Northern Spark Festival to light up the night

The Get Out Guide features all the events to get you out and around Minneapolis

People wrote on white flags as part of the piece “Surrender: What are We Willing to Lose?” during the 2016 Northern Spark Festival. Photo by Annabelle Marcovici

Northern Spark Festival

Northern Spark marks the summer solstice with more than 50 artists and 27 projects spanning three zones in Minneapolis. Founded in 2011 as an all-night arts fest, Northern Spark was modeled after Paris’ Nuit Blanche and St. Petersburg’s White Nights to encourage citizens to experience art activities, shows and installations at night. This year, the festival is switching its dusk-’til-dawn format for two nights and an earlier closing time of 2 a.m. Here are some highlights from this year’s event.

When: 9:02 p.m.–2 a.m. Friday, June 15 and Saturday, June 16

Where: The Commons (425 Portland Ave. S.), Minneapolis Central Library (300 Nicollet Mall) and Nicollet Mall between 4th and 8th streets

Cost: Free


‘Meme Weaver’

Try your hand at machine knitting with “Meme Weaver,” an Arduino-controlled, people-powered weaving machine that explores human-machine collaboration, textile manufacturing and consumerism by knitwear designer Danielle Everine and her engineer/product designer husband, David Heisserer, at the Commons.

‘Common Urban Edible Plants’

Combining food and plant life with new creative technology, Minneapolis artist Paige Dansinger will recreate native Minnesota common urban edible botanical plants in virtual reality with members of Best Buy Teen Tech Lab, projected on the ceiling of the Minneapolis Central Library’s atrium.

‘Something Worth Remembering’

Representing more than 200 years of immigration to Minnesota and the United States, Tiffany Carbonneau’s architectural video projection will illuminate the City Center façade along Nicollet Mall. Overlaying historic photographs, found film and animated data from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Immigration Statistics, this work illustrates the shared history of ancestral migration among Americans.

‘Carry on Homes’

This multi-functional pavilion at the Commons is an interactive sculptural installation that reimagines the home as an open structure, where walls disappear and the public is invited to engage. Featuring a stage, a colorful mural, a reflecting garden, a photo gallery and a sculpture built from repurposed suitcases, the piece celebrates the immigrant cultures around the world that call Minnesota home. On view June 15 through the summer.

Submitted photo
Submitted photo


Considered one of the greatest stage comedies of all time, Molière’s “Tartuffe, ou l’Imposteur” tells the story of a religious hypocrite (Tartuffe) and the havoc he wreaks upon Orgon, a gullible nobleman and his family. For this new adaptation, Minneapolis director Adrian Lopez-Balbontin — the same man behind the highly stylized, well-received reboot of another Molière play, “The Misanthrope,” in 2015 — has reset the action from a stately home in 17th-century France to backstage at a present-day gay nightclub, where a cast of friends, lovers and drag performers unite to try to save Orgon from the hypocritical moral crusader, Tartuffe. Like the original version, “Tart” combines wit, satire, slapstick and psychological drama to illustrate the power and ultimate impotence of hypocrisy.
When: Various dates from June 1–June 16 at 7 p.m.
Where: Bryant-Lake Bowl, 810 W. Lake St.
Cost: $14 advance, $18 door

Kaleena Miller Dance: ‘I Love Her’

kaleena_5529Kaleena Miller Dance’s work is rooted in American tap dance, celebrating its legacy while expanding its creative possibilities. Though the Twin Cities-based dance company was founded just a year ago, founder Kaleena Miller has been a fixture of the local tap scene for well over a decade as a solo tapper, co-founder of the Rhythmic Circus dance troupe and co-director of the Twin Cities Tap Festival. Although a relative newcomer to the local percussive dance scene, the company has already presented sophisticated, boundary-breaking works on local stages. This new tap dance work premieres at the Southern Theater with innovative choreography and staging by Miller and her dancers.
When: Thursday, June 7–Saturday, June 9 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 10 at 2 p.m.
Where: Southern Theater, 1420 S. Washington Ave.
Cost: $20 advance, $24 door, $12 students and seniors 65-plus

Image by Eleanor McGough
Image by Eleanor McGough

‘Reckoning’ / ‘Fleeting Traces’

The word “reckoning” has several meanings — it can refer to retribution and punishment as well as a settling of debt. In the new solo show by Minneapolis multi-disciplinary artist Rebecca Krinke, who often creates temporary, participatory projects, the word evokes questions about what possessions we hold onto and the costs of holding onto them. Taking the shape of a large installation, “Reckoning” creates a domestic, psychological space of wonder and terror, comprising a bed surrounded by ominous, swirling black feathered curtains and stacks of black-bound notebooks visible on a burned wood floor. The show opens in conjunction with “Fleeting Traces,” an exhibit of new paintings, collages and a large installation of hand-cut paper insect silhouettes by Eleanor McGough, whose work explores the fleeting nature of life through imagined life forms. The exhibition captures the nostalgia of natural history dioramas and vanishing landscapes.

When: Opening reception: 7 p.m.–10 p.m. Saturday, June 9; on view June 2–July 1
Where: Rosalux Gallery, 1400 Van Buren St. NE
Cost: Free

‘Instagram and the Artist’s Studio’

teitackBefore social media, artists had to promote themselves and their art by sending out slides or CDs or by building their own website. But the rise of Instagram has drastically changed the experience of the way artists around the world promote their work — and how the public views art. Instagram also functions as a creative space for artists to curate and offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse into their process. Many artists also make work that only exists in a virtual online environment or specifically for their social media network. “Instagram and the Artist’s Studio” explores the ways ten different artists and artist collectives utilize Instagram through installation that offer an enlarged visual presence that challenges the perception of social media and its relationship to art.

When: Opening reception: 6 p.m.–9 p.m. Friday, June 8; on view June 8–July 15
Where: Minneapolis College of Art and Design, 2501 Stevens Ave.
Cost: Free