This blog exists to inspire people to seek out all the great art that lives in and around the Minneapolis skyway.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Know More Funny Business until the end of August

No, no it's not that a whole lotta funny business will start at month's end, but rather that Peter Geyen's artwork will no longer grace the ersatz living room of the Fifth Street Towers come September. On display are a few of his mixed media 3D works from 2008 - 2009. Barrel in the Mouth (as captioned on his website) above, is 4 feet x 6 feet and made of steel and bronze.

Getting Away With It?! is comprised of steel, bronze, ceramic and glass. Here are some detail shots of the two glass figures in it.

One tiny headless figure lies in the bottom left quadrant, while the other, also in a pink glass dress, looks to be running off the top right corner of the piece. The art has a dystopian feel, and its stark modernity matches the high gloss corporate lines of its present home, the Fifth Street Towers, a set of two buildings completed in 1988.

This 2 x 6 lovely shows a face spitting out a tooth up top, with a hand balancing a tower of teeth underneath it. But don't be fooled, Geyen is not simply an artist, or even just a U of M grad with a double degree in chemistry/biology and art. He is using his talents for good as well.

In addition to being an arresting and thought-provoking mini-show, a portion of the proceeds received from the lease or purchase of this art goes to Geyen's choice charity, Children's Heartlink. He'll continue his promotion of the non-profit when he reveals ten new pieces at the IDS/City Center at the end of October.

For all of these reasons, I recommend you head over to the Fifth Street Towers to see Peter Geyen's work.  Maybe even consider picking up some multi-media art for your collection in the name of helping a 501(c)3 that serves needy children in the developing world with heart trouble. Use this link from the Skyway My Way guys to find the Caribou that's next door. Then, enjoy the comfy and hip seating area replete with fireplace (probably unnecessary, but keep it in mind for the winter) while sipping coffee and taking in the visuals.

Later at your desk/cubicle, check out a few more photos of the Geyen art nook at the Skyway of Love Facebook page. And of course, stay up to date with Geyen's plans and see great photos of how he created some recent works by following his Facebook page.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Main Street on Marquette - Michael Birawer in the window

On a mundane mission to find an ATM, I was confronted with First Avenue in the window of the Main Street Gallery & Gifts in the skyway. This art perfectly suits its location, reminding the good people rushing from Caribou back to their cubicles that there are not simply clean silhouettes and straight modern lines in downtown Minneapolis. Sure, Target has taught us the power of the graphic symbol on white, but there are curves and a variety of colors in this metropolis as well. St. Paul native Michael Birawer understands his Twin Cities subjects, and has carved out an individual style that is both compelling and commercial. 

This painting entitled 35W Into Downtown encapsulates the feel of demarcation between downtown and the rest of Minneapolis. In addition to this, Birawer has captured the important places of this burgh: Nye's, the Gay 90's, Matt's, the dearly departed Uptown Bar, Murray's steakhouse and even Target Field (a commission). His style is a kind of contemporary urban, with roots in graffiti and comic book art, and he plays with depth perception by adding "plains of dimension" as can be seen in this video posted on his website. It shows stills taken as he creates a painting of downtown St. Paul.

If you'd like to purchase First Avenue, I'm sure that the Gallery will fill its easel with another of Birawer's works so that I can re-experience the coaction of time, place and art in my every day life again. So go for it.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Natural and Public - Arty bits in Portland

I've been neglecting my webby duties lately in order to help my mom find an apartment in Portland, Oregon. This photo taken with my beleaguered 3G Iphone serves as proof of my travels. To me, it looks similar to the Paramount Pictures logos of old, although this shows two mountains. Taken en route from Seattle to Portland (ah the glory of the layover), famed volcano Mt. St. Helens is in the forefront, with majestic Mt. Adams in the back.

The Willamette is no Mississippi, but it has its charms. The city has industrial elements on the river and the downtown area is ringed by freeways. The office towers are small by Twin Cities' standards, yet the walkability index here is nearly perfect.

Our favorite restaurant to date is Kin in the Pearl District downtown. Local ingredients, on-site preparation of all elements, delicious and innovative cocktails, plus art, art everywhere, make this two month old newbie a keeper. The hamachi ceviche and duck ramen plus a cocktail echoing the latest trend of fresh herbs plus a bit of spice, made us glad to be on the left coast.

And just one morsel of downtown Portland public art. Visitors to the Pearl District should seek out the Tikitotemoniki totem poles by Kenny Scharf. Each one is 30 feet high and weighs 2,500 pounds. It was the first project commissioned by the now defunct Pearl Arts Foundation in 2000, which later had William Wegman make them a large dog bowl. Paige Powell, a friend of Andy Warhol's ran the foundation until its demise on the heels of Maya Lin pulling out of a proposed work.

More info about Kin (the restaurant and bar) will be at the Skyway of Love Facebook page along with a pic of the one skyway I found in the city. And I'll be back in the 612 in just a few days...