General 1-26-2004

The Religion Show at Outsiders

Dean Seal, performance guy, went to the Religion Show at the gallery Outsiders and Others, open through Feb. 7 at 1010 Park Avenue in Minneapolis. Here he surveys both the gallery and its ways and the current show.


I was at the opening of The Religion Show, curated by Yuri Arajs, who I’ve been a fan of since he was working at Interact Center, where my brother Gary does his artwork. Yuri explained what Outsider art is–art by people without formal training–and it hit me like a ton of bricks. This is the guy to run the Visible Fringe, an art show in the lobby of each venue
of the Fringe Festival.

Neither Yuri nor myself work the Fringe now; Yuri will do some curating, I will I hope do a show. But Yuri has opened his own shop here, pursuing his multi-faceted talents.

Outsiders and Others puts up a new show just about every month. Each one features at least 6-7 artists, and they are organized around a particular theme. One show was tattoo artists working on non-skin surfaces; one was young artists; one was all lawyers.

The current show is a great example of how Yuri mixes and matches. The show has art based on religious themes, very serious and dramatic; it includes also art based on messing with religious visual themes. It’s one of those shows that can be sacred and sacrilegious at the same time, sometimes within the same painting.

Yuri’s Featured Artists list follows, with some commentary from me in italics. . .

Yilam H. Woldemdhine: wood and watercolor icons show great detail and reflect
a boyhood amid the lush murals of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. I bought a small John the Baptist triptych from this guy before the show opened. He carves the wood, and in a space about the size of the palm of your hand, he executes something that feels like it’s a thousand years old. Authentic Replica indeed.

John Schuerman: His vivid colors and images chart the territory between being human and being made human. Wild colors and designs, deeply affecting.

Ronie George: A “writer of pictures,” Ronie makes mixed media and “acrylic
fixes” that ask hard questions of us all about truth and honesty. Some of this is funny
in a serious way.

B.J. Christofferson: With paper, clay, glass, lace, pictures and paint she makes shrines and altars of enormous intellectual power. I love shrines. This is a great series to give you ideas. I think you should make your own, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t have
one of hers around for inspiration.

James Michael Lawrence: Producing hypnotic symbols and colors with computers,
he makes a case for the interconnection of all things. This is some of the best-rendered computer art ever to escape the cathode tube.

Steve Cvinar: A tattoo artist and a maker of books, Steve is creating a seventeenth-century style illuminated manuscript of the Book of Revelations for this show. Crazy. Just freaking crazy how much work he puts into this. It’s just nutty.

The gallery used to be a funeral home, so there is something perfect about this show being here. See this thing before it closes Feb. 7th.

Outsiders and Others, 1010 Park Ave. So. , Minneapolis — located on the
corner of Park and 14th, 3 blocks south of HCMC. 7:00 – 10:00pm — Admission is
free. Hours Wed., Fri. and Sat. — 12 to 5 pm and Thurs. 12 to 7 pm (or by
appointment). 612=338-3435