The Third Thursday events at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts is one of my favorite ongoing events in the Twin Cities; there is always something new and different put together by the museum and various cooperating local groups. I recall attending an event last year that celebrated the nostalgic and artistic power of the choose your own adventure novel, put on by the local literary magazine Paper Darts. Very fun!
I was able to attend this month’s event, and it was very interesting, a real treat to experience. On an absolutely stunning June evening, people gathered outside the MIA, enjoying the breeze and the perfume of nearby basswood trees as they sampled free wine and made their own postcard collages and photo creations. For June, the MIA was celebrating the arrival of the exhibit Myopia, a traveling exhibit organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. Collecting the bizarre, quirky, innovative art works of Mark Mothersbaugh, head of the cult band Devo, the celebrated musician was on hand to perform a handful of surreal songs on his makeshift musical sculptures. The collection was a stunning cavalcade of Americana transformed in new, disturbing, and unique ways; antique photographs mirrored into symmetrical people, just a little bit (or a lot) off. Elaborate, intricate machines of bells, pipes, and electric motors which belted out strange, eerie musical notes.
Of course, there was quite a lot of fun Devo memorabilia too, including the weird red “energy dome” hats most well known. Among the various interesting mediums used by Mothersbaugh was postcards, those little pieces of disposable correspondence that were kind of like email for the analog age. They still persist as a kitschy kind of tourist souvenir, one that I have been collecting for years myself- making my own, from a pile of old magazines and art supplies was a very fun thing; MIA always has plenty of hands on activities for adults and children alike during these parties. For July, it’s Bike Night, which should be a pretty awesome time. Best of all, like admission to the museum generally, it is all free (minus the drinks, of course!).