Art Hounds: Brute Heart, Refugee Nation, and a critical mass of printmakers

"Unfinished Invasion," Lloyd Menard, 1976. The exhibition "Outstanding Printmaker: Lloyd Menard 1970 to Present" is at the College of Visual Arts as part of the Mid America Print Council Conference.

This week's hounds are following a new play about the "secret war" in Laos, a Twin Cities celebration of printmaking and a female chamber pop trio that haunts and seduces.

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Local actor Heidi Berg was impressed by the panoply of emotions she felt and education she received watching "Refugee Nation." The production probes the causes and aftermath of one of the tragic by-products of the Vietnam war-- the Laotian Civil War, also known as the "secret war." "Refugee Nation" was designed by two Twin Cities' Laotian actors after conducting extensive interviews within the Lao community. It's co-presented by the Lao Assistance Center, Pangea World Theater, and Intermedia Arts, where it's on stage through Oct. 17.

Colleen Sheehy drove all the way from Fargo to immerse herself in the Mid America Print Council Conference. As director of Plains Art Museum, Colleen's kind of on a scouting mission. This week (Oct. 13 - 16) the Mid America Print Council Conference is gathering the best print makers in Minnesota and around the country to exhibit and discuss their art and to conduct workshops. The conference (it's less stuffy than it sounds) is based at the University of Minnesota's Regis Center for the Arts.

Soozin Hirschmugl has fallen under the spell of Brute Heart. Soozin says the female chamber pop trio combines viola, bass, drums and keys with enmeshed, mesmerizing vocals to craft haunting, ethereal songs. Brute Heart joins Chastity Brown and Mayda in a show at the Kitty Kat Club this Saturday, Oct. 16.

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