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art in the apolis

Sooo Minneapolis is a pretty sweet city. As all the derelict warehouses, grain towers, rail road tracks, and strangely shaped protrusions obstructing the sweetly passive flow of the mississippi so nostalgically proclaim, Minneapolis was founded upon the river to exploit its hydraulic power for the advancement of....bread. As the town developed into the diverse metropolis it is today, our focus shifted slowly from complex carbohydrates to becoming the best damn pocket of midwestern underground visionary, quietly insightful artistic talent we can be. We midwesterners being a rather passive bunch (passion has a hard time thriving under 0 degrees C), we opted to forego the rejuvenating demolition that would disguise our yeasty roots. But what more fitting environment for the observation of brainchildren than the site of obsolete industrialism? A stuctural oxymoron. Of course, such an environment is not a very discriminating one; there is lots of, well, bad art. If you are like me, however the search for the occasional diamond in the banal is half the adventure through a brick red labirynth of workshops and studios. The good and bad thing about the lack of noteriety of these places is as follows: in-depth, meandering conversations with artists living in a similar economic sphere. For the most part, this is art for art's sake. They don't advertise too well, though. www.art-a-whirl.org. If by chance the art iself isn't much more than humorous, all the free wine and cheese more than makes up for it. Sometimes, if you're lucky, there's cupcakes too.