Minneapolis has been non-stop fun and art. I can barely believe that I have to leave tomorrow.
I arrived in town Thursday afternoon and got to the gallery a little early. My lucky day - there was a bar next door. As I was finishing my pint John, one of the gallery people, arrived to meet me. We got the space set up and some other people showed up. I spent most of the evening preparing the gallery, since I wouldn't meet the woman that I was staying with until 10:30pm.
So I went to meet her, and it turns out that we have a crazy random connection. I met Lauren through couchsurfing.com and we new absolutely nothing about each other except that I was staying on her couch while in town. But it turns out that she's a grad student in the ceramics program at U of Minnesota. We have many mutual friends and acquaintances from our respective times at NSCAD, Bowling Green, Archie Bray, and U of Nebraska. So we played the name game and talked shop for a couple hours. Turns out Lauren has Pete Voulkos's last lighter, the one he had with him when he passed away while teaching a workshop at Bowling Green. The bottom of it is all scratched up from opening beer bottles.
Friday the show opened, and all my apprehensions disappeared as people showed up in droves with their hideously deformed bikes. Well, I was pretty busy, but found time to accompany Lauren and her friend Steven to a rock show downtown later in the evening.
Saturday was more of the same, but we had the opening in the evening. It was pretty mellow, and we had a good time in the brand new Art Of This lounge, telling stories, talking art and debating politics. A few of us stayed until about 2am. Good times, good times.
Sunday I went for breakfast with Lauren and some other grad students and then I got my tour of U of M. They have a really amazing facility, like every American school I've ever seen. Sigh. I made it back to the gallery a few minutes late but had about a dozen bikes waiting there for me. I had to make a few trips to The Hub, which is the local bike co-op. It's a really awesome place, and they graciously sponsored me and my project while I'm here in town. Later on Lauren and I went to see Steven's band play at a bar just across the river in St. Paul, and then came back over to Minneapolis to go to John's 30th birthday party. Krystal had made some really awesome cake with basil and some other stuff that I can't even remember. But it was awesome.
This morning when I arrived at the gallery there were actually people sitting on the sidewalk waiting for me to get there. Sheeesh! I had to cut off new jobs early in the afternoon, as I know I'll never get through them all tomorrow. Fortunately, a guy named Derek showed up with some tamales for me, and when he saw how backed up i was offered to come and wrench with me for a bit later tomorrow afternoon.
Alright, I know that's a lot, but a lot has happened. Everything here is great and Minneapolis is a really impressive city. I'll have to make it back here some day soon, and next time I'll have to make sure I do it at a slower pace.