This week's must-see art shows

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There’s a special relationship between artists and the places they live and use as source material for their work. An artist can reveal hidden truths about a city or neighborhood, enliven spaces, and enrich a community through art. This week, a number of events explore this unique connection between art and place. Check out some of our picks below. 

"This Is Our City: Creative Citymaking" Public Reception

Where it’s at: Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis.

What it’s about: Since 2013, the Creative CityMaking initiative has paired staff from the city of Minneapolis with community artists to engage in problem solving around economic and racial disparities. This Thursday, artists will be on hand for the reception of “This is Our City,” an exhibit illustrating the work collaborators have been putting into the project. The event includes tours of the exhibition, refreshments, DJ music, and a discussion.

Why you should go: It turns out artists can play a vital role in getting people to engage in the civic process. According to Intermedia Arts, 1,800 people at 58 different arts-based community events participated in community and city planning issues during the program’s first year, and 90 percent of respondents had never been part of a city planning process before. This opening event is a chance to add your own voice about ways to define equity through artistic means, and be part of the solution for greater change within the city.

When: 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday.    "Maelstrom" 

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Where it’s at: TuckUnder Projects, 5120 York Ave. S., Minneapolis.

What it’s about: TuckUnder Projects opens their 2016 summer season with a show featuring six different installations by Kim Benson, Katie Van Cleve, Julia Helen Rice, Meena Mangalvedhekar, Reid Oyen, and a group calling themselves the Patch of Herald Szeeman (named after the Swiss curator). With sculptural installations, projections, paintings, and living art, it’s a chance to check out work by local artists in a relaxed environment.

Why you should go: Going to art openings at TuckUnder Projects is like attending a party at someone’s house, except there’s art everywhere — including in the garage, in the bathroom, and all around the lawn outside. Under the direction of artist and owner Pete Driessen, the residential gallery model allows you to experience art by a great selection of artists in a super chill and relaxed environment.

When: 6-9 p.m. Thursday. ArtPrize Pitch Night 2016

Where it’s at: Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis.

What it’s about: In an event sponsored by mnartists, creatives vie for a chance to compete at the annual ArtPrize festival, which includes a temporary public art installation in Grand Rapid, Michigan. The Art Prize Pitch Night gives the audience a voice, as they help jurors select which of the five artists will realize their proposal, awarding them with $5,000 to make it happen. The winner goes on to the ArtPrize Festival to compete for the $200,000 grand total.

Why you should go: The Artprize Pitch night is a chance to dream big, and to imagine the possibilities of creative public art. It’s also an opportunity to have some say in which project you want to come to fruition and represent Minnesota.

When: 7 p.m. Thursday

"Huldufólk Icelance Exhibition and Artist Talk" 

Where it’s at: Light Gray Art Lab, 118 E. 26th St., Ste. 101, Minneapolis. 

What it’s about: Artists from all around the globe travelled to Finland through Light Gray Art Lab’s residency program. For this exhibition, they’ll show off the work that resulted from the experience. Titled after the huldufólk, Iceland's hidden people (elves, fairies, etc.), the show highlights folktales and culture of Iceland through new illustrations, book projects, and photographs.

Why you should go: Many of us wish we could travel more, but when time and money don't permit that, at least we can live vicariously through others who have journeyed to far corners and returned with tales of their adventures. This show offers a unique perspective on what sounds like an incredible journey to Iceland, told through various artistic disciplines that bring the country’s spirit into the gallery.

When: 7-10 p.m. Friday (there will be an artists' talk from 7 to 8 p.m.). 


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