Yes, even artists love baseball

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Thomas Allen’s “Backstop” is one of several works of art inspired by baseball that will be on display at Thomas Barry Fine Arts starting April 24.

Sure, there are more than a few artists – and concerned citizens at large – out there who think Hennepin County would have done better to spend $350 million in tax revenue on, say, education instead of a new baseball field. But now that the deed is done, and everybody’s excited about today’s opener, even local arts establishments are getting in on the game.

Take Thomas Barry Fine Arts, which, as the gallery’s name implies, is a purveyor of fine art. Starting April 24, TBFA will present “Going Yard!” an exhibition consisting entirely of art inspired by baseball. The show is listed as a means of “welcoming our new neighbors, the Minnesota Twins” but you can bet it’s also about luring a bunch of those baseball fans into the gallery and maybe even getting them to buy some art.

Then there’s “It’s Outta Here!” a theatrical event featuring seven original plays, sketch comedy and improv all about baseball. In talking about the show, Director/Producer Robert Marcus says “My love of baseball and theater has finally been realized.”

The show’s website states “Minnesota Productions’ presentation of “IT’S OUTTA HERE” will help support local Twin Cities’ community theaters and Saint Paul’s and Minneapolis’ efforts to promote the historic theater district as a cultural destination for all Twin Cities’ residents, as well as visitors to the area.”

Both events point to some authentic love for baseball, but also to the desire of local cultural institutions to take advantage of “the trickle down effect.” In desperate times, you need to be creative about how you make your money. In the coming weeks, more Minneapolis arts organizations may be brushing up on their sports lingo in order to do just that.

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