Minneapolis is known as a great arts town, and a great biking town, so a show featuring bike posters by local artists would seem like a natural.

However, even the founder of Artcrank is amazed by how a one-off show seven years ago has become an international phenomenon.

Here, artist Adam Turman makes a print at his studio in St. Louis Park. Turman is among a group of artists who will display and sell limited-edition, bike-inspired posters during Artcrank.

Read more about Artcrank here.

(MPR Photos/Jennifer Simonson)

From reporter Marianne Combs:

Maria Genné, the founder and artistic director of Kairos Dance, used to have a career that focused on dancing with young people. But as she grew older, Genné began looking at how she could create dance in which everyone felt welcome, and how music and storytelling could be used to stimulate the minds and bodies of the elderly in ways modern science is only beginning to fully appreciate.

"Everybody should have the opportunity to dance," she said recently. "To me it’s how we express who we are. I think dance in its early form was what communities did to be together but in recent years unfortunately I think we have limited who gets to dance. We’ve said you have to have a certain kind of body you have to be a certain age for sure and no older."

Professor Catherine Sullivan, who teaches neuroscience and gerontology at St. Catherine University has been tracking Genné’s work, to see what, if any, long term effect it had on participants.

"Even after three months we found there was improvement in balance scores following the dance. We found there was increased physical participation: People who didn’t used to move, moved a lot more. They were interacting physically with each other," Sullivan said. "They had this sense of being valued and being listened to."

Sullivan says to even expect any change in nursing home residents marks a big shift in scientific thinking about old age and brain plasticity. But she observed Carondelet residents who, through music and dance, prevented further memory loss.

"So what’s really exciting to us is the engagement in artistic pursuits creates this protective effect on the brain and several studies have shown it does prevent dementia, and when people already have dementia, it can slow down dementia."

Continue reading…

(MPR Photos/Jennifer Simonson)

Fergus Falls artist Charles Beck is about to turn 90 and he’s still making woodcut prints. 

Beck, a master woodcut artist, draws on the natural environment in prints that capture his modern, perhaps abstract, views of the surrounding landscape — with its wooded hills and lakes, and nearby flat farm fields of the Red River valley, itself an ancient lake bed.

"I can show you the color of most of my skies in nature," said Beck, who continues to work in his studio nearly every day. "Early morning, sunset … you can find every color of the rainbow in the sky."

Joyce Beck, his wife of 64 years, is one of his biggest fans. She managed a home-based art gallery for years.

Although people sometimes ask her husband how he likes retirement, she said he hasn’t stopped working.

"He says, ‘Well, you know I retired from teaching, but I’m not retired.’ And he isn’t," she said. "Every day he goes into his studio and does something."

"Mostly to take a nap," Beck said.

"No he doesn’t," his wife insisted. "He’s still productive."

For example, there’s “Thunderstorm,” a work in progress for more than a year.

"I’ve never been quite happy with what I’ve got," Beck said. "I’m now just getting back to looking at what I’ve doing on it so far, and I’m gonna give it a try again."

A public reception to honor the celebrated artist is happening at the Kaddatz Gallery in downtown Fergus Falls tonight.

Read more from reporter Dan Olson

(MPR Photos/Ann Arbor Miller)

Top: Orabel Thortvedt as a young girl carving sculptures into the banks of the Buffalo River near Georgetown, Minnesota, c. 1910.

Bottom: Annie Stein taking a picture of herself in the mirror, c. 1900.

These women were born in the Red River Valley a generation apart, but both pursued unconventional paths for women of their times. Neither married and both were renaissance women, pursuing painting, music, sculpture and photography.

The work of Orabel and Annie is being featured in “Prairie Daughters,” an exhibit at the Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead. Hear more about it on Art Hounds.

After 89 years, St. Paul’s College of Visual Arts will be closing at the end of this academic year.
Read more.
RELATED: Students react to CVA closing 

After 89 years, St. Paul’s College of Visual Arts will be closing at the end of this academic year.

Read more.

RELATED: Students react to CVA closing 

Born and raised in Duluth, photographer Wing Young Huie is best known for his public art installations, most recently the University Avenue project, in which he turned a six-mile stretch of the thoroughfare into an outdoor photo gallery. The project was all about confronting the prejudices with which we categorize others, based solely on how they look. It’s an existence Huie knows well, and why he’s an “Art Hero.”
Read the full story.

Born and raised in Duluth, photographer Wing Young Huie is best known for his public art installations, most recently the University Avenue project, in which he turned a six-mile stretch of the thoroughfare into an outdoor photo gallery. The project was all about confronting the prejudices with which we categorize others, based solely on how they look. It’s an existence Huie knows well, and why he’s an “Art Hero.”

Read the full story.

