Art Hounds: Cambodian rock music and bold murals

A person paints a mural on a wall.
Peyton Scott Russell works on a mural during Chroma Zone 2021.
Photo by Jon Reynolds

St. Paul creative Tommy Sar recommends checking out the play “Cambodian Rock Band” at the Jungle Theater in Minneapolis, co-produced by Theater Mu. The play follows a Khmer Rouge survivor returning to Cambodia after 30 years as his daughter prosecutes a war criminal.

Key to the show is its music, as the actor-musicians perform popular Cambodian psychedelic rock music from the 1960s and new music by the American band Dengue Fever, whose lead singer is Cambodian.

“Many times, whenever we Cambodians are portrayed as survivors and victims of tragedy, and that is very valid,” said Sar, whose father survived the Khmer Rouge and was also a musician. “But I also feel it's important to see Cambodians not just as survivors but as rising again and thriving again and rediscovering and creating new music, we have so much to offer. And we are very proud of our heritage.”

The play runs through July 31 at the Jungle Theater. Single tickets are valued at $45, but people may choose to pay less or more depending on their situation.

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Jean Marie Durant is a big fan of public art, and she plans to hop on a bus tour this Saturday for a Women on Walls tour of murals by women artists. The bus tour is part of Chroma Zones Mural and Arts Festival, which runs through Sunday, celebrating murals and graffiti art by local and international artists. Five women artists will collaborate on a new mural over the course of the five-day festival.

The 45-minute guided bus tours will explore the stories behind at least eight woman-created murals in the University-Raymond Ave. area, including a look at the mural-in-progress. Tours leave from Workhorse Coffee at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. on Saturday.

Tanya Anderson, co-coordinator of the St Anthony Park Arts Festival, loves the original jewelry of Louise Payjack-Guillou. Anderson loves the unique ways the Duluth artist pairs gems and metal. Her store, Atelier & Stone is located in Duluth, and the trained goldsmith will be at Park Point Art Fair this weekend and at the Grand Marais Arts Festival July 9 and 10.

Her jewelry “just has this stately presence. It's kind of magical in how it makes you feel when you see it and and wear it,” Anderson said.

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