'Sweat Stains, Beer, and Cigarettes' closes soon

There's usually a lot to talk after a great concert. Sure, the musicians were rockin', but remember how sweaty you got from dancing? Remember how refreshing the luke-warm beer was? And, oh my god, there was that crazy fight that broke out.

On the right night, the dive bar band scene can be an exciting one. The current exhibition at Steven's Square Center for the Arts is a tribute to just that: "bar culture, tobacco-stained walls, and sweaty, dirty, rock 'n' roll." The show is aptly titled "Sweat Stains, Beer, and Cigarettes."

There are 13 artists featured in this exhibition, including collage and poster artist Erik Farseth. Farseth created the main poster image for this exhibition, and his collages on display are kaleidoscopic combinations of hep-cat culture.

Mark Murrmann's black-and-white photos of ecstatic musicians and backstage mayhem capture some serious action. He gets so close to his subjects that it's hard to believe there isn't sweat blurring his lenses. One of Murrmann's photos, titled Thee Mighty Caesars, shows a musician pulling a contortionist act. He's is holding his guitar as if he's in the trenches with a gun, and there's a wiley smile on his face. Murrmann's photos will surely rev your adrenaline.

Janelle Olson gets a closeup of a classic bar setting in her photograph titled Ashtray. The table is dusty, speckled with gray ash from cigarettes. The people at the table have been smoking in copious quantities. Butts and bottle caps compete for space in the round, plastic ashtray. One Grain Belt beer cap has toppled over and lays on the table along with a used book of matches.

If you go, be sure to bring quarters for Mr. Mike's Mini-comics. He's taken bar bathroom condom dispensers and filled them with his own products. They won't prevent STDs, but the little books are fun to read.

"Sweat Stains, Beer, and Cigarettes" will be on display through April 17 at Steven's Square Center for the Arts (1905 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis). There will be a free closing night reception on Saturday, April 16 from 7 to 11:00 p.m. Featured musical guest include the Blind Shake and Kramerica Industries.

Mark Murrmann; Thee Mighty Caesars
Mark Murrmann; Thee Mighty Caesars

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