The strength of the Twin Cities art scene is often lauded within the Twin Cities, so it’s nice to get the same positive reviews from an outside perspective.
Two weeks ago twitter phenom @MuseumNerd — an anonymous tweeter with 30,000+ followers who travels the country to visit and tweet about museums — came to town for some tours, and eventually met up with Paul Schmelzer of Eyeteeth fame for a jaunt around to some of the Twin Cities’ art spaces.
I eventually met up Paul and @museumnerd for some art talk, Thai food and a trip to the Burnet Gallery at the Chambers, and right before he left our twin towns the Nerd answered some quick questions about his impressions after the visit.
Secrets of the City: How can you manage to digest so much art?
Museum Nerd: I am an art eating machine! No, seriously, I didn’t see nearly as much as I would have liked to. I could have spent five hours instead of one at the Yves Klein show at Walker. One thing I think helps is taking a brisk walk between art spots. The little bit of exercise rejuvenates me and gets me ready to ingest some art again. Ever read the Anthropophagus Manifesto? Just kidding.
Secrets: What was your favorite stop on your Minneapolis museum and gallery tour?
MN: Too many to choose from, but SooVAC has a special place in my heart now. I was blown away when I found out that Sarah Nakano (the artist with the solo show in the front room) is 17 years old. She’s going to go far if she keeps working and getting support. It warms the very cockles of my heart to see smart non-profit art spaces show excellent art and support (pre?) emerging artists.
Secrets: Favorite piece?
MN: The Eiko & Koma performance piece at the Walker was especially moving. I won’t attempt to describe it, but Paul (of iteeth) hit the nail on the head when he said it was probably a religious experience for the non-religious visitors.
Secrets: Which spots would you recommend to out-of-towners?
MN: You’ve got to make it to Minneapolis Institute of the Arts, but make sure you give yourself plenty of time! That place is way bigger than this New Yorker could have guessed. Minneapolitans are incredibly lucky to have an amazing encyclopedic collection in a city of under 400,000. (I know, I know, it’s way more with the metro area…)
I’d recommend almost all of the places I went, but the one place no one in Minneapolis had ever even heard of, which was absolutely fantastic, was the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting in St. Louis Park. It’s a huge warehouse in a stripmall that’s been converted into an amazing museum of pretty much every radio ever made. (That might be a slight exaggeration, but the place is huge and chock full.) They also played a 1902 Victor record player for me that had a horn made of OAK!
My tour guide was super bright and knowledgeable and when she found out I was doing twitter she jumped on it and said, we should be doing that since we’re a museum of broadcasting. Even though I had plans to go to a dozen other spots that day, I sat down with her for almost an hour and showed her the ropes and she got it right away. Now they’re @pavekmuseum on twitter! Seriously, go there immediately. The place rocks!