Sunday, June 15, 2014

Northern Spark Despite the Rain

Well, Saturday in the Twin Cities was as predicted: rainy, not too warm, and very windy. The Green Line trains ran anyway, and 45,000 people came out to ride them. Parties that had been planned for a half-dozen stations had to be stopped less than half-way through, though, so I am sad for the organizers, groups, and businesses who worked so hard to put together great events. But when the wind is gusting enough to blow down your tents, you don't have a lot of options.

Of course, the weather let up later in the afternoon and there was nothing to do in all those places.

The mostly dry patch continued until about 10:30 p.m. when I was walking down Hennepin Avenue for Northern Spark. Then the skies opened and it was time for wet denim, soggy socks, and a rain hat that lost its reason for being.

Here are some photos from my night at Northern Spark. I recommend it to anyone in the area next year, even if it's raining!

Our first stop was at Printers Local 403, held at the Lunalux print shop on Loring Park.


This card, by Ruthann Godollei, was designed for the night using a photopolymer plate.

A couple of other pieces of printed ephemera for sale at Lunalux that caught my eye:



Or amused me:



Then we headed down the increasingly wet Hennepin Avenue. That's the Orpheum marquee in the background of this decorated switching box:


A lot of the highlights of Northern Spark involve large projections onto the sides of buildings. We caught this one in a parking lot at 10th and Hennepin, with musicians in the foreground and shipping pallets used as walls:


But then the rain came up and all of the projected works packed it in for the night. Leaving downtown for the University, we saw this molecularly inspired sculpture along the way from the Green Line's East Bank stop to the Weisman Art Museum:


The Weisman, thank goodness, was not only warm and dry, but full of people having a good time with various crazy art tasks happening and all of the galleries open. One piece I saw that I wanted to remember:


It's a 10-color lithograph by Marisol Escobar, 1975, of Elizabeth C.P. Stanton/Lucretia P. Mott.

The Weisman had some really good food on sale, plus Sacred Harp singers. I've been hearing about this lately, but had never experienced it. Beautiful and so full of community:


We left the Weisman and went to Northrop Auditorium, mostly to see the Karoke Filibuster (a psych professor explaining his research interests with karaoke songs to illustrate). But we also got to draw our own versions of a few of Minnesota's 10,000-plus lakes at the MinnPost table. This is someone else's take on Finn Lake:


It makes me think of the mascot for Montreal's Just for Laughs festival.

Then it was time to catch the last bus home at 2:30 a.m. And suddenly it is sunny and beautiful today. Grrrrrr.

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