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This week's must-see art shows

Killer collages in "Storied Fibers" and more.

Killer collages in "Storied Fibers" and more.

Whether they are just starting out or have a whole lifetime of work under their belt, artists need support if they want to keep pushing their practice to new levels. Yes, big fancy grants from foundations and agencies might be one element of that support, but for folks in the community, support sometimes means just showing up.

Every week in the Twin Cities, there are places where local artists share their pieces, revealing the new directions their work has taken them. Others might be showing work for the first time. Whether it’s a library, a storefront gallery, or a re-invented factory, there are so many places to visit and support artists. Here are a few options of where to see new work this week.

"Storied Fibers" 

Where it’s at: Southeast Public Library, 1222 Fourth St. SE, Minneapolis.

What it’s about: Minneapolis costume designer Sonya Berlovitz steps out of the theater and into the gallery with a new body of work that features multimedia collages that include self portraiture using fabric. Her work can be seen alongside of assemblages created by Rochester-based textile artist Lynn Bartley.

Why you should go: As a costume designer, Sonya Berlovitz’s distinctive style has delighted audiences in the Twin Cities and around the country for decades. But for 25 years, Berlovitz has also been creating self portraits influenced by her background, immersing herself into a fanciful world. Here’s a chance to see these textured windows into her ever-changing worldview, along with Lynn Bartley’s assemblages of fabric, found objects, and scraps woven together as she sifts through memories and experiences to find connections and a narrative.

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When: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

"Nightbather" 

Where it’s at: Island Gallery, 2222 1/2 E. 35th St., Minneapolis.

What it’s about: In her first solo exhibition in Minneapolis since relocating to the Twin Cities from Detroit in 2013, Julia Maiuri uses night as a metaphor in her explorations of intimacy, repulsion, and isolation. Using a limited palette, Maiuri dives into the recesses of human nature, using found sources such as nudist sunbathing magazines and erotica for her works on paper.

Why you should go: Island Gallery, located in south Minneapolis across the street from the Chatterbox Pub, is shaping up to be a hot spot for experimental exhibitions. Here’s a chance to see emerging artist Julia Maiuri try out a new direction in her work, forgoing saturated colors for subdued, dark tones.

When: 7-10 p.m. Friday.

"Da Vinci and the Drone"

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

What it’s about: Artist Vesna Kittelson has created an artist book for this examination of our society in the midst of a drone era. She has also has assembled various sculptural objects so as to create an experience of walking through an artist book as you peruse various wood and paper sculptures, 3D printed elements, and drawings.

Why you should go: Leonardo da Vinci famously failed in his attempt to create a flying object, but in his pursuit he demonstrated a timeless lesson of using innovation to reach for the greatest heights. Today, as aerial surveillance looms as the future norm for our world, Kittelson evokes Da Vinci as she probes our current reality.

When: 6-8:30 p.m. Saturday (artist presentation at 7 p.m.). The exhibition will be on view May 19 through June 25.

"3X5 May Residency" opening reception

Where it’s at: The Soap Factory, 514 Second St. SE, Minneapolis. 

What it’s about: The Soap Factory has launched the first of five monthly emerging artist residencies. They're part of its new 3X5 program, which is aimed at nurturing emerging artists who are chosen by three different curators each month. For May, coordinators Andrea Carlson, Rosemary Williams, and Emily Gasteneau picked 11 artists in different disciplines to use the Soap Factory space to create new work. The opening reception is an opportunity to take a peek at what these artists have been working on.

Why you should go: With funding woes, changes in leadership, and periods where the gallery hasn’t been open at all, it’s been a bit touch-and-go for the Soap Factory. So it’s a hopeful sign this new programming is bringing the organization back to its roots of supporting local artists to create new work. Emerging artists include Brittany Omann, Maria Thompson, Natalie Stoppel, Tiffany Mueller, Essma Imady, Stephanie Gustafson, Eric Larson, Magnolia Yang Sao Yia, Lazer Goese, Leila Awadallah, and Aza Erdrich. 

When: Saturday, 6 to 10 p.m.

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