Mia Third Thursday — Art of Rebellion

Mia Third Thursday — Art of Rebellion

A personal look at Third Thursday — Art of Rebellion at Mia as part of Guerrilla Girls Twin Cities Takeover Kickoff

I stopped by Minneapolis Institute of Arts last week for their Guerrilla Girls Twin Cities Takeover opening event, “Art of Rebellion.” Third Thursdays at Mia are always a good time, and I was particularly excited to jump into the Takeover festivities.

 
The lobby was a-hum when I arrived. Museum-goers in the crowded space chatted, sipped on cocktails and beer as they took in the Guerrilla Girls video installation, and towards the back, nodded heads to the sounds of Sarah White performing with MYK.
 

 
The video installation, dubbed “Guerrilla Girls Present: Mysteries of the Mia,” provided facts and figures about artists represented in Mia’s collections, and asked question of viewers:
 

 
Out of 90,000 total artworks in Mia’s collections, only 49 are by African American Artists. Of those 49, only 11 are currently on display.

 

Away from the hubbub, the Community Commons offered a Mia backdrop and a variety of Guerrilla Girls masks for any who wished to document their evening. Others worked on making activist posters of their own.

At 7:30 I was ready to join the Art of Rebellion Mini-Tour, but was told that the group had just headed to the galleries. I rushed upstairs and, seeing no promising group on the second floor, I took a guess and turned right. Wrong way! I wasn’t going to find them, so I decided I’d take myself on a mini-tour, and sought out some of the pieces mentioned in the video installation. I passed by the one-night only ‘Free Speech Machine” on my way.
 

 
Continuing on to another point raised by the installation: “More Somalis and Hmong live in Minnesota than anywhere in the US. How many of their artworks can be found in the museum?” The answer? Just one piece by a Hmong artist—Cy Thao—and one piece by an unnamed Somali artist.
 
As more frames explained, perhaps Mia’s largest assortment of pieces made by women can be found “in the Art of Africa and the Americas galleries, especially ceramics,” but “we don’t know many of their names because they didn’t sign their work.”
 
Cy Thao’s The Hmong Migration, a series of paintings depicting different moments in Hmong history, is an important and moving work.
 

 
The Somali piece is a traditional wedding basket, painstakingly embroidered with beads. Being half Somali, I found myself thinking how wonderful it would be for the entire Minneapolis community, and especially for school kids visiting Mia, if there were whole sections devoted to Hmong and Somali arts and artists.
 

 
I found my way to the MAEP Galleries, where two MN Artist Exhibition Program openings were being held: both Lindsay Rhyner’s “Material Worlds” and Emmett Ramstad’s “Touching Each Other.” The former fit in with the themes of the night, as Rhyner’s intricately crafted textile wall hangings reminded me of another frame from the GG video installation:
 

 
“Why don’t great quilts hang next to great paintings?" The Guerrilla Girls’ answer is that quilts are seen as craft, and craft is often dismissed as unimportant—woman’s hobby work—rather than being given credit as fine art. Rhyner’s fabric works were a gorgeous and evocative retort to that sort of thinking.
 

 
Ramstad’s conceptual installation (dealing with ideas about intimacy, domesticity, cleanliness vs. dirtiness and more) was a worthwhile pit stop, sure to provoke questions and conversation. Piles of socks were spread across a long table, waiting to be sorted and moved to shelves on one wall. A long row of toothbrushes lined another wall.
 

 
I found my way to a piece that felt like a fitting way to wrap up the evening: Strings by Mary Lee Bendolph (one of more than fifty women belonging to the Gee’s Bend Quilter’s Collective in Alabama). It was lovely to see a woman seated on the floor looking up in quiet contemplation at this striking, unique work of art.
 

 
As I left the museum, I heard Sarah White repeat the name “Sean Bell, Sean Bell, Sean Bell. And the list goes on and on and on.” It was good to be reminded at that moment of the Black Lives Matter movement and (by extension) the many struggles around race, gender, sexuality, justice and injustice that are being waged right now on the streets of the Twin Cities, across the nation and the world.
 
What’s your cause? What do you stand for, and how do you stand for it? Stay tuned and stay involved as the Guerrilla Girls Twin Cities Takeover continues. 

