Art About Town

The guide to going out


A once-a-decade free-for-all invades the Minneapolis Institute of Arts

THE SOLE GUIDELINE for getting your artwork into the “Foot in the Door 4” show, opening February 19 at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, is that it fit into a 12-inch-by-12-inch box (a foot, get it?). Oh, and that it not contain active insect infestations or bodily fluids. You can even submit 80-second videos through the exhibit’s YouTube channel, in one of the rarest, most unusual museum exhibitions in the country: It’s held only once every 10 years.

The last show, in 2000, featured work by such established artists as Chris Mars (the former Replacements drummer) and George Morrison (a Native American artist whose work is in the MIA’s permanent collection). It also helped propel the careers of several artists now considered among the finest in Minnesota.

Chris Larson showcased a sculpture called 1894-1999 and has since had shows of his own at the MIA and in New York City. Alexa Horochowski entered a mixed-media piece enigmatically titled She was wearing a very informal cherry-colored rayon something and now exhibits internationally while teaching sculpture at St. Cloud State University. And seven years after displaying his painting God’s Country, Jim Denomie was not only featured in an MIA exhibition but was named an Artist of the Year by City Pages.


» Wells Tower, the hottest new name in American letters—sometimes called the savior of the short story—reads from his ballyhooed book, Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned, at Magers and Quinn Booksellers on February 9.

» Former Jeune Lune principal Steven Epp returns to the stage alongside Jim Lichtscheidl at Open Book from February 13 to 28 in Ten Thousand Things’s latest production, Stones in His Pocket, about an Irish village invaded by a Hollywood film crew.

» West Bank blues legend Willie Murphy returns to the scene with A Shot of Love in a Time of Need, a double-CD of R&B, soul, funk, and folk that will be released with a party on February 5 at Bedlam Theatre.

» The Minnesota Ballet channels reality TV for its Fourth Annual Celebrity Dance Challenge fundraiser on February 11 in Duluth. Last year they paired everyone from a local boxer to, yes, a meteorologist with company dancers.

» Off-Leash Area celebrates its 10th galvanizing year of avant-garde dance and theater with The Jury, an abstract look at the balance between personal and social responsibility, continuing through February 6 at Red Eye Theater.

» The Wailin’ Jennys, the youthful folk-rockers known for their appearances on A Prairie Home Companion, kick off their biggest tour yet with
a February 19 concert at the O’Shaughnessy.

» The coolest lunch hour in Minneapolis may be the free Bach’s Lunch Series at the MacPhail Center for Music, on February 5, presenting Vicky Mountain, Dorothy Doring, and Lila Ammons singing tunes made popular by Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, and Carmen McRae.


A Fringe Festival favorite returns with the straight poop on parenthood

Joshua English Scrimshaw and Shanan Custer wrote and rehearsed the original version of their comedy From Here to Maternity, which dared to discuss pregnant sex, whether pregnant people can go to a bar, and other squeamish parental topics, during play dates with their respective children. Now they’re bringing back the show—a hit at the 2007 Minnesota Fringe Festival—from February 13 to 21 at the Bryant-Lake Bowl Theater, with new scenes drawn from their deeper forays into parenthood. And somehow it’s even funnier to them the second time around. “If we knew all the pros and cons of becoming a parent, it’d be insane if we still did it,” argues Custer. “Pregnancy alone, we’re like, ‘Sure, sign me up!’ Are you kidding me?” Yet what else can you do, Scrimshaw says after dropping his kids at school, but laugh about it?