The Twin Cities art scene joins in the celebration of Native American Heritage Month and Día de los Muertos this weekend, offering a range of Indigenous art exhibitions and Latino music events.
Indigenous Art Showcases
The Friedli Gallery and Studio is hosting its fourth annual “We Are Still Here” Indigenous art showcase, featuring the works of 19 Indigenous artists from various corners of the world. This year’s exhibition offers a diverse array of artistic expressions that focus on what it means to be Indigenous in the 21st Century.
Among the featured artists, Jennifer Adams showcases her Native American beadwork known as paaxge, which can be worn as earrings, hair wraps, or bracelets. Mixed media artist Racquel Banazak’s work focuses on Indigenous histories through graphic design and drawings.
Comic artist Aiyana Beaulieu uses acrylic, watercolor, and pen illustrations to uplift Native communities and strengthen their connection to their heritage. Carly Bordeau’s illustrations draw inspiration from personal memories of dance and the colors of powwow dresses, while Jamie Z Brown’s totem ceramics, inspired by traditional Indigenous art styles, explore the relationship between humanity and the natural world.
Date: Opening reception on Friday, November 3. Exhibition runs until December 30, 2023.
Time: Opening reception is from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Regular gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Location: Friedli Gallery and Studio, 943 7th St. West, St. Paul
For more information: Visit https://www.friedliartsgallery.com/.
Bockley Gallery, an art venue representing Indigenous artists across Turtle Island, will host the “Indigenous Futurisms” exhibition, showcasing the photographs of Cara Romero from the Cehmehuevi Indian tribe. Romero’s work explores the potential for Native communities in the face of historical and contemporary challenges.
A featured photograph titled “gikenadasso,” named after the term in her native language that signifies knowledge, intelligence, and education, captures images of powwow dances in the woods. The image is reflected through the lens of model Leah Kolakowski’s glasses.
Additionally, the 2022 photograph, “3 Sisters,” envisions a future where women play a pivotal role in the healing and balance of the Earth.
Date: Thursday, November 2, through November 26
Time: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday
Location: Bockley Gallery, 2123 W. 12st St., Minneapolis
For more information: Visit https://bockleygallery.com/.
A Día De Los Muertos Celebration
Tlalnepantla Arts, in collaboration with The Cedar Cultural Arts Center, will host a Día de los Muertos concert to honor deceased loved ones. The event will feature an opening ceremony and parade from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., performances by Danza Mexica Yolotl and the Latinx spoken word collective Palabristas, and a Catrina-themed runway show. Individuals of Latino heritage or culture can register to participate in the runway by contacting Alondra M. Garza at email@example.com.
Beyond its celebration of the Día de los Muertos holiday, this event provides a platform for fostering a sense of belonging within the Latino community in the Twin Cities.
“As a Latino teacher, I see many kids in the classroom who believe that they don’t have roots or don’t know where they belong,” said Peruvian artist Gustavo Boada. “When we come to this kind of event and you see the colors and the vibration of the music, and so many people embracing their culture, you feel really connected to your heritage. So, it’s very important.”
The event’s musical lineup includes Afro-Cuban singer La Dame Blanche, psychedelic cumbia band Chicha Roots, DJ Superbrush427, and Jarana beat, a band blending folkloric Mexican Afro music with contemporary ideas. The backdrop of these performances will feature multimedia art by Booscapes. Skull face painting and R-Frida’s food truck will also be available.
Date: Saturday, November 4
Time: 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Location: The Cedar Cultural Center 416 Cedar Avenue South in Minneapolis
Cost: $15 if you buy tickets online in advance. $20 at the door. $12 for youth ages 5 to 12 (with a school ID) and seniors age 65 and over. Buy tickets here.
The world’s first mariachi opera
Minnesota Opera opens its 61st season with the premiere of “Cruzar la Cara de la Luna” (To Cross the Face of the Moon), which is recognized as the world’s first mariachi opera. The show was originally performed in 2010. The production tells the story of a multigenerational Mexican family navigating the challenges of separation across countries and cultures while in search of new opportunities.
The opera draws a thematic connection to the migration of monarch butterflies as the Velásquez family’s grandfather embarks on a reflective journey into his past during his final days. At the same time, the family embarks on their own journey across land, seeking a sense of belonging.
The opera was created by composer José “Pepe” Martínez, who was inspired by the mariachi music rooted in his hometown of Tecalitlán, Mexico. The work features lyrics by Martínez and Leonard Foglia, and a storyline penned by Leonard Foglia. Music director David Hanlon will perform a new score.
Minnesota Opera invites audience members to stay for post-show fiestas in the Ordway’s Target Atrium, featuring live mariachi music and food provided by members of the Minnesota Opera’s donor community.
Date: Saturday, November 4, through Sunday, November 12
Time: Various times for different shows. Find the schedule here.
Location: Ordway Music Theater, 345 Washington St., St. Paul
Cost: Tickets start at $25. Buy tickets here.
For more information: Visit https://mnopera.org/.