Archive for May, 2016


Image: Joe and Jen Photography for Public Functionary

TOMODACHI’s home state of Minnesota is well-known for its vibrant art scene, and at the center of that scene is Northeast Minneapolis — a neighborhood designated as “The Northeast Art District.” Every 3rd weekend in May, the popular district hosts Art-A-Whirl, a massive 3-day studio and gallery crawl (the largest in North America, according to their website). Now in its 21st year, the festival has grown to include everything from visual art to live music to lots and lots of beer (another thing the district is famous for — its myriad of brew pubs). There are hundreds of studios, galleries and art-centric businesses to visit during the crawl — odds are you’ll never be able to see it all.

We’ve compiled our top 6 must-see picks for this year’s event below — but don’t forget to visit the official AAW site at for information on artists, district maps and even a download for an Art-A-Whirl app — a new addition this year. Enjoy!


My Colours Are Bizee + Cool Girls Issue 1 Release

A new art space is popping up in Northeast! The mini-space, a little cube, which is actually the garage of freelance art director John Hardy, boasts finished gallery walls and will likely be one of the best hidden gems of this year’s Art-A-Whirl. a little cube’s inaugural exhibit features the work of OUECHA aka husband/wife art duo Frank and Christina Lyon. The exhibit “My Colours Are Bizee” (a name inspired by their future baby) is a collection of drawings derived from a larger body of OUECHA designed materials, which explore techniques for marker on paper. Also featured in the exhibit is the release of Cool Girls Issue 1 ‘On Dreaming’ that seeks to “colour and thematize the notion of the “digital dream”.”

If you go:

a little cube
1139 Monroe St NE, Minneapolis
(Garage faces large parking lot on Quincy St.)

Friday 5/20: 6 – 10pm
Saturday 5/21: 12 – 8pm
Sunday 5/22: 12 – 5pm


57Princes: Artists’ homage to the Purple One

Nestled in a residential area, in one of the oldest studio buildings in Northeast (an old Polish school house, no less) is Studio A, which ironically, is the last artist-occupied space in the building, which was recently bought by a developer who ousted all other artist tenants. Possibly the last AAW hurrah for this storied building, Studio A will host “57Princes: Artists’ homage to the Purple One” featuring a Prince-inspired group display of works set upon a muralized backdrop created by Erin Sayer and Liseli Polivka. Studio A, owned and operated by Northeast-specializing realtor and all-around cool cat, Aaron Neumann, is always a must-visit AAW spot! Of note: party with the artists after 9pm Friday night — Music by Warehouse Eyes, Lady Parts and Damian D. Anderson.

If you go:

Studio A
607 22nd Ave NE, Minneapolis
(just a couple blocks up from Grumpy’s NE)

Friday 5/20: 5pm-? (Party starts and 9pm and goes late)
Saturday 5/21: 12 – 8pm
Sunday 5/22: 12 – 5pm


Screaming Hand 30th Anniversary Show

A chance to see some of the most influential artists of the past 30 years side by side with local artists? We’ll take it! A tribute to artist and skateboarding icon Jim Phillips, creator of the famed Screaming Hand logo, this touring exhibit inspired by Phillips’ iconic work makes a stop at Burlesque of North America’s CO Exhibitions space, just in time for AAW weekend. Featuring work by Jim Phillips Sr., Jimbo Phillips, Colby Phillips, Jeremy Fish, Mike Giant, Todd Bratrud, Bigfoot, Michael Sieben, John Lucero, John Munnerlyn, Steve Caballero, Steve Olson, Natas Kaupus, Eric Dressen, Thomas Campbell, Sean Cliver, Mark Gonzales, Benny Gold, Jason Jessee, Mark Widmann, Makoto Yamaki, Skinner and many more PLUS, Burlesque has contributed to the exhibit with over a dozen favored locals such as Jennifer Davis, Michael Cina, Michael Gaughan and Jared Tuttle.

If you go:

CO Exhibitions
1101 Stinson Blvd, Minneapolis

Friday 5/20: 5-10pm
Saturday 5/21: 12-6pm
Sunday 5/22: 12-5pm


Mark Schoening: Shape Shifter

Our friends at Public Functionary never disappoint, hence this Art-A-Whirl, make it a point to stop by and lay eyes on their current exhibit, featuring artist Mark Schoening. A bit off the beaten path, this colorful collection of obsessively pieced together laser cut wood pieces and process materials is a cleanly presented exhibit that you won’t have to battle the crowds to experience – and that’s a good thing. Stop by on Friday night for live music from 7pm-10pm featuring G.P. Jacob and Toki Wright, DJ Keezy and Khem Clam for the release of new EP – The Longest Bridge.

If you go:

Public Functionary
1400 12th Ave NE, Minneapolis
(Corner of Buchanan & Broadway)

Friday 5/20: 5-10pm
Saturday 5/21: 12-8pm
Sunday 5/22: 12-5pm


Art-A-Whirl at the Food Building

Art and food are two things we certainly can’t argue with, especially when they are combined! Stop by this beautifully restored building, currently home to The Lone Grazer Creamery, Red Table Meat Company, 2 Gingers Whiskey and (one of our favorite restaurants) The Draft Horse. They’ll be hosting a myriad of local NEMAA member artists throughout their expansive space, which is a treat to explore regardless. Bonus: sampling of the building’s delicious wares will be happening all weekend long — plus a stop at the Draft Horse for one of their famous pot pies and a cocktail is never a bad idea!

If you go:

The Food Building
1401 Marshall Ave NE, Minneapolis

Friday 5/20: 5-10pm
Saturday 5/21: 12-8pm
Sunday 5/22: 12-5pm


Rogue Buddha Gallery

An art star on the busy AAW thoroughfare of 13th Avenue, the Rogue Buddha is the oldest gallery in Northeast, run by renowned oil painter Nicholas Harper. This dimly lit, dark art destination features the work of a number of artists of Harper’s choosing, including assemblage artist Michael Thomsen, whose large-scale sculptures are exploratory labyrinths of found objects and gilded wonder. Harper’s paintings take center stage, however, ranging from surrealist long-necked ladies, richly shadowed portraits and delicate bone assemblage pieces. Be sure to check out the back room while your there for a decadent sampling of Rogue Buddha art favorites, hung salon-style.

Rogue Buddha Gallery
357 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis
(Next to Northeast Social)

Friday 5/20: 5-10pm
Saturday 5/21: 12-8pm
Sunday 5/22: 12-5pm


Art of Food examines Minnesota’s role in food design

2016 at 09:09 pm by admin | Comments Off


Visitors to the Minneapolis – St. Paul International Airport this year will be in for a treat, thanks to the opening of “The Art of Food: A History of Minnesota Food Production.” The exhibit, which opened on April 15th, examines Minnesota’s influence on the food industry around the world. The exhibit includes a variety of brand that have originated from Minnesota over the past 100 years, and includes world-famous, Minnesota-based brands like General Mills, Land O Lakes, Summit Brewing Company and more. Alongside this collection of food memorabilia and information, the exhibit hosts a number of vintage commercials, covering decades of food advertising, stirring nostalgic childhood memories for visitors of all ages. The exhibit will remain open at the MSP until November 15th, 2016, giving tourists and locals alike plenty of time to check it out for themselves!







Mario teams up with Minecraft for WiiU

2016 at 08:05 pm by admin | Comments Off


The popular Minecraft franchise is finally coming to Nintendo in a big way this May with the release of a brand-new exclusive Mario crossover! This new content, titled the “Super Mario Mash-Up Pack”, which will only be available on the Nintendo WiiU version of Minecraft, and will include a variety of unique blocks that will replicate the look and feel of Super Mario in the Minecraft world. On top of that, the pack will include a large assortment of character skins, allowing players to change their appearance into popular characters like Mario, Luigi, Peach, Toad, Bowser, and many more! The pack will be made available for owners of the digital version of Minecraft on the WiiU for free on May 17, and will come bundled with the game’s physical release on June 17. Check out the video below to see the pack’s unique content in action!


Era-spanning wood art on display at Bristol

2016 at 06:58 pm by admin | Comments Off


Multimedia artist Katie Paterson and architect duo Zeller & Moye have come together to present an art exhibit that covers millions of years of Earth’s history! The exhibit, titled “Hollow”, is currently on display at the University of Bristol in England in order to celebrate the new opening of the university’s Life Sciences building, and is comprised of over 10,000 wood blocks from all over the world. These wood samples also come from eras throughout our planet’s timeline, ranging from petrified wood from 390 million years ago to newly budding forests from across the globe.


