The best of Art-A-Whirl 2010

Wade the waters of the giant northeast art extravaganza with the help of this guide.

PHOTO COURTESY JESSE DRAXLER

PHOTO COURTESY JESSE DRAXLER

John Sand

From wood manipulation to painting with hot vibrant wax, no facet of art is overlooked in the 2010 Art-A-Whirl , an annual 3-day festival to celebrate the Northeast Minneapolis arts community. This booming area houses many of the Twin CitiesâÄô best emerging and established artists. Over the years, Art-A-Whirl has grown from a few buildings on Quincy Street to a showcase of 500 artists joined by musical performances, art demonstrations and enormous installation works. Conquering your first Art-A-Whirl can be a daunting task, but fear not! A&E has put together a list of must-see events and galleries at this year’s Art-A-Whirl, so you can be on the cutting edge of the neighborhood thatâÄôs even earned a nod from The New York Times. 1: Share|Space Tarnish & Gold Gallery 1511 Marshall St. NE The new Tarnish & Gold Gallery focuses its energy into social art and media. Co-owner Greta Seiffert calls the space a nontraditional gallery because it houses not only gallery space but rentable artist space and offices for blossoming community organizations. Tarnish & Gold also hopes to become an intimate setting for local bands to begin their arduous climb up the Minneapolis music hierarchy. Seiffert says the board of directors asked the three featured artists to take the collaborative mission statement of Tarnish & Gold and place it inside their art. The artists shared tools, visions and even canvases for some of the pieces featured in the show. The must-see artist in âÄú1: Share|SpaceâÄù is abstract artist and University of Minnesota alumna Torey Bonar. Her melding of geometrical shapes with free-thinking lines creates a devastatingly melancholy mood where Frankenthaler meets Mondrian . The Age of Aquarius The Gallery at Fox Tax 503 First Ave. NE Reception: May 14, 6-10 p.m. Continuing in the vein of young, hip artists, The Gallery at Fox Tax will open up a new exhibition titled âÄúThe Age of the AquariusâÄù on the evening of the 14th. The highlight of the show is artist Jesse Draxler , who works in layered images that combine science fiction with drawn geometrical objects and newspaper clippings. Think men dissolving into shreds of text with octopi sprouting from their mouths. Draxler is also responsible for the recurring event âÄúVigilante Justice,âÄù a music/art show that presents visual art alongside live music and DJ sets from the likes of Dada Trash Collage and Midnight Energy. Also showing in the space is Katelyn Reece Farstad, responsible for punky drawings, and band poster artist Josh Journey-Heinz . Performance: Eisner The California Building, Studio 501 2205 California St. NE May 15, 3 p.m. Join the Eastern European Jewish Klezmer band Eisner for a sweeping production including vigorous rhythm aided by bells, stomping feet and hearty violins. The performance takes place in the California Building, which houses over 80 artists ready to give you a glimpse into their world. A&E recommends checking out Adu Gindy’s mystical, colorful portraits. Gindy fuses cultural folklore from different continents to create bright, conceptual pieces that often seem otherworldly. Also, make sure to stop by and visit abstract artist Jennifer Massoll , whose paintings look like Monet -esque clouds at first glance but create a depth of field that draws viewers far into the back of the painting by playing with light and motion. Northrup King Building 1500 Jackson St. NE If youâÄôve only got time to hit one building this week, it should be Northrup King Building, where some of the Twin CitiesâÄô most exciting art takes place. Some of A&EâÄôs favorites are metalworking sculptor Kristen Arden, University alumnus photographer Tony Nelson and large-scale cartoon painter Eddie Hamilton . The Rain Collective Casket Arts Building 681 17th Ave. NE If you’ve got the energy to wade through the hundreds of artists in the bigger collectives, A&E is happy for you. If that doesnâÄôt sound feasible, A&E loves The Rain Collective, a group of 16 young artists that work both separately and in collaboration. Among the artists are minimalist Kate Heegaard Hartfiel , who melds something like the iconic Marlboro Man with the attitude of Joan Miro : bright colors, curving lines and cowboys. Karen Shimek works in grayscale sketches that are cave-like in conception. The Boat Project: The Slow Mirror and the Metronome Rockaway Docks 2124 Marshall St. NE Continuing this year is the ever-innovative Boat Project that combines the iconic Mississippi River with the blooming arts and music scene. The art is an enormous grayscale sculpture with a slash of fuchsia that mimics refracting light and owes its creation to a team of 30 artists. Local act Marijuana Death Squad will set a steady pace for the performance. This yearâÄôs Boat Project tries to capture what lead artist Joseph Belk describes as âÄúthe idea of lights as refractions of sound and memory.âÄù Belk said the goal of the project is to turn the river into both an artwork in and of itself and an inspirational metronome for local musicians to collaborate with. Adam Turman 5530 Vermont St. NE You don’t know Minneapolis art until you’ve snuck a peek inside esteemed illustrator/printmaker Adam Turman’s gallery. Turman is responsible for the iconic biking women of Minneapolis along with more than a few of the covers for Twin CitiesâÄô weekly publications City Pages and Vita.mn.