The Minnesota Fringe Festival starts tonight and Sara Stevenson Scrimshaw’s Happy Hour (pictured here) is just one of 165 shows to choose from.
Feeling overwhlemed? We have suggestions:
-From the Art Hounds: Fringe Spectacular!-From Marianne Combs: 10 solid bets for the Fringe Festival-From Euan Kerr: Meet three Fringe Festival first-timers

The Minnesota Fringe Festival starts tonight and Sara Stevenson Scrimshaw’s Happy Hour (pictured here) is just one of 165 shows to choose from.

Feeling overwhlemed? We have suggestions:

-From the Art Hounds: Fringe Spectacular!
-From Marianne Combs: 10 solid bets for the Fringe Festival
-From Euan Kerr: Meet three Fringe Festival first-timers

From reporter Jon Collins:
Keyboard Cat will live again.
The Walker Art Center is hosting the first ever (that we know of) Internet Cat Video Film Festival.
Cat videos are some of the Internet’s most popular methods to waste time. Many of us have spent hours (and hours) watching cats do things like sleep, talk and attack small children.
The Walker’s Katie Hill is the one responsible for the feline film festival.
"Basically, I just like them. And sort of jokingly self-identify myself as a cat lady. And spend a little too much time on the Internet," said Hill, who does have two cats. "Somehow this translated into an awesome program opportunity at Open Field at the Walker."
The Open Field events held throughout the summer transform the Walker’s yard into what Hill calls a “collective cultural commons.”
"It’s a way of engaging a new community of people who might not otherwise come," Hill said. "People who don’t think there’s a place for them, hopefully will find a place here through things like the cat video film festival."
This kitty Cannes (sorry) is being held in the spirit of fun. But the cat video is an art form typically watched alone on a laptop.
"I wonder how it will translate into the public space of a social gathering," Hill said. "Maybe people will be proud to be cat video fans, or maybe they might be a little more shy about it."
The Internet is made of cats, so it’s no surprise that the story of the video festival has already been picked up by online news venues like Wired and Gawker.
People can nominate their favorite videos on the Walker site. Since the nomination process opened on Monday, the Walker has already received 1,000 videos.
"[It’s] everything from just your average cute kitten yawning or meowing to the sort of more artful, crazy, French-speaking existentialist cats," Hill said. "I sort of challenge haters to not laugh at the cat on the vacuum."
But this isn’t the Walker’s first foray into the feline. The Walker news site has published a post every Friday titled, “Cat Break.” And the Walker permanent collection includes a six-minute video of a cat drinking milk.
Dog lovers need not despair. Last year, the Walker hosted a dog opera in the Open Field.
(Image: http://icanhas.cheezburger.com)

From reporter Jon Collins:

Keyboard Cat will live again.

The Walker Art Center is hosting the first ever (that we know of) Internet Cat Video Film Festival.

Cat videos are some of the Internet’s most popular methods to waste time. Many of us have spent hours (and hours) watching cats do things like sleep, talk and attack small children.

The Walker’s Katie Hill is the one responsible for the feline film festival.

"Basically, I just like them. And sort of jokingly self-identify myself as a cat lady. And spend a little too much time on the Internet," said Hill, who does have two cats. "Somehow this translated into an awesome program opportunity at Open Field at the Walker."

The Open Field events held throughout the summer transform the Walker’s yard into what Hill calls a “collective cultural commons.”

"It’s a way of engaging a new community of people who might not otherwise come," Hill said. "People who don’t think there’s a place for them, hopefully will find a place here through things like the cat video film festival."

This kitty Cannes (sorry) is being held in the spirit of fun. But the cat video is an art form typically watched alone on a laptop.

"I wonder how it will translate into the public space of a social gathering," Hill said. "Maybe people will be proud to be cat video fans, or maybe they might be a little more shy about it."

The Internet is made of cats, so it’s no surprise that the story of the video festival has already been picked up by online news venues like Wired and Gawker.

People can nominate their favorite videos on the Walker site. Since the nomination process opened on Monday, the Walker has already received 1,000 videos.

"[It’s] everything from just your average cute kitten yawning or meowing to the sort of more artful, crazy, French-speaking existentialist cats," Hill said. "I sort of challenge haters to not laugh at the cat on the vacuum."

But this isn’t the Walker’s first foray into the feline. The Walker news site has published a post every Friday titled, “Cat Break.” And the Walker permanent collection includes a six-minute video of a cat drinking milk.

Dog lovers need not despair. Last year, the Walker hosted a dog opera in the Open Field.

(Image: http://icanhas.cheezburger.com)

Flying donuts! Hovering cheese curds! A giant rooster!
The Minnesota State Fair’s 2012 commemorative poster by artist Joe Heffron has been unveiled!

Flying donuts! Hovering cheese curds! A giant rooster!

The Minnesota State Fair’s 2012 commemorative poster by artist Joe Heffron has been unveiled!