This week's must-see art shows

Maritza Ramirez draws inspiration from Stephen King's 'IT' for Measured at SooVAC.

Maritza Ramirez draws inspiration from Stephen King's 'IT' for Measured at SooVAC. Amy Gee

Art shows this weekend traverse the very fringes of society, unearthing work from every corner. Hear and see voices of LGBTQIA+ youth, fashion designers, and a sinfully delightful painter, or check out artwork inspired by ghosts, spirits, and other paranormal phenomenon.

"The Paranormal Project"

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

What it's about: Over the past year, Brandon Kuehn has researched paranormal activity across the state. Now, he shares the fruits of his work in an exhibit that spans decades, cultures, mediums, and unearthly beings. From paintings that depict eye-witness accounts of Lakota thunder spirits to documentations of UFO case files from the Air Force following World War II, the collection includes an array of creative output resulting from Kuehn's studies, funded by a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant.

Why you should go: If you've ever been curious about Big Foot, or had your own experiences with ghosts, ghouls, and unexplained mysteries, come to this show to find you are not alone. Even if you have a seed of doubt, you can enjoy the sculptures, paintings, and other works that Kuehn has made using Minnesota's rich paranormal activity as inspiration.

When: The opening reception is from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday. There will be an artist's talk at 7 p.m.


Where it's at: Soo Visual Arts Center, 2909 S. Bryant Ave. S., Minneapolis.

What it's about: Art meets fashion for this gallery exhibition featuring six works by local designers who have each created a single piece. Rather than a fashion show, the items are displayed as installations at SooVAC, allowing visitors to get up close to check out the artistry of the works. To give you a taste of what the designers go through as they develop their work, the show includes sketches designers made in-process.

Why you should go: From Maritza Ramirez's Stephen King-inspired dress to Kerry Riley's dramatic flamenco ensemble, the designers in Measured are pulling out all the stops, showing one piece each that they've spent months creating. This a chance to get an inside look at what goes into creating a great design, from the drawing stage to the final product.

When: 6-10 p.m. Saturday.

Up and Out: Revolution of Self

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

What it's about: The creativity of LGBTQIA+ youth from around the country are featured at Intermedia Arts this weekend at a two-day festival that's aims to amplify their voices and create an intersectional platform for marginalized communities. With a gallery exhibition, spoken-word performances, workshops, film screenings, a resource fair, and panel discussions, this is an immersive event that highlights the issues that queer youth face.

Why you should go: A lot has changed for LGBTQIA+ communities in the last couple of decades, and we're not just talking about the number of letters in the acronym. Love is the law, celebrities are coming out‚ and there are more legal protections than ever for people in the community. However, that's no reason be complacent, as bigotry still manages to sneak its way into our legal system (like with North Carolina's awful bathroom law) while violence and discrimination remain a reality. That's why it's so important to support youth who have come out, and allow them to speak to not only the issues they face on a daily basis, but their hopes and dreams for the future.

When: 5-8:30 p.m. Saturday; 1-6 p.m. Sunday.

"7 Sins: A new painting series by Kate Renee"

Where it's at: Gamut Gallery, 717 S. 10th St., Minneapolis.

What it's about: Kate Renee returns to Gamut for her second solo show, this time sharing three-dimensional paintings that explore the seven deadly sins. With each painting using a pop icon or classic cartoon character, Renee uses her risque whimsy to comment on ideas of gluttony, sloth, greed, lust, and so forth. Opening night includes DJ sets by Bleak Roses (Juliana Enright) and Boba Phat (Beth Hammarlund).

Why you should go: This show is a chance to peek behind the cute facade of Renee's work to see a much more subversive exploration of adult themes. The show also marks a departure for the artist, as she experiments with using an almost sculptural technique in her paintings through the use of resin layers over natural wood.

When: 7-11 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $5.