Art Hounds: Frank Theatre, Ojibwe stories and new life for old objects

valfer_Procyon_lotor.jpg“Reclamation Project: Repatriation Exercise #1 (Procyon lotor)” 2010 by Pamela Valfer

This week the hounds take us to Liberia during the civil war, a fictional reservation in Northern Minnesota and to an alternative future.

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gregory.jpgGregory J. Scott is an arts writer for the Downtown Journal and Vita.mn. He’s excited about the new work being shown by Allen Brewer and Pamela Valfer in “Alternative Futures” at SOO Visual Arts Center. He particularly likes how Valfer’s work, which involves returning things like fur and rodent-shaped piggy banks to some form of a natural state, plays with people’s reactions. The “cuddly yet repulsive” work reclaims objects that could easily be forgotten and gives them new life. The show runs September 18 through October 31, with an opening reception this Saturday, 6-9pm.

clairewilson.JPGClaire Wilson, a writing teacher at the Loft Literary Center, is always eager to see the plays put on by Frank Theatre. She knows that they will take her somewhere she’s never been before, and even if it’s uncomfortable or difficult, she knows it will be worthwhile. “Eclipsed,” Frank’s latest production, will take Claire to Liberia during the civil war. The play, written by Macalester alum Danai Gurira, opens today and runs through October 10 at the Playwrights’ Center.

benkimball.JPGBen Kimball is an engineer by day, and by night a book reviewer for Minnesota Reads. He loved Linda LeGarde Grover’s collection of inter-connected short stories, The Dance Boots. The stories span several decades and are set on a fictional Indian reservation in Northern Minnesota. Ben loves Grover’s powerful writing, her use of Ojibwe language and the complexity of her characters. Grover, a professor at University of Minnesota – Duluth, will be reading from her book this Friday at Birchbark Books in Minneapolis.

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