Art Hounds: 2011 Highlights, part two

We’ve asked our Art Hounds to tell us about their Minnesota arts and culture highlights of 2011. Here is the second installment (find part one here):

A Winged Victory for the Sullen at the Cedar Cultural Center

It’s not always easy to translate ambient music to the stage, but this show was a purely transporting experience: Adam Wiltzie and Dustin O’Halloran are amazing performers who inhabit their music, as much as they play it and are captivating to watch. Jaw-dropping.

-Juliet Patterson, poet and writer

Twin Cities Zinefest

Zinefest attracts exhibitors from all over the U.S. and is packed with odd booklets, fresh ideas and interesting art. I always find something amazing there and it’s a great place to start good conversations and make friends.

-Sarah Morean, zinester and cartoonist

cabarethighlight.JPGFrank Theatre’s production of “Cabaret”

First of all, it was on the Minnesota Centennial Showboat, so the show had a charming, vintage-y quality. The company did a great job of capturing the grit that IS this show. The dancing, though executed by mostly non-dancers (or folks who don’t consider dance to be their primary discipline), was very well conceived, accomplished and really served to support the show.

-Penelope Freeh, dancer and choreographer

“hot 3-way action” at SOO Visual Art Center

Specifically, it was Bruce Tapola’s Gigantic Tightie Whitie Underwear mixed media painting that tips the visual art scales for me this year. Tapola painstakingly searched all over the Twin cities for the biggest pair of men’s underwear and found a plus size undergarment that was big enough for several of Paul Bunyan’s logging friends. In a refreshing dire need of a good washbasin cleaning by Grandma, and with the two words splattered and stained in reddish paint, “Relational Aesthetics” has been brought to a new glamorous and humorous low!

-Pete Driessen, artist

Minnesota Orchestra’s “Hansel and Gretel”

It kept me and my two kids (ages 10 and 8) enthralled for nearly two hours–a remarkable feat! The singers were expressive but clear enough for children to understand, the puppetry was gorgeous and fascinating, and the orchestra wove it together with a beautiful blanket of sound in the background. Truly first rate, and even the youngest in the audience enjoyed it.

-Erin Hanafin Berg, Preservation Alliance of Minnesota

barebones.JPGA Fistful of Dirt: How the Death Was Won

Every year, BareBones puts on a Halloween show in St Paul’s Hidden Falls Regional Park. There are live actors but mostly it’s giant puppets drifting about in the dark, usually almost wordless but scored by an amazing rag-tag orchestra. The themes always revolve around death and the afterlife, and never fail to bring a tear to my eye.

-Kelly Krantz, zinester and writer

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