Art Hounds®

Art Hounds: Remembering Denomie

A painting
"conversations with Jim 0114" by Dougie Padilla.
Courtesy of Nicole Neri

From MPR News, Art Hounds are members of the Minnesota arts community who look beyond their own work to highlight what's exciting in local art.

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A tribute to Jim Denomie

Explore the vibrant legacy of Minnesota artist Jim Denomie in "Conversations with Jim," an exhibition at ArtsReach St. Croix in Stillwater. This showcase features 60 new works by artist Dougie Padilla, Denomie's longtime friend, who has created a series of pieces as a dialogue with Denomie posthumously.

Carleton College art professor and photographer Xavier Tavera wants people to know about an exhibition of new artwork memorializing Minnesota artist Jim Denomie (1955–2022).

His longtime friend artist Dougie Padilla began a series of works in response to — and in conversation with — Denomie after his death.

Both artists, Tavera says, are masters of color whose paintings tell stories. He says Padilla’s bold, spiritual work shows characters with teeth, tails and antlers caught up in conversation with each other.

The longer you look at these works, Tavera says, the more deeply you see the narratives these paintings create. 

“Conversations with Jim,” which contains some 60 new works by Dougie Padilla, is on display ArtsReach St. Croix in Stillwater, which also housed Denomie’s final show.

The exhibit opens tonight with an artist reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Padilla will also host a gallery talk on April 14 and a poetry reading on April 28. The exhibit runs through May 11. 

A glimpse into Zelda Fitzgerald’s life

Dive into the tumultuous and fascinating life of Zelda Fitzgerald in the one-woman play "The Last Flapper." Staged at Yellow Tree Theatre in Osseo, this compelling production opens its curtains on Friday, offering a unique portrayal drawn from Zelda’s real letters and stories.

Actress Sarah Dickson recommends the one-woman play The Last Flapper” about Zelda Fitzgerald, which opens at Yellow Tree Theatre in Osseo on Friday.

Zelda inspired her husband, writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, to create the character Daisy Buchanan in “The Great Gatsby.”

This show is drawn from Zelda’s real letters and stories, and it’s told on the last day of her life, which ended in an insane asylum. The show stars Broadway actor Monette McGrath of Marine on St. Croix. 

A woman looks down to the left
Monette Magrath in "The Last Flapper" at Yellow Tree Theatre in Osseo.
Courtesy of Jenn Cress

“The Last Flapper” is the first of two back-to-back shows mounted at Yellow Tree in partnership with Frosted Glass Creative, and it’s billed as a collaboration for Women’s Month: two theater companies led by woman artistic directors, mounting a one-woman show. (Dickson performs in the ensuing show, “Seven Keys,” which starts in May.) 

“The Last Flapper” runs April 5 – 14. 

Music of the cosmos

Join the celestial journey as the Bakken Ensemble presents a performance inspired by the majesty of the cosmos. This Sunday's concert promises an auditory exploration of the stars and the sky, fueled by recent cosmic discoveries and celestial events.

Malinda Schmiechen, an amateur violinist and violist living in Excelsior, has been attending performances of the Bakken Ensemble for years, and she says they’re “always extraordinary.”

In particular, she loves watching violinist and artistic director Stephanie Arado. “I love how excited she gets when she performs. She’s so dynamic. She plays with so much emotion and energy.” Of cellist and artistic director Pitnarry Shin, “She has great expression, great intensity when she plays.” 

Schmiechen says she always encounters a new, diverse selection of music at their concerts. This Sunday’s performance focuses on music that celebrates the stars and the sky.

People play instruments
The Bakken Ensemble will perform music inspired by the James Webb telescope at the MacPhail Center for Music.
Courtesy of Nate Ryan

Inspired by recent photographs from the James Webb telescope as well as the solar eclipse on Monday, April 8, this performance contains five works that reach for the stars and the sky.

Two are by living composers (Max Vinetz’s “Stars on the Ground” for string quartet and Stephen Hartke’s “The King of the Sun: Tableau for Violin, Viola, Cello and Piano.” 

The concert is Sunday, April 7 at 4 p.m. at MacPhail Center for Music’s Antonello Hall in Minneapolis.  

Pro tip: Schmiechen recommends arriving early to the concert, as tickets are open seating. She loves to sit in the front to get a close-up look at the performers’ techniques.

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