt tape to take home. Iverson, who says she’s become “pretty obsessed” with mt tape, has herself made art collages, earrings, and other decorative objects with it.

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“I’ve even started looking at mundane things in a different way thinking, ‘That would look so much cooler covered in washi tape,’” she says. “The best thing about it is that really anyone can use it, even the most simple embellishment can change the entire spectrum of a room, object, or piece of artwork.”

IF YOU GO:

TOMODACHI x mt tape Art Exhibit & Launch Party

Saturday, August 29

Noon to 6 p.m.

TOMODACHI

Mall of America

316 N. Garden (near Nordstrom)

Bloomington

Free