This week's must-see art shows

Frank Big Bear

Frank Big Bear

By the end of this week, you might be making plans to move to another country. For now, we’ve got some events for you, including one that happens on the eve of election night. Then, if you decide to stick around, here are some art offerings that will help you withstand the apocalypse, should that occur.


"Love in 2016"

Where it’s at: Icebox Gallery at Northrop King Building,1500 Jackson St. NE, #443, Minneapolis.

What it’s about: It’s almost over. This awful election season is finally nearing an end. If you’re at your wit's end, might we suggest you take a break from all the hateful rhetoric with a visit to Ice Box Gallery, where “Love in 2016” opens on the eve of election night. Over 20 artists take on the theme of love, whether that be romantic love, family love, love of nature or animals, and more.

Why you should go: When Minnesotans banded together to defeat the homophobic Defense of Marriage amendment, there was a ray of love that transcended the whole state. That got even brighter when our lawmakers passed marriage equality the next year. This year, with a presidential candidate that spouts nothing but hate of various groups, what we really need is a dose of love. Check out some splendid photography and other media by the likes of Bill Cameron, Terry Gydesen, Blake Nellis, gallery owner Howard Christopher, and others.

When: The opening reception runs 6 to 10 p.m. Monday. The exhibit runs through Feb. 25.



"When the Landscape is Quiet Again"

Where it’s at: Law Warschaw Gallery, 130 S. Macalester St., St. Paul.

What it’s about: Photographer Sarah Christianson points her lens at boom or bust oil economies and the irreparable damage fracking and drilling has done to her home state of North Dakota in this meditation on the needs of humans and their imprint on the Earth.

Why you should go: Perhaps unsurprisingly, environmental issues have been barely mentioned in this year’s presidential race. And yet, with the fight to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline and other efforts, it remains an urgent topic. In this exhibition, Sarah Christianson documents the real effects our fossil fuel dependence has had on her hometown, as well as the effects of an up and down economy based on fossil fuels has had on the people who live there.

When: There will be an opening reception on Friday from 7 to 9 p.m. The exhibition runs through December 11.

"Frank Big Bear: Nativia"

Where it’s at: Bockley Gallery, 2123 W. 21st St., Minneapolis.

What it’s about: Duluth-based artist Frank Big Bear returns to Bockley Gallery for his 12th solo show, featuring a collection of new paintings, drawings, and a single collage that explore portraiture.

Why you should go: Here you'll get a sneak peek at a piece from Frank Big Bear’s “Multiverse Series,” the same series his new commission for the Walker Art Center is part of. This is also a show that offers Big Bear’s bold take on the human portrait. Bright colors and strong lines arm Big Bear’s expansive vision that seems to fold space and time.

When: There will be an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday. The exhibition runs through December 17.

"Working Forces"

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

What it’s about: Thirteen artists working on 10 projects take on the concept of work and labor in our current world, particularly for artists, in this open-call show juried by the Soap Factory’s Program Committee and curated by Jehra Patrick.

Why you should go: Like it or not, capitalism consumes us. It dictates our time, our resources, and even our art. For this juried show, artists from across North America ponder the labor of art -- as in, the actual work of physically creating it -- and its role in our greater economy. Have any illusions that artists create just for the pure joy of creating? This show might show you a bit more nuance than that.

When: The opening reception is from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday.