French sister city presents opportunity for artists

I have to admit, when I hear the phrase "sister city" my brain immediately adds "chamber of commerce." Sister city relationships are nice, but who - other than the city officials and a few local businesses with international prospects - really cares?

Well, it turns out, artists do.

This week officials from the city of Tours, France are on tour (pun intentional), visiting their sister city Minneapolis on a cultural and trade mission.

Tonight they will be checking out art that will be travelling to the Chateau de Tour in 2012. Artist Sean Smuda organized the exhibition, which is the culmination of his serving as "Artist Liaison" to Tour (you can read about his time in France here).

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Each artist I have chosen from Minnesota has their French counterpart. Frank and Pam Gaard will be working in their acerbic portrait art hitorical style with Rémy Chabréyrou a young topical, pop surrealist. John Schuerman an artist who uses natural processes to create his work, such as melted slush drawings has been paired with sculptor Peter Briggs who counts melting mirrors among his experimentations. The wry and profound mark making of painter Daniel Kaniess dovetails into Yveline Bourquard's dancing and flying figures. Janet Lobberecht's conceptual and graphic grids approach the idea of space and its finitude in a similar yet opposite way to Sammy Engramer's investigations of the White Cube. The graffiti duo Broken Crow will be working with Tours's Mathieu Plume who uses crushed cars as his canvas. Alexa Horochowski's conceptual approach to representation and abstraction finds a great twinning with Diego Movilla and his Pinocchio's nose intrusion into 3D space.


Chateau de Tours

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Robert Corrick, Vice President of Minneapolis and Tours Sister Cities says his organization is looking for other types of artistic exchange and partnership, including dance and music.

Tonight's event, which celebrates Minneapolis and Tours' twenty years of sisterhood,

will include dance by Mad King Thomas and The Body Cartography Project, and music by Desdamona and Saltee.