Art Hounds: Closing Open Field, funny people and a folk opera

openfield.JPGFuturefarmers setting up the giant megaphone that will be used for “Auctions Speak Louder Than Words” at the Open Field on Saturday. (Photo credit: Gene Pittman)

This week’s hounds praise the Walker’s ‘cultural commons,’ wonder who’ll be the last comic standing in Minneapolis, and get sucked into a Vermont songwriter’s folk opera.

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petedriessen.JPGMinneapolis painter Pete Driessen has a great deal of respect for poet and writer Lewis Hyde, who’ll be speaking at the Walker tonight at 7pm. One of Hyde’s favorite topics is the idea of a cultural commons, a communal marketplace of ideas that can enliven social discourse. Pete says the Walker’s summer long experiment, “Open Field,” which is based on Hyde’s concept, has been a great success.

audra.JPGPhotography enthusiast Audra Williams loves a good comic, but she also appreciates the work that goes into developing a comedy routine. Audra says the “Funniest Person in the Twin Cities” competition at the Acme Comedy Club has all the hilarity and pathos you’d expect from amateur local comedians trying to turn three minutes of stand-up into gold. The finals will be held Tuesday, Sept. 7, at 8pm.

ellenstanley.jpgOne of Ellen Stanley’s favorite singer-songwriters has made Ellen’s favorite record of 2010. Ellen is the frontwoman for Mother Banjo and also handles publicity for Red House Records in St. Paul. She says in “Hadestown,” Vermont singer-songwriter Anais Mitchell has created an at-times rollicking and mesmerizing folk opera based on the Greek myth, “Orpheus.” Mitchell is playing Thursday, September 2 at 7:30pm at the Ginkgo Coffeehouse in St. Paul; Friday September 3 at 7:30pm at the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center; and Saturday, September 4 at the Storyhill Festival in the Brainerd Lakes area.

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