U of M a hub for this year’s Northern Spark arts festival

The University of Minnesota will once again host art activities and installations during the Northern Spark arts festival.  The popular overnight celebration kicks off at sunset at 9:00 pm on Saturday, June 13, and comes to a close at sunrise at 5:26 am on Sunday, June 14. U of M participants include Northrop, the Bell Museum of Natural History, Weisman Art Museum, Institute for Advanced Study, and University Honors Program.

Food trucks will be parked on campus throughout the night, and Surdyk’s Café at Northrop will be open serving light meals, coffee, and beverages.

Below are just a few of the events being held on the U’s East Bank campus. A full list of festival events can be found here.

Origami Fishtank
9 p.m. – 5:26 a.m., Northrop, 84 Church St. S.E., Minneapolis
Artist Tony Biele brings us an interactive digital installation that transforms paper origami shapes through digital video mapping. Hand-painted watercolors, tiny human inhabitants, and schools of virtual creatures come alive through the sculpture in ways that encourage interaction and exploration.

Still Life
9 p.m. - 12 a.m. & 2:30 a.m – 5:26 a.m., Weisman Art Museum, 333 E River Pkwy, Minneapolis 
A new dance work by choreographer Morgan Thorson, featuring endurance-based segments highlighting both action and stillness, Still Life is a National Performance Network (NPN) Creation Fund Project co-commissioned by PS122 in partnership with the Weisman Art Museum, The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts, and NPN, that will be performed throughout the summer in various locations.

Impact and DIY Bird Populator
9 p.m. – 5:26 a.m., Bell Museum of Natural History, 10 Church St. S.E., Minneapolis
Designed to generate new awareness and knowledge of the presence of birds in our everyday lives, artist Miranda Brandon uses photography to call attention to the environmental challenges migrating birds face in the human-built world.

Water Bar
9 p.m. – 5: 26 a.m., Northrop Plaza, 84 Church St. S.E., Minneapolis
A public art project developed by Works Progress Studio and their multidisciplinary collaborators the Water Bar allows you to sample a tasting flight of municipal waters from around the Twin Cities, learn about the local aquifers, lakes and rivers where these waters are sourced, and engage in conversation with public works professionals, research scientists, water advocates and environmental science students about the precarious, life-sustaining, communal activity of drinking water, and how to protect our water resources.

Don’t You Feel It Too?
Midnight – 1:30 a.m., Weisman Art Museum, 333 E River Pkwy, Minneapolis
An ongoing, participatory street dance of public protest, social healing, and personal liberation, participants are encouraged to show up at midnight for a short instruction session with artists from Grace Minnesota, dance on the Washington Avenue Bridge, and finally regroup at the end to process their experience.

9 p.m.- 5:26 a.m., Bell Museum of Natural History, 10 Church St. S.E., Minneapolis
Micro-Cinemas and Tiny Listening Spaces, along with multimodal artist and creative catalyst Diane Willow, invite you to experience the seemingly silent and invisible Minneapolitan nightlife of plants and insects and creatures that live under bushes and stones. 

The Oracle Test
9 p.m. – 5:26 a.m., Northrop Plaza, 84 Church St. S.E., Minneapolis
Artist Christina Collins offers an immersive, interactive experience using myth, historical record, reactive environments, architecture, and anthropological and behavioral research to create a modern interpretation of the ancient process of visiting and receiving prophecy from an ancient oracle.

River of Iron: Pouring the Mississippi
9 p.m. – 5: 26 a.m., Weisman Art Museum, 333 E River Pkwy, Minneapolis
Artist Tamsie Ringler will pour the river in iron—creating a 20 x 20 ft map of the Mississippi and its tributaries. The iron will be poured into molds, river by river, throughout the night by local and regional Iron artists and graduate and undergraduate students at the University of Minnesota. The project is supported by The University of Minnesota Art Department, Franconia Sculpture Park, McKnight Public Artist Professional Development Grant/Forecast Public Art, and an Imagine Fund Special Event Award.

Animal Secrets
9 p.m.- 5:26 a.m., Bell Museum of Natural History, 10 Church St. S.E., Minneapolis
A large-scale video and photo installation by Sam Easterson that explores the hidden habitats and secrets lives of animals, starting with the Bell’s dioramas and peeking one step further into the underground burrows, dens, nests, and other al dwellings to see the secret lives of animals as never before. 

Bell Museum ExploraDome

9 p.m.- 5:26 a.m., Bell Museum of Natural History, 10 Church St. S.E., Minneapolis

From the Mars rover to the Cosmic Microwave Background: Explore the ever-expanding Universe inside the Bell Museum's interactive dome theater, and participate in international Pluto Hour by snapping a selfie in the twilight of Pluto's high noon. 

In addition to these and many more events at the U of M, a combined 125+ artistic projects will be showcased throughout the night across Minneapolis at locations including Orchestra Hall and the Mill City Museum. For more information on Northern Spark or to view general event schedules, visit http://2015.northernspark.org/.

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