Spring and summer arts and fun: From glass to paper to bedsheets, stories of culture and the self take many forms at Twin Cities galleries

If there’s a theme to be found in the Twin Cities art scene this spring and summer, it’s this: Fine art is more than just painting.

It’s also glass, at the Cafesjian Art Trust. Woodcarving, at the American Swedish Institute. Billowing textiles, at the Walker Arts Center. Ancient bronze, at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Bookbinding and printing, at the Friedli Gallery. Experimental sculpture, at Night Club, downtown St. Paul’s newest contemporary gallery.

Here’s a selection, arranged by month, of some of the many gallery shows and studio exhibitions coming up in St. Paul and the greater Twin Cities this season.

A quick note: Plenty of art fairs, including the St. Paul Arts Crawl, are also taking place this spring and summer and are included in the Festivals and Family Fun section of our arts guide.



April 7, Book Arts Exhibition — Friedli Gallery, St. Paul: Book artist Erin Maurelli is curating an exhibition that focuses on printing arts — including letterpress, zines, sculptural book-related works, and other ephemera. Opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. April 7, and the show runs through May 27 at the Friedli Gallery; 943 W 7th St.

April 10, Piitwewetam: Making is Medicine — All My Relations Arts, Minneapolis: Part of the Anishnaabe grief tradition involves gifting to honor one’s life. When Piitwewetam (Rolling Thunder), also known as Jesse Gustafson, passed away unexpectedly in 2015, his family created the artworks in this exhibition as gifts to one another and to the viewer. The show runs from April 10 to June 10 at All My Relations Arts, part of the American Indian Cultural Corridor; 1414 Franklin Ave. E., Minneapolis

Last chances:

Go before April 14, “Transdimensional Multiversal Nonlinear Cosmic Traveler” closes — Interact Gallery, St. Paul: Painter and ceramicist Michael Engebretson’s latest exhibition depicts a futuristic extraterrestrial society “where neurodiversity, sustainability and equitable healthcare are the norm.” Engebretson, who’s 28 and lives in White Bear Lake, has autism and hopes his vibrant art encourages us to work toward more open-minded utopian qualities on Earth, too. The show runs through April 14 at Interact Gallery, 755 Prior Ave. N. Suite No. 002D.

Go before April 15, “Abstract Vibes” closes — Goza Gallery, Minneapolis: In this exhibition, more than 20 local artists explore movement and emotion in abstraction, gallery co-owner Sue Mooney told the Pioneer Press. Goza Gallery, launched last fall by four women painters, is located inside the Northrup King Building; 1500 Jackson St. NE, Studio 155, Minneapolis.


Last chances:

Go before May 21, “Eternal Offerings: Chinese Ritual Bronzes” closes — Minneapolis Institute of Art: Mia’s Chinese art curator Liu Yang and art director Tim Yip — who won an Oscar for his work on “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” — have created an exhibition of ancient Chinese bronze vessels, used to make spiritual offerings. Special tickets required: $20 for general admission; free for youth and members at the Contributor level or higher. 2400 3rd Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Go before May 28, “Fluidity: Identity in Swedish Glass” closes — American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis: This exhibition explores the ways glass art can represent both intensity and introspection. Entrance to the American Swedish Institute is $13 for adults, $10 for seniors, $6 for youth; it’s free for members and for the general public after 3 p.m. Thursdays; 2600 Park Ave., Minneapolis.



June 1, “Highlights of the Cafesjian Art Trust Collection” — Cafesjian Art Trust, Shoreview: The second show at one of the Twin Cities’ buzziest new fine art museums, the CAT’s highlights exhibition features the best of the glass art, paintings, prints and more from the late philanthropist Gerard Cafesjian’s personal collection. The museum’s stunning first exhibition focused on the longtime friendship between Cafesjian and glass artist Dale Chihuly. 4600 Churchill St, Shoreview.

June 14, “Leaving Your Mark: Stories in Wood” — American Swedish Institute, Minneapolis: ASI continues its single-medium focus (their glass exhibition, mentioned above, just closed) with wood artworks ranging from “traditional craft born of necessity to contemporary art with a punk heart.” Plus, the exhibition contains the U.S. debut of Swedish woodcut artist Claes Larsson.