Wahida Omar

Related: Guerrilla Girls Twin Cities Takeover


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Wed Mar 29th 6PM - 8PM CST
Midway Contemporary Art
527 Second Avenue SE, Minneapolis
Fri Mar 31st 5:30PM - 7:30PM CST
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1500 Jackson St NE, Minneapolis
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Rogue Buddha Gallery
357 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis
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717 S 10th St, Minneapolis
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2018 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis
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Space 369
2242 University Ave, St. Paul
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912 West Lake Street, Minneapolis
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Showroom
615 W Lake St, Minneapolis
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Soo Visual Arts Center
2909 Bryant Ave S, Minneapolis
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Soo Visual Arts Center
2909 Bryant Ave S, Minneapolis
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Katherine E. Nash Gallery
405 21st Ave S, Minneapolis
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Regis Center For Art Quarter Gallery
405 21st Ave S, Minneapolis
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901 18 1/2 Ave NE, Minneapolis
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250 3rd Ave N, Minneapolis
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Bethel University - Johnson
3900 Bethel Dr, Minneapolis
Fri Apr 14th 6PM - 9PM CST
Soo Visual Arts Center
2909 Bryant Ave S, Minneapolis
Fri Apr 21st 7PM - 10PM CST
Red Garage Studio
3640 Garfield Ave S, Minneapolis
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St. Paul
Sat Apr 29th 2PM - 5PM CST
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25 Groveland Terrace, Minneapolis
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25 Groveland Tr, Minneapolis
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405 21st Ave S, Minneapolis
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250 3rd Ave N, Minneapolis
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The Show Gallery
253 4th St. E, St. Paul
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2424 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis
NOW SHOWING
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Law Warschaw Gallery
Fine Arts Commons 105, 130 S Macalester St, St. Paul
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Law Warschaw Gallery
Fine Arts Commons 105, 130 S Macalester St, St. Paul
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Denler Gallery
3003 Snelling Ave N, St. Paul
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Gamut Gallery
717 S 10th St, Minneapolis
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400 1st Ave N #535, Minneapolis
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2001 5th ST NE, Minneapolis
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3450 Snelling Ave, Minneapolis
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All My Relations Gallery
1414 E. Franklin Ave, Minneapolis
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Form + Content Gallery
210 N 2nd St, Minneapolis
Mar 23rd - Apr 13th
Art Institutes International Minnesota
15 South 9th St, Minneapolis
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Traffic Zone
250 3rd Ave N, Minneapolis
Mar 4th - Apr 15th
Flanders + Associates
818 West Lake St, Minneapolis
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Bockley Gallery
2123 W 21st St, Minneapolis
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Kolman Pryor Gallery
1500 Jackson St NE #395, Minneapolis
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Minneapolis College of Art and Design
2501 Stevens Avenue, Minneapolis
Jan 19th - Apr 16th
Minnesota Museum of American Art
141 E 4th Street, St. Paul
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Bethel University - Johnson
3900 Bethel Dr, Minneapolis
Mar 24th - Apr 16th
Minneapolis College of Art and Design
2501 Stevens Avenue, Minneapolis
Jan 14th - Apr 22nd
Fox Tax
503 1st Ave NE, Minneapolis
Mar 18th - Apr 22nd
Groveland Gallery
25 Groveland Terrace, Minneapolis
Mar 3rd - Apr 28th
Light Grey Art Lab
118 East 26th St, Minneapolis
Jan 28th - Apr 28th
Independent Filmmaker Project MN
550 Vandalia ST, St. Paul
Mar 10th - Apr 30th
Northern Clay Center
2424 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis
Mar 10th - Apr 30th
Northern Clay Center
2424 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis
Jan 28th - May 21st
Weisman Art Museum
333 E River Pkwy, Minneapolis
Mar 10th - May 28th
Minnesota Center For Book Arts
1011 Washington Avenue S, Minneapolis
Feb 9th - May 31st
Track 29 City Apartments
2841 Bryant AVE S, Minneapolis
Nov 5th - Jun 3rd
Glick Gallery
811 Glenwood Avenue, Minneapolis
Mar 16th - Jun 25th
Mia's U.S. Bank Gallery
2400 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis
Feb 25th - Jun 30th
801 Washington Lofts
801 N Washington Ave, Minneapolis