Art Hounds: Minnesota multimedia shows challenge viewers

Artwork on display
Seeing Through Masks, 2022 by Farida Hughes.
Courtesy photo

St. Paul poet and artist Hawona Sullivan Janzen was deeply moved by the multimedia exhibition “Beneath the Stripes, Under the Stars,” curated by Fawzia Khan. Ten female artists explore American identity.

All of the artists “have lived a life that requires some navigation between American culture and at least one other culture,” says Sullivan Janzen, “and the work that they have produced in response to this is wide ranging. It’s technically, visually and intellectually some of the most complicated work I've seen in a recent show exploring these topics.”

Sullivan Janzen was particularly struck by a beautiful bedsheet by Khan, whose intricate embroidery explores “what it means to be a woman and a sexual being coming from Pakistan and living in America.”

A bed sheet that is embroidered
An embroidered bridal bedsheet by Fawzia Khan.
Courtesy photo

The show runs through Dec. 11 at the Catherine G. Murphy Gallery at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, with an artist discussion Dec. 7, 6:30 p.m. via Zoom.

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Chris Schellinger, director of the Avon Hills Folk School, appreciates the intersection of art and environmentalism that’s happening at the Whitney Gallery in St. Cloud. Their juried art show “Trail Mix” features over 50 works — drawings and paintings, textile and sculpture — by local artists celebrating the beauty of nature and the work to fight climate change.

A piece of art about pipelines
“Enough with the Pipelines” by Erik Jon Olson.
Courtesy photo

The show runs through Dec. 10, with additional works on view at the Good Earth Food Co-op Gallery through Jan. 1.

Schellinger notes that this show is a great chance to see the Whit before it closes Dec. 12. The gallery is also hosting a line-up of “Last Call” shows and events on that closing date.

Printmaker and quilter Laura Brown of Grand Marais recommends checking out an upcoming solo show by artist and art therapist Lauren Callis. Entitled “Careful May Fall Apart,” the show uses watercolor, quilting, and writing to process the death of her beloved grandmother and other life events.

A painting with dull colors
A painting from Lauren Callis's solo show "Careful, May Fall Apart."
Courtesy photo

Callis created a zine with selected writings, so visitors can view the show and read about the “real-time” experiences that inspired the pieces, creating the feel of an interactive memoir.

“She’s really bringing in the value of using art as a tool for processing emotion and understanding experiences that happen to all of us,” Brown said.

“Careful, May Fall Apart” is showing at the Pink Slip Gallery in Minneapolis, with an artist opening Friday, Nov. 18 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The exhibit is open by appointment Nov. 19 through 25.

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