The exhibit is set up as a singular sheltered room on the campus grounds, which can be entered to reveal a vast layout of wood bricks of different sizes and colors, creating a spectacle akin to being in a thick forest. The collection of wood samples took more than two years to assemble, and are meant to tell a narrative of the history of our world. “Hollow” will remain open to the public for the rest of the year, giving fans plenty of time to check it out for themselves!


Photos © Max McClure


Shanghai Disney Resort opens its doors early

2016 at 07:15 pm by admin | Comments Off


After years of construction since its announcement in 2011, the Shanghai Disney Resort theme park in China is finally open for tourists! Today marks the first day of a six-week trial of operations before the park’s official opening on June 16, allowing select customers, cast members, resort partners, and more to experience the brand-new park for the very first time. The park, which includes six themed areas, hotels, and a shopping district, is the largest Disney resort in Asia, outclassing similar Disney resorts in Hong Kong and Tokyo, Japan. The resort will also feature a distinctly Chinese-themed design overtone, including themes from Shikumen architecture and design elements from the Chinese zodiac. Fans that aren’t lucky enough to get access to this pre-opening trial period can look forward to the June 16th opening date, when the park will be made available to all customers. Check out a preview of the resort’s different themed areas in the video below!


Power Rangers 2017 movie debuts suits

2016 at 07:01 pm by admin | Comments Off


The movie adaptation of the “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers” franchise has slowly been unveiling details and designs about the upcoming film since the initial announcement in May 2014. Now, diehard Power Rangers fan finally have their first look at the Rangers’ iconic suits! Based on the designs used in the original Power Rangers television season, known as Zyuranger in Japan, the suits have been upgraded from spandex costumes into full-armor alien designs. The designs are aimed to cater to a more adult audience that grew up with the Rangers franchise since the original airing in 1993. Plot details reveal that the costumes will actually grow onto the rangers when it’s time to suit up on the big screen, while still retaining design elements and homages from the original costumes. With the Power Rangers movie scheduled to hit theaters on March 24th, 2017, you can look forward to more news as the year goes on!


World’s largest LEGO Millennium Falcon

2016 at 07:31 pm by admin | Comments Off


For fans of the Star Wars franchise worldwide, May the 4th is a special day to express their love of the classic sci-fi space opera series. At LEGOLand Malaysia, though, LEGO Master Builders Dan and Chris Steininger have pushed their adoration to the extreme by creating the world’s largest LEGO recreation of the iconic Millennium Falcon! Built as a joint exercise between the father-and-son tag team over the course of 30 hours, the build includes more than 200,000 LEGO bricks, each brick being 4 times their usual handheld size! These 4x sized bricks were created with normal LEGO bricks, and were hand-assembled by the Steiningers as well as visiting fans wanting to contribute to this momentous occasion. The final model measures in at more than 16 feet long, and weighs just over 1,100 pounds! This spectacular feat isn’t the end, though; visitors to the LEGOLand Malaysia site later this month will be able to see two replica TIE Fighters made out of LEGO, which will begin construction this weekend. Check out the video below to see the construction of the LEGO Falcon in action!


Vans unveils Nintendo-themed sneakers

2016 at 07:14 pm by admin | Comments Off


Shoe company Vans is getting retro this summer with their new line of Nintendo footwear! The upcoming line, which will include a number of Vans’ popular releases like the Old Skool, Classic Slip-On, and Sk8-Hi sneakers, will feature a number of unique Nintendo-themed styles and decorations. Classic Nintendo franchises like Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, and Duck Hunt will be decorating these cool new shoes, along with styles based on the classic Nintendo Entertainment System and its controllers. This brand-new line of retro gaming footwear is currently scheduled to release this June, with more designs surely on the way!




Yayoi Kusama’s classic pop art installation returns

2016 at 06:16 pm by admin | Comments Off


Following her recent exhibition debuts in Denmark, Japan, and Russia in 2015, popular Japanese modern pop artist Yayoi Kusama has unveiled the return of her “Narcissus Garden” installation piece at The Glass House in Connecticut this past May 1st! The piece, which was originally created for the 33rd Venice Bienalle in 1966, returns in 2016 as a series of 1,300 12-inch floating steel orbs, scattered across the Glass House’s pond surface. The piece, which move and drift across the water surface with the wind, helps celebrates the museum’s 10th anniversary, and will remain on display until November 30th, 2016. Visitors should definitely check out this revived piece of pop-art installation history if they have the chance!