This week's must-see art shows

New art at Interact.

New art at Interact.

So often, we live in the world by rote. We walk the same paths, and we see the same thing in the same way. This week, let’s try to shake things up by letting artists help us break us out of our patterns. Whether we’re checking out art about the architecture that makes up our surroundings, seeing the world through the eyes of artists with disabilities, or just diving into the weird, the wonderful, and the wild worlds that artists have to offer us, let Twin Cities galleries and museums help you shake things up this week.


"Brick x Brick"


Where it’s at: Minnesota Museum of American Art, 141 E. Fourth St., St. Paul.

What it’s about: “Brick x Brick” is more than an exhibition about architecture. It’s really about how architecture can be used as a framework for seeing the way that cities change through history, how communities adopt and morph, and how social fabric merges with environmental landscapes, including buildings. With photographs, paintings, sculpture, maps, and more, “Brick x Brick” offers a deep look at the influence that buildings and structures that surround us have on the way we live over time, both here in Minnesota and around the world. 

Why you should go: Our surroundings are shifting all the time, it’s just that sometimes things happen so slowly that we aren’t aware of how dramatically cities change over generations. Through an array of artists, “Brick x Brick” has culled myriad viewpoints of the affect architecture has on our daily lives.

When: The public reception is from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday.


After Hours at the Museum: Fairs and Sideshows!

Where it’s at: Hennepin History Museum, 2303 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis.

What it’s about: The Hennepin History Museum gets into the spirit of the Minnesota State Fair with an exhibit featuring historical items, including burlesque and sideshow materials from bygone days. In addition to a historical look at fair fun, the event features DJs Danny Sigelman and Tom Novak, live music by Paul Metzger, food from the Black Forest Inn, and beer from Indeed Brewing Company. There will also be chances to make art and compete for a ribbon in a talent contest judged by Twin Cities barber and local personality Moustache Jim.

Why you should go: Before you head over to this year’s fair, load yourself up with some historical context about the wild hijinks visitors from the olden days used to look forward to. Plus, you can get yourself amped up for the 21st Century version.

When: 6 to 9 p.m. Friday. Admission is $10 at the door, $8 in advance and for members.


Creature Faces and Fantasy Places 

Where it’s at: Interact Center for Visual and Performing Arts, 1860 Minnehaha Ave. W., St. Paul.

What it’s about: The artists with disabilities at Interact show off their limitless imaginations with new work that explores themes of fantasy, magic, and science fiction. The show, which includes 11 artists, grapples with World War II skeletons, the fourth dimension, fantastical creatures, and more, taking audiences on a journey to other worlds.

Why you should go: If you’ve never been to Interact, you should definitely check this out. The Interact artists have an amazing way of seeing the world. This is the closing reception for “Creature Faces and Fantasy Places,” which opened in June.

When: 6-8 p.m. Friday.


August 3x5 Residency Public Reception

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

What it’s about: For this event, the gallery will be featuring both visual and performative works, including one piece that has a whole lot of dirt (and maybe a little bit of nakedness). Blake Nellis, one of the artists chosen by guest artist coordinator April Sellers, is hauling in a truckload of dirt for what sounds to be a scintillating new piece. Other artists include Jennifer Glaws, Halie Bahr, Anat Shinar, Kelly Brazil, and Alison Hiltner.

Why you should go: The Soap Factory has always been a center for experimentation and fun, but their summer 3x5 Residency program has been a particularly fruitful excursion into finding out what happens when you stick a bunch of artists in a room and give them free reign to create. Find out the connections and inspirations the artists from the August Residency have made as they created work in the unparalleled atmosphere of the Soap Factory walls.

When: 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday.