What to see and do at Northern Spark: Part 1

POSTography at Northern Spark 2014

POSTography at Northern Spark 2014

When Northern Spark returns this Saturday, hopefully the stars will align to give us a pleasant evening without a repeat of last year's thunderstorms. The all-night festival of public art is usually a safe bet to be fantastic, with local and international artists creating interactive work all night long. Don't forget to take a disco nap beforehand, and wear your comfy shoes. Also, be sure to bike if you can.

Here are some of our top picks of things to check out. 

Mill City Opera
(Mill City Museum, 704 S. Second St., Minneapolis)

9 p.m. at Ruin Courtyard; 10 and 11 p.m. at Rail Corridor


One of the best aspects of Northern Spark is the chance to see arts groups that would normally be on the pricy end of things for free. As a case in point, Mill City Opera's production of The Daughter of the Regiment this July is completely sold out except for a limited number of $30 rush tickets. But at Northern Spark you can see their Opera Redux, which will include songs from that production and other popular operas plus a take on Stephen Sondheim's "Comedy Tonight!" (renamed "Opera Tonight!") from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. The 45-minute presentation will be offered three times throughout the evening.

Mary Ellen Childs's Ear and Nose
(Northrop Conference Room, 84 Church St. SE, Minneapolis)

9 p.m. to 5:26 a.m. 

Get your olfactory sense going with Mary Ellen Childs's latest work, which combines music and scent for an aural and auditory experience. With Ear and Nose you'll weave through your memories on a journey of sensory delights. Afterward, you'll have a chance to write down the experiences and reflections that the exercises evoked, and take a smell strip home with you. 

The Night Library
(Mill Ruins Park, West River Parkway at Portland Avenue South, Minneapolis)

9 p.m. to 5:26 a.m. 

Head over to Mill Ruins Park for The Night Library, put together by artists Julian McFaul and Mark Safford. With a book and a flashlight, you'll enter a labyrinth of cardboard-construction and battle the villains of censorship as you try to get your book on the shelf. A mix of visual art and performance, with a dash of intellectual freedom thrown in, The Night Library should be a fun experience of library awesomeness. 
KINO Holly*ood

(Mill City Museum, 704 S. Second St., Minneapolis)

9 p.m. to 5:26 a.m.

Among the visiting artists coming to the Twin Cities for Northern Spark are Franziska Pierwoss and SISKA, whose KINO project debuted 2009 in Beirut, and has since traveled to Naples, Warsaw, and Zürich. With KINO Holly*ood, the artists have constructed a temporary movie theater that screens video works and Super 8 and 16mm films all night. Complete with a popcorn trolley cart and ticket booth, the project incorporates some of the Twin Cities' own cinematic history. The screenings go on all night, so feel free to come and go as you please. 


(Minneapolis Convention Center Plaza, 1301 Second Ave. S., Minneapolis)

9 p.m. to 5:26 a.m. 

Come see a mini-version of Minneapolis right outside the Minneapolis Convention Center. Mini_polis, created by Niko Kubota, Jon Reynolds, and Micah Roth, was made in collaboration with community participants in a series of workshops. Also, from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. guests can watch Chicks on Sticks dance around during the Cloud Cult concert, also happening on the Convention Center Plaza.