Monthlong, “Vol. 2 Double Space” — Friedli Gallery, St. Paul: Bookbinding artist Jacob Z. Wan has created a series of traditional and contemporary book installations with bedroom items — bedsheets, underwear, pages from romance novels — to represent his “desire and struggle for love as a Chinese gay man,” he told the gallery.



July 8, “The Lyrical Artwork of Jim Denomie” — Mia, Minneapolis: Jim Denomie, an artist from the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Ojibwe who passed away in 2022, drew inspiration for his witty and emotional artworks from both American pop culture and Anishinaabe traditions. This exhibition, which focuses particularly on works from 2007 to 2022, is free.

Last chances:

Go before July 9, “Premonition of a Russian Dystopia” closes — The Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis: In the late 1980s and early ’90s, as the Soviet Union was increasingly unstable, artist Geli Korzhev painted a series he called Tiurliki (Mutant) — portraits of imagined creatures that prophesied a dystopic future. Although derided at the time, these works have taken on new meaning in Russia’s current political climate, the museum says. Museum entrance is $14 for adults, $12 for seniors, $5 for students, free for kids and members; 5500 Stevens Ave, Minneapolis.

Go before July 12: “More Various, More Beautiful, and More Terrible” closes — Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis: Drawing its title from a James Baldwin quote, this exhibition focuses on the depths of the American experience with works from Indigenous artists, descendants of European colonists, enslaved Africans, and other immigrants to the U.S. Admission is free. 333 E. River Parkway, Minneapolis.

Go before July 15, “Ukraine Defiant” Paintings by Elena Kalman” closes — TMORA, Minneapolis: The Museum of Russian Art, which has spoken out in no uncertain terms in opposition to Russia’s war against Ukraine, is presenting a series of massive works on paper by Ukrainian artist Elena Kalman. The paintings honor the courage of Ukrainians fighting for their country.

Go before July 16, “Paul Chan: Breathers” closes — Walker Art Center, Minneapolis: In 2009, the artist Paul Chan took a “breather” from art to focus on experimental publishing, but recently returned to art-making with this installation created specifically for the Walker. His “vibrant moving image works,” the museum says, “touched on aspects of war, religion, pleasure, and politics.” Included with required timed-entry museum ticket: $15 for general admission; $13 for seniors; $10 for students; free for kids, teens and Walker members. 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis.


Last chances:

Go before Aug. 6: “The Art of Literacy in Early Modern Japan” closes — Mia, Minneapolis: In early modern Japan, between the 1600s and 1800s, woodblock printing was on the rise — and so was literacy. Even those in the merchant and lower classes learned basic reading and writing skills, and books and art prints were widely distributed. This free exhibition explores both text-based and visual art.

Go before Aug. 20: “Im/perfect Slumbers” closes — Minnesota Museum of American Art, St. Paul: Viewable in the M’s window galleries and skyway entrance, this exhibition — initially scheduled to open fall but moved to this spring/summer — invites artists and activists to explore “the historical and contemporary state of sleeping and being in bed.” The project is spearheaded by textile artist Katya Oicherman. No entrance required to view the art; more info is available outside the M at 350 N. Robert St.

All season

Rotating contemporary exhibitions — Night Club Gallery, St. Paul: Contemporary art gallery Night Club opened downtown in March as part of the St. Paul Downtown Alliance’s Grow Downtown program. Its first exhibition, a solo show by local artist Julia Garcia, runs through April 22; next up is a collection of experimental, multimedia 3D works, co-curator Emma Beatrez told the Pioneer Press. The gallery will be in St. Paul through at least October and has a full schedule of exhibitions until then; 340 N. Wabasha St.

“Kahlil Robert Irving: Archaeology of the Present” — Walker, Mpls.: Working primarily with ceramics but also other found objects some might consider detritus, the artist Kahlil Robert Irving explores multiple layers of public life. In this exhibition, Irving, who was born in 1992 and is based in St. Louis, is focusing on city streets with a room-size installation that invites viewers to interact as if it were an archaeological dig. The show is included with a regular Walker admission ticket.

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