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This week's must-see art shows

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Whether they are mining the reality of a world where we are completely interconnected with computers, phones, and other technology or finding source material from the Earth and nature, Twin Cities artists are trying to make sense of where things stand for human beings in today’s world. For Earth Day weekend, take a look at the resulting work at these four shows, which should complement each other nicely. 

"Fierce Lament" Opening Reception

Where it’s at: Form + Content Gallery, 210 N. Second St., Minneapolis

What it’s about: Artist and activist Camille J. Gage brings together 18 artists and poets for a special Earth Day exhibition, with a selection of artworks inspired by the recent COP21 climate conference in Paris and 46 years of Earth Day happenings. Using a variety of disciplines and mediums, the artists explore the role of art-making to repair humans' broken connection to the Earth.

Why you should go: Besides the noble goals of the exhibition, this show also happens to boast the talents of some of the Twin Cities' most fascinating artists, including the always provocative Andrea Carlson, artist/activist Sean Connaughty, and poet Heid E. Erdrich. It turns out the imminent danger the world faces is fruitful ground for thoughtful and revelatory art. Come and see what these artists have to say about our environment before getting your dance on later at the Earth Day Concert at Honey. 

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When: There will be an artist’s reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday. The exhibition runs through May 14.

"Reach and Gather" by Lisa Bergh

Where it’s at: Gallery St. Germain, 912 W. St. Germain in Downtown St. Cloud.

What it’s about: This solo show features two separate ongoing series by Lisa Bergh, a New London-based artist who, along with Andrew Nordin, is responsible for the Traveling Museum that sometimes makes its way to the Twin Cities. Bergh will be showing two different series for the show. Postures features irregularly shaped works on paper that tease the line between figuration and abstraction, and Studies of Restraint employs a limited palette of bright colors to explore abstraction, figuration, and gesture.

Why you should go: Sure it’s a bit of a trek to get to St. Cloud for an art reception, but seeing as Lisa Bergh is usually the one bringing the Traveling Museum to a location near you, this time you could be the one to make the journey. St. Cloud actually has an interesting art scene, and is only a little over an hour outside the Twin Cities.

When: The opening reception is from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday. The exhibition runs through May 27.

"Mark Shoening: Shape Shifter" 

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

What it’s about: Artist Mark Schoening finds inspiration from technology, patterns, and electronic data, re-imagined as gesture for this intriguing solo show that features three different series of work. With inlaid paper collages, paintings made from multiple repeating patterns, and soap boxes that have been transformed into an analog storage drive, this show explores the digitized culture we live in.

Why you should go: Schoening's intricate, dizzying works take a deep dive to find meaning in our current technology-drenched, digital world.

When: The opening reception runs from 7 p.m. to midnight Saturday. The exhibition runs through May 22.

“Harmonic Components” Opening Reception

Where: Kolman & Pryor Gallery, Studio 395, 1500 Jackson St. NE, Minneapolis.

What it’s about: Artist Jodi Reeb gets her bee on for this series of work. In “Harmonic Components,” Reeb reflects on processes of the natural world. Reeb layers melted beeswax onto sustainably obtained wood, with an added flourish of acrylic and metallic paints that oxidize.

Why You Should Go: There’s something very zen about Reeb’s work, a simplicity of composition and color that is quite satisfying. While her methodology for creating pieces is complex, Reeb creates art that has a clean and unrestrained sense of beauty.

When: The reception is from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday. The exhibition runs through May 14. 

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