This week's must-see art shows

Greta McLain

Greta McLain

Artists help us see the world a little bit differently. Whether they’re re-orienting found objects to create a new language, sharing the stories and traditions of cultures around the world, or exploring our perceptions and pre-conceptions of things, art shows in the Twin Cities this week may just change your world (or at least the way you see it).



"Sandra Menefee Taylor: Living Arrangements”

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

What it’s about: Sandra Menefee Taylor brings a bit of the outside inside with this installation exhibition that juxtaposes domestic images and artifacts with natural materials. Dirt gets brought inside and incorporated into scenes that are decidedly civilized, as the artist questions the prudence of humans becoming so disconnected with the Earth.

Why you should go: At some point in the history of human kind, the element that is vital to our existence, the Earth itself, became something to be shunned, wiped up, and sanitized. Sandra Menefee Taylor wakes us up to its importance in this piece that proves without nature, we are lost.

When: There will be an opening reception Friday, August 12 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The exhibition runs through Septemer 17.



Little Africa Fest

Where it’s at: Hamline Park, 1564 Lafond Ave., St. Paul.

What it’s about: With delicious food from African vendors, an array of artwork by African artists, and performances from storytellers, poets, and musicians, this outdoor festival takes you on a trip across the Pacific Ocean as you celebrate the African community right here in Minnesota.

Why you should go: Ethiopian Amharic singer Genet Abate will perform with the multiethnic D'Afrique band and Congolese singer, songwriter, and guitarist Siama. There will be spoken word by the award-winning IBé. Whimsical Somali actress Ifrah Mansour will also take the stage. So Little Africa Fest is a great chance to get a dose of entertainment by African artists plus a diverse selection of treats.

When: 3 to 8 p.m. Saturday.



Chholing Taha

Where it’s at: Showroom, 615 W. Lake St., Minneapolis.

What it’s about: Cree artist Chholing Taha, otherwise known as “Shawl Lady,” incorporates Native traditions, folklore, and storytelling into her paintings, which navigate Native archetypes and healing stories.

Why you should go: Taha’s vibrant colors and rich storytelling will enchant you at this solo show that uses acrylic on watercolor paper. Come learn about some of the stories that the artist mines from her own culture as well as other Native tribes.

When: 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday



"Nicholas Wells: Staged Convervation #4 (the world was flat)"

Where it’s at: Porch Gallery, 3306 Park Ave., Minneapolis.

What it’s about: One person’s junk is another person’s treasure. Or, in the case of Nicholas Wells’ new exhibition at the Porch Gallery, one person’s junk is that same person’s art. In this exhibition, Wells take remnants from performative scenes, found objects, and other odds and ends to create a new original work.

Why you should go: Creating meaning out of a mixed bag of stuff that surrounds us is part of what makes us human. By creating a language of forms using discarded and random materials, Wells redefines the notion of creativity and what essentially defines us as humans in the world.

When: 8 to 11 p.m. Saturday.