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This week's must-see art shows

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No fooling, get your April into gear with some great art events this weekend. There's a lot to see and learn this week, with Wendy Red Star visiting, plus kinetic art, monster trucks, and fake Chinese wedding photo backdrops.
Artist Talk: Wendy Red Star

Where it’s at: All My Relations Gallery, 1414 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis

What it’s about: This week, up-and-coming creative Wendy Red Star stops by All My Relations Gallery to talk about her work, which combines everything from collage, painting, and photography to performance and video. Using humor and startling colors, Red Star takes on complex subjects around colonialism and Native history, with an eye toward how indigenous imagery and stereotypes have been commodified and appropriated in American culture.

Why you should go: Wendy Red Star is an important indigenous artists working in the U.S., with recent acclaim garnered from work shown as part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky,” as well as a recent solo show at the Portland Art Museum. This artist talk is a chance to find out about Red Star’s process, and how she simultaneously incorporates humor and critique to create richly layered work.

When: 7 p.m. Friday
"Macro Machines: Russ White"

Where it’s at: Gamut Gallery, 717 S. 10th St., Minneapolis

What it’s about: Monster trucks, army tanks, and children’s toys populate Russ White’s work in a show that features his colored pencil drawings, sculptural installations, and photographs.

Why you should go: On the surface, this exhibition might appeal to fans of Big Wheels and war machines, but White is actually using his playful — almost cartoonish — manifestations of the machines that make up modern society to critique the ways humans have disrupted and damaged our natural world. With a coy sense of humor and a personal touch, the pieces challenge our current world with whimsy.

When: The opening reception runs from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday. The exhibition runs through April 23.

Refugee from Josh Gumiela on Vimeo.

"Body and Machine 2016: Kinetic and Interactive Art" 

Where it’s at: Northrop King Building, #332, 1500 Jackson St. NE, Minneapolis 

What it’s about: Robotic sculptures, tricked-out appliances, magical machines, and more will be on display at this exhibition featuring Midwestern artists from four different states. Savage Aural Hotbed will be on hand for musical accompaniment.

Why you should go: Last year’s “Body and Machine” exhibition was a tremendous success, with all sorts of cool electronic and kinetic artwork that visitors were welcome to try out. Check out what this year’s selection of artists have in store at this unique event put together by Make it Move.

When: 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday. There will be an additional performance night with Tim Kaiser and Robot Rickshaw on April 16 from 6 to 10 p.m.
"Somewhere (Else): Work By Priscilla Briggs and Shannon Estlund"

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

What it’s about: Photographer Priscilla Briggs and painter/sculptor Shannon Estlund join up for an exhibition that explores the relationship between place and imagination. Briggs’ photographs capture the studio sets of vacation destinations Chinese couples sometimes use as a backdrop for their wedding pictures. Estlund’s paintings infuse hidden gems of urban natural places with imaginative flourish. Together, the two bodies of work comment on how our brains transform the tangible idea of place into subconscious renditions of reality.

Why you should go: Quite often, Rosalux Gallery will pair two artists for a showing, allowing for a pleasurable conversation between the two bodies of work. “Somewhere (Else)” is a unique opportunity to ponder the role imagination plays in how we think about place through pieces by two artists working in different mediums.

When: There will be an opening reception from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday. The exhibition runs through April 25.