Art Hounds®

Art Hounds: Artists explore self-care during hard times

Mia Athey
Mia Athey, a mezzo soprano from the Minnesota Opera, has a new one-woman vocal showcase.
Courtesy of Mia Athey

Singer Marie Woodward lives in upstate New York, but she was able to watch Minnesota Opera mezzo soprano Mia Athey’s new vocal showcase “Self-Love: My Remedy in the Pandemic.” The two met while performing together at the Glimmerglass Opera Festival two years ago.

Woodward admires how Athey created, directed, filmed and edited — not to mention sang —her one-woman showcase. As the title suggests, the songs follow a restorative journey for those stuck home during the pandemic.

Athey is in her second season of the resident artist program at the Minnesota Opera. The 42-minute showcase is part of the opera’s “Apart Together” series, and it is available for free on YouTube through Saturday.

Katherine Kelly of Minneapolis follows the work of a number of artists who inspire her to be bold and creative. One of those artists is Minneapolis-based illustrator Tori Hong, whose work ranges from whimsical “bunny affirmations” to recent artwork expressing solidarity with the people of Myanmar following the February coup. One project that Kelly was particularly excited to share is the “Growbook,” co-created by Hong and Cori Nakamura Lin. It’s an activity packet designed to spark conversation, healing and discovery.

A sample page from “Growbook,” co-created by Tori Hong and Cori Nakamura Lin, an activity packet designed to spark conversation, healing, and discovery.
Courtesy of Tori Hong

The “Growbook” functions as an artist-created journal, complete with two coloring pages. Eleven pages of prompts invite the user to map their strengths, skills, views on conflict, and even recipes that have gotten them through the pandemic. The book is free to download and is designed to be shared in conversation with others. You can find the Growbook here.

In this self-care-themed Art Hounds episode, we can’t leave out laughter. Trish Foster of St. Louis Park was one of several Art Hounds who wrote in about The Danger Committee, a comedy performance trio whose unique set of skills includes knife-throwing as well as juggling. Foster says both the adults and children in her family have enjoyed past performances by the troupe.

“The fun thing about a Danger Committee show is that they love to do improv, and they are so skilled at it. You never see the same show twice. And the jokes are just flying at such a rapid pace. It’s so much fun.”

The Danger Committee’s “Back to the Lab” performances at the Lab Theater in Minneapolis run Thursday through April 25. In compliance with health guidelines, the theater will operate at 25 percent capacity. 

This activity is made possible in part by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment's Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.