Check it out :: The art of food and coffee

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July 19, 2010
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

The art of food and coffee

Interact Studio’s Inside Out Gallery will soon showcase artwork sure to pique the interest of foodies in town.

“EAT ART” and “MUD: The Art of Coffee” will be unveiled July 29 with live music by the Minneapolis Vegetable Orchestra, a collection of musicians from various local bands, including The Brass Messengers, Southside Aces and Poor Nobodies.

The art show is inspired by all kinds of edibles and people’s love affair with coffee.

“Food and art are essential to sustaining life and feeding the soul, and the depiction of food in art has a long tradition,” a description of the show notes. “Honoring this glorious season of farmer’s markets and community gardens, Interact artists have been inspired by food to create natural dyes, sculptures and paintings.”

Michael Juba, an Interact Studio artist featured in the show, created a painting depicting strawberries. “We eat food at its peak, but it becomes much more interesting to look at when it is way past its eating prime,” he said in a statement.

The studio had access to past-date produce for the project through a partnership with the Wedge Co-op and The Coop Partners Warehouse.

Besides the performance by the Vegetable Orchestra, the opening reception on July 29 will feature handmade gifts, food from Toast Wine Bar and Café, The Wedge and coffee from Peace coffee. It runs 6–9 p.m.

The exhibit will run through Sept. 15 at the gallery tucked in the Colonial Warehouse, 212 3rd Ave. N. Suite 140. The gallery entrance is on 2nd Street North. Hours are Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. and by appointment.

For more details, visit


Celebrate your Independents

A new campaign called Celebrate Your Independents is underway — a month-long marketing effort designed to steer more traffic to Twin Cities independent businesses.

As part of the campaign, shoppers who visit the 25 participating businesses, which includes Downtown’s Key’s Café, will get a chance to enter a sweepstakes with a grand prize of $1,250 in gift cards from the retailers.

The contest started July 1 and runs through July 31. The limit is one entry per person at each business.

Celebrate Your Independents is the brainchild of MetroIBA, a nonprofit organization that supports locally owned, independent businesses in the Twin Cities. It has 145 business members.

On the MetroIBA website — — the organization makes the case for shopping local. If Twin Cities shoppers shifted 10 percent of their spending to local retailers instead of chains for one day, the local economy would gain $2 million, the organization reports. Further, when you spend $1 at an independent local business, an average of 68 cents is recirculated into the economy versus 43 cents for each dollar spent at a national retailer.

“Independents genuinely care about their community,” said Mary Hamel, executive director of MetroIBA. “Oftentimes owners live there, their children grow up there — they can’t help but be involved.”

Jeff Warner, president of Warners’ Stellian Appliance and MetroIBA, said independent businesses are a key ingredient in a “thriving local economy.”

“Neighborhoods with a lively mix of distinct businesses are vibrant, and they’re places we want to live and visit,” he said.

For more information about the Celebrate Your Independents, go to


Northeast Dog Parade and Sidewalk Sale

It’s time to primp your pooch.

The Northeast Dog Parade is July 30.

There will be a picnic at Chute Square Park at 6 p.m. and then the canines and their companions will march on to the parking lot near the Red Stag Supperclub and Key North on the 500 block of 1st Avenue Northeast.

Then there will be a happy hour and contests from 6:45–8 p.m.

There will be a sidewalk sale at Northeast businesses throughout the weekend, too.

For more details, go to