Art Hounds®

Art Hounds: Horror theater, family jazz and a ‘conceptual dreamscape’

Two people pose for a promotional photo in dark blue light.
Becca Claire Hart and Kaitlyn Cheng in "Hells Canyon" at Theater Mu.
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Performance artist and musician Tri Vo loves the work of Theater Mu, and he’s looking forward to seeing them take on the horror genre in the world premiere of Keiko Green’s play “Hells Canyon.”

As with many classic horror pieces, we’re headed to a cabin in the woods with a group of unsuspecting friends. They’ve booked a weekend trip in eastern Oregon, near Hells Canyon. In 1887, it was the location where white gang members massacred 34 Chinese gold miners, an actual event called the Hells Canyon Massacre.

As the night progresses, supernatural forces threaten to break in, raising the temperature of the simmering tensions among the friends. 

Vo recalls being "freaked out” by the digital stage effects in Theater Mu’s staging of “The Brothers Paranormal” in 2019, and he looks forward to seeing how this play and its stage effects work together to create an atmosphere of horror. 

“Hells Canyon” runs Feb. 24 — March 17 at the Jungle Theater in Minneapolis. There is a post-show playwright talkback on Feb 25. This show is recommended for ages 16 and up. 

Arts appreciator Natasha Brownlee of St. Paul enjoys both the music and the art of Ian Valor. She calls his solo art exhibit “Wild Imagination” at Vine Arts in Minneapolis a “conceptual dreamscape.”

Brownlee was particularly intrigued by Valor’s line drawings. Look closely, and you can see a single line of changing thickness; stand back, and the line coalesces into a single image. Valor is color blind, and his earlier work is in black and white. More recent works in color includes bold, eye-catching color combinations. 

Valor is the frontman of the rock group The Valors, and his art show also includes a wall of hand-lettered show posters for his and other bands. It’s a visual dive into the local music scene. 

“Wild Imagination” is on view at Vine Arts Center in Minneapolis this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a closing artists reception from 5-8 p.m. 

Three people perform on musical instruments.
Family jazz band H3O Jazz Trio.
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John Carrier of Winona is a retired scenic carpenter and an ongoing jazz enthusiast. He’s spreading the word about the debut album from H3O Jazz Trio, a father-and-sons group based in Winona.

The father in the trio is a composer and former St. Mary’s University assistant music professor named Eric Heukeshoven, who plays keyboard, among other instruments. The band also includes his sons, Max on bass and Hans on percussion and vibes. Carrier loves watching the trio improvise when they perform in person.  

Their new album, “TafelJazz,” translates from German to “table-jazz,” a play on “table music.” Carrier says it’s the perfect album to set the mood while sitting around the table with friends. The 12 original songs include guests Janet Heukeshoven on flute, John Paulson of Paulson Jazz and John Sievers of the Rochester-based D’Sievers. 

H3O will perform the full album this Sunday from 2-4 p.m. at Island City Brewing in Winona. 

Island City Brewing also hosts a Jazz Jam on the third Sunday of each month that combines local live jazz, local beer and local support; it’s a fundraiser for a rotating series of area nonprofits. As of early February, H3O Jazz Trio and Island City Brewing helped support local nonprofits with over $43,000 in total donations from its monthly Jazz Jams. 

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