Leather-clad art enthusiasts gather to celebrate art collective

“Nobody here is afraid to deal with the dark content … it isn’t really accepted anywhere else.”

Artist Joy Spika works on a live painting at the launch party for the artist organization

Maddy Fox

Artist Joy Spika works on a live painting at the launch party for the artist organization “A Conspiracy of Strange Girls” at CO Exhibitions on Nov. 12, 2016 in Minneapolis. The collective features women artists who work in various mediums.

Gunthar Reising

On Saturday, Minneapolis art collective A Conspiracy of Strange Girls held a launch party at CO Exhibitions. The event featured live performances of, well, everything.

Walking into the open studio, over-stimulation seemed to be the strategy. As people milled around a band blared. Several painters worked on wall mounted pieces and a pewter caster wielded a blowtorch in front of onlookers.

In the crowd, many heads of uncombed hair watched as grunge band Star Child worked through intense guitar and vocals. Black leather and denim was the unspoken dress code for attendees.

“You’re just drawn to things that you feel part of,” Angie Oase, lead guitarist of Star Child, said.

Indeed, everyone seemed to be enjoying the band. The crowd sported a ubiquitous eclecticism. Attendees all sported unconventional wardrobes and hairstyles, piercings and tattoos.

However, one anonymous attendee proved independent. He or she emitted the strong odor of canned tuna — a bold move among the room’s herb-y aromas.

Star Child, which has not been together long, is made up entirely of Strange Girls members.

After the stage emptied, the crowd had the chance to check out the many other artistic performances happening throughout the studio.

Three ladies were busy painting tattoo style goddesses on large canvases. In the middle of the room children threw balls of yarn over standing wood planks, forming labyrinths that jailed two women in some kind of living sculpture. A T-shirt printing press hummed in one corner.

Soon, MCAD graduate and aerial silks performer Penny Dreadful was announced. Long black ribbons were lowered from the ceiling and Dreadful spun and flipped her way gracefully up fifteen feet.

Her show was called “UFO,” and she wore a self-designed silver suit for her aerial maneuvers.

“I just like doing stuff like this. I might want to do more night club-y stuff in the future, but for now, this is okay,” Dreadful said, explaining her aerial silks career vision.

Dreadful, who has been honing her craft for five years is also one of the Strange Girls.

After Dreadful’s performance, the crowd’s attention went back to the other artistic exhibitions. Ivy Sendrijas worked on her live paintings.

“Nobody here is afraid to deal with the dark content … it isn’t really accepted anywhere else,” Sendrijas said of the collective.

In spite of the darkness, souls were bright last Saturday. Even with the eponymous strangeness of the night, the art vibes flowed. That’s really all that mattered.