It’s cold outside, so hop in a heated vehicle and head to some art exhibits.
‘Child found: 100 days’
With portraits of children drawn on brown Target bags, Minneapolis artist Megan Rye’s project might seem like a corporate diversity ploy. The images show transnational adoptees, most of them from Korea. Adopted herself, Rye realized the project when she came across her own reference photo (usually the only image from the person’s country of origin), after the birth of her own daughter.
Rye’s designs are beautifully crafted, and the simplicity and simplicity of this project is emotionally powerful, but while the Target shopping bags tie the series to Minnesota, they also confuse the message. Yet it suggests a darker concept – the idea that Americans are buying adoptees. (Wednesday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 a.m. through May 22, Weisman Art Museum, 333 East River Pkwy., Pls Free. wam.umn.edu)
Half poetry, half painting, the vibrations of this Minneapolis solo exhibition seangarrison artist (Sean G. Phillips) range from the Afrofuturistic funkiness of Sun Ra to the poetry of Pablo Neruda. He tests visitors’ willingness to work harder, to decode what lies beneath the surface of each of his abstract and politically charged paintings.
In “Founding Phallicy”, a full moon shines above a red apple with a symbol-covered arrow, from which a polka-dotted man hangs from a noose. There is a chart with the symbols that viewers can use letter by letter to discover the deeper message. A nice surprise that is worth experiencing in person. (1 p.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday through June 30, Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery, 1256 Penn Av. N., Deputies. To free. maahmg.org)
Winkler’s double-sided diptych “The Late Great White Pine Forests & Death by a Billion Cuts,” a striking horizontal work filled with hovering black trees, laments the destruction of this natural resource; the wall tag notes how indigenous peoples watched the great rivers carry their homeland to the sawmill in less than 15 years. Schanilec’s “White Oak Stump” amplifies this feeling. The beauty of nature is overshadowed by tragedy in this elegant exhibition. (10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, noon-4 Saturday through Feb. 12, Highpoint Center for Printmaking, 912 W. Lake St., Mpls. Free. highpointprintmaking.org)
It’s not a scary sight, unless the obsession with the brand scares you. Under “horror vacui” – Latin for “fear of empty space” – artist/curators Marc Schoening of Porch Gallery and based in Los Angeles Amir H. Fallah bring together a curious palette of artists. A golden door appears to float behind a slew of paint splatters and hand-cut paper designs at a Los Angeles-based house of Egyptian descent Sherin Guirguis‘ ‘Untitled (shubbak III)’, part of a series referring to the formation of identity in the wake of the Arab Spring.
Geoffrey Todd Smith“28 Poets Perpetually Bouting,” an acrylic, gouache, and ink work filled with mesmerizing ovals, circles, and squiggles gridded together, feels like stepping through a textbook with a magical eye. This exhibition is welcome, as the Twin Cities galleries mainly focus on local artists, leading to a myopic regional view. (By appointment only through Feb. 26, TOA Presents Gallery, 655 19th Av. NE., Mpls. Free. theorangeadvisory.com/toa-presents)