School Fundraiser: Hipster Parent Edition

Remember grade school art class? You slap some papier-mâché around, maybe make your own candle. Glue some macaroni on a cardboard square. Bend a few pipe cleaners.

Well, if those are your memories, then you certainly didn’t go to Marcy Open School, a city K-8 with a curriculum so arts-infused even the math classes have swag. A quick run-down of recent student options:

  • Ghanaian drumming workshop
  • Chinese dragon puppet making
  • African roots residency
  • All-student photography exhibition
  • Plants and natural dyes residency

Suffice it to say, it’s a pretty unique place. And it’s definitely cooler than wherever you went to school. So how does Marcy pull it off? Fundraising, man. This Saturday, the school throws its annual Marcy Arts Gala, a one-night party of food, music, and performance that for the last decade has been going down at the Soap Factory.

And while, frankly, most non-gallery fundraisers make my earnestness-averse, arts-appreciating eyes roll, the Marcy shindig is legit, and might be a good place to scoop up some affordable work.

Case in point: Lisa Nankivil

The MCAD-trained painter and printmaker has been knocking socks off with her recent lithography jag. In Nankivil’s latest work, she manipulates washes of printer toner across velum-like sheets of polyester. The result is highly engaging splat-work; pooling ink blots frozen in motion as they ooze across stark geometric backdrops. The black-and-white monoprints have a psychological heft, mining the two colors for a seemingly vast spectrum of tonality.

Anyway, it’s good stuff. And she’ll be selling it at the Marcy party.

Over 200 additional artists have also donated work for sale, including Todd Norsten, Eddie Hamilton, and James O’Connell. The boho big band Brass Messengers is the featured musical act, and the Infiammati Fire Circus will be on hand with flame twirlers.

$45 gets you in the door. And gets those kids one step closer to a rad art experience. Glass blowing? Rocket building? Taxidermy?  

We’ll have to wait and see.

11th Annual Marcy Arts Gala
Saturday, April 21, 6–11 p.m.
Soap Factory, 514 2nd St. SE, Mpls.,