Art Hounds: Take your Valentine to look at art

"I've Got My Eye on You" by Martha Bird
"I've Got My Eye on You" by Martha Bird, woven from willow. Part of the "Woven" exhibition on display at Artistry in Bloomington, Minn., through Feb 19.
Courtesy of Artistry

Plein air artist Naomi Tiry Salgado of Woodbury, Minn., is looking forward to Northrup King Nights this Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m. The former seed warehouse-turned-studio building in the Northeast Minneapolis arts district opens up on a weekend only a few times a year.

More than 70 artist studios will be open, offering a chance to peruse a wide variety of artwork, including painting, ceramics, glass, and more. Masks are required, and individual studios have occupancy limits due to COVID-19, but Tiry Salgado said the hallways allow social distancing. Not all studios will be open, so check ahead of time with the artists you plan to visit.

Tiry Salgado wasn’t the only Art Hound to suggest this event. While you’re there, painter Greg Lecker of Minneapolis also recommends the Social Justice Exhibit, Gallery No. 322, featuring the work of seven artists.

A painting of a dancer.
Kathy Mommsen's ceramic mural, part of the Social Justice Exhibit, depicts a Black dancer moving, posing and responding to the killing of George Floyd.
Courtesy of Kathy Mommsen

Writer and recent Hamline MFA graduate Mark Teats is planning to attend the University of Minnesota, Morris’ Prairie Gate Literary Festival, which begins with a panel discussion, “Paths to Publishing,” on Thursday at 7 p.m.

This annual literary festival is usually in the fall. The pandemic has led to a shift in dates and format. Three events will take place over the next three months on Zoom. On March 11, three fantasy/science fiction authors hold court, and there’s an evening of poetry on April 9.


The Woven exhibit at Artistry in Bloomington is exactly the kind of exhibit textile sculptor Carolyn Halliday of Minneapolis loves to see in person, so she can appreciate the intricate textures of each piece both up close and at a distance.

The exhibit combines the work of three Minnesota artists. Teresa Audet is a sculptor with a background in furniture design who combines wooden pieces, such as chairs with fiber elements. Martha Bird uses traditional basket weaving techniques to create loose, airy pieces. Amy Usdin fills the spaces of old fishing nets and other found items with intricate knots and twists “that seem like they’re telling some secret story about the previous life of these objects,” said Halliday.

She notes that all three artists say repetitive techniques of tying and weaving help them psychologically after major life stressors. The event runs through Feb. 19.

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