Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Art 4 Shelter

One week ago today, I went to an event called Art 4 Shelter with Daisy and Magnolia. (If you're in or near the Twin Cities and want to learn more, check out their website here.) This benefit event is held at an art gallery inside the Chambers Hotel, located at 9th and Hennepin in downtown Minneapolis. All sorts of local artists create, and then donate, 5x7 works which are all sold for $30 with the proceeds benefiting Simpson Housing Services, a local organization that works to end homelessness. Some of the donating artists are quite famous, others less so. All of these little works of art are arranged somewhat randomly in this gallery - they're signed on the back, which is the only way you can tell who the artist is. A friend of Magnolia's had gone in the past, and she'd told us it would be intense.

I don't think the word intense does it justice. This was unlike anything I had ever seen. There were hundreds of people packed into this gallery, which wound up smelling a little less than fresh, especially because it was an unseasonably warm evening. People were doing their best to rush from wall to wall to wall to look at everything available, but the place was so crowded everything just moved like molasses. I picked up this little gem:
This piece is a photograph by an artist named Ella Stout. I am unfamiliar with her work, though I really like this. The photo is printed on a matte-finish paper, like cardstock. It's awesome and I'm looking forward to sharing photos once I find a sweet niche for it here at home.

While we spent some time browsing, it was too crowded to do too much wandering. Once we'd paid for our treasures, we decided to get a drink. We went to my FAVORITE bar downtown, the Local. It's an Irish pub that I used to hang out at regularly with my friends while I was in grad school - from lunches, to happy hours, to a place to grab a drink before noon when you really need one - this was it! I'd planned to just have a drink like my friends, but when we got there, the food smelled so good... and I was reminded that I'd only had a few moments to inhale some crackers and cheese after work. So, I ordered my FAVORITE thing on the menu: the walleye sandwich! YES!
I promise, I meant to take a photo before I started eating. I just didn't get around to it. As usual, I paired the walleye with fries and a double side of the herbed mayo they serve instead of tartar sauce. It was heavenly. To top it all off, the weather was so awesome we got to sit on the patio on Nicollet Mall. It was a dream come true! After dinner, we headed back towards the car and decided to do some shopping at the downtown Target store in hopes that we could spend enough to earn a parking voucher. We got pretty close and saved a bundle on parking - in addition to getting to spend some time wandering around Target together. What a perfect evening! Looking forward to next year already!

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