Soul-stirring art...Frida Kahlo, Georgia O'Keefe, Capri, Chanhassen and more!
October 20, 2007 - 11:40.
¡Hola! Yet another sunny Saturday (in October! in Minnesota!) has put me in the mood to speak español. That and the sold-out Frida Kahlo exhibition preview party coming up October 26 at Walker Art Center. The exhibit runs October 27 through January 20, and we in Minneapolis are privileged to have Ms. Kahlo’s paintings here in advance of their national tour. These colorful, pain-inspired, hopeful and dramatic works of art are not to be missed.
For a double-dose of estrogen power, visit the work of another internationally acclaimed 20th-century painter, Georgia O’Keefe, at Minneapolis Institute of Arts through January 6. Go with your sweetheart, then book a room at the Westin or Graves 601. I’m not kidding. Trust me, art as aphrodisiac was not invented by Playboy magazine.
You may remember, as I do, the Minnesota Art with a Twist exhibition at the Weisman Museum in 2001, just before 9/11. On display with luminaries Judy Onofrio, David Lefkowitz, Bruce Charlesworth and others was the work of young painter Jessie Fisher, who hails from Omaha, Nebraska, but graduated from the U of M. I remember standing beside Judy’s husband Burton Onofrio, a retired brain surgeon, and blushing as he proclaimed Ms. Fisher’s work “quite erotic, yet innocent.” He was right, of course. The most provocative stuff I’ve ever seen in galleries has been created by women, not by men obsessed with mammaries.
Speaking of woman and the arts, I was pleasantly surprised by Respect: A Musical Journey of Women at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres a couple of weeks ago. Normally I’m not into musicals, but this one’s just plain fun, especially for a baby boomerette like me. I got back in touch with my high school spirit (or was it junior high?) when I heard the disco songs and Helen Reddy’s I Am Woman. And a teenager’s sense of longing set in once again with George and Ira Gershwin’s Someone To Watch Over Me. This revue is definitely worth seeing (preferably, as I did, with at least a dozen girlfriends), and I suggest tickets for the woman in your life as a holiday gift. Respect plays through February, at least—maybe longer—and you can get gift certificates here.
“Segway,” as my friend Michael says to change the subject, bobbling for balance as if riding on one of those two-wheeled contraptions.
Gershwin music. That’s my segue. I attended a concert last night at the Capri Theater in North Minneapolis. The program featured Dan Chouinard and Prudence Johnson, with guest Dennis Spears, who’s on staff at the Capri, a project of Plymouth Christian Youth Center and well worth your attention.
There is nothing like a Gershwin tune to put you in the mood for contemplation or romance, whichever you are predisposed to be. I had a date (oh, lucky me!), so it was romance all the way. When Dan brings that accordion on stage, and Prudence closes her eyes to hold a note just that much longer, and Dennis dips below the treble clef to enter “melted chocolate zone,” I am transported.
“A Night of Gershwin” was the first of a five-concert series called Capri Theater: Legends, and these are legendary performances, indeed. Next up: A Copasetic Christmas, billed as “a ‘hep cat’ swingin’ thang!” Charmin Michelle fronts Doug Haining and the Twin Cities Seven with this cool jazz take on Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. See it Dec. 15-16 and get your tickets here.
I should quit writing now, I suppose, but I’ve been lax about blogging even though I’ve been to three plays, two gallery shows, and a major local arts event—the Ivey Awards—within the last few weeks. Where do I start?
Y’know, it’s hard writing an arts and culture blog while immersed in a “city that never sleeps.” No, not New York, New York, but Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, where we thrive on innovation in the arts, even though we may not say so out loud, and where great works are being crafted all around us, all the time. Therefore my message: GO OUT. SEE ART. DO IT NOW.
On stage, on film, on canvas, on air, on skin, and on concrete, creativity is happening here. If you don’t live here, COME HERE. You’ll be enriched. I promise! And you might even find yourself in love, in lust, or at the very least “in like” with the media, the messages, and the milieu created by the artists. The ones who, all too often without proper reward or recognition, keep on creating what makes you say “wow” and, for a tantalizing moment, stop breathing.