Art Picks

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October 10, 2005 // UPDATED 1:58 pm - April 26, 2007
By: Anna Pratt
Anna Pratt

Sing ‘Misty’ for me

Ed Bok Lee explores the lifestyle of the common man through poetry and prose, written and spoken. The veteran spoken word artist and poetry slammer describes entertainment and meaning from karaoke bars to Buddhist temples in his book, “Real Karaoke People: Poems and Prose.”

So, what are “real karaoke people?” Lee mines social scenes for hidden meanings. Real karaoke people are patrons crowded in the far rooms of bars with dim lights and the sound of pop songs offered purely, even if without talent.

Lee’s a metaphysical traveler just as apt to be enlightened by religious experiences as he is by the L.A. riots, tornado touchdowns, Korean War or even Sex World.

The poet describes pop culture through its recreational activities and rituals. He’s simultaneously heartened and disappointed by what he sees at the movies, dogfights, immigrant kitchens, Asian nightclubs and wrestling rings.

In this release party for the book, you’ll also hear from MC Juliana Pegues, DJ-2, Alexs Pate, Thien-bao Phi, Juliet Patterson and the Changmi Korean Dance Drum. You’ll also get the chance to partake in of authentic Korean hors’ d’ oeuvresres and listen to live karaoke.

The event was co-sponsored by the Loft, SASE the Write Place and MN Spoken Word Association.

• Sa Oct. 15, 7 p.m. Open Book, 1010 Washington Ave. S. Free. 215-2581.


Artists Shawn McNulty and Dave Whannel are seasoned bus riders (and probably have mastered other kinds of mass transit, too). They showcase the dynamics of mass transit — emphasis on the mass — on their monumental canvases.

McNulty and Whannel render passage via light rail, buses, bikes, cars and more (figuratively, not literally). Their pieces are textured, with uneven lines that act as a metaphor for uneven roads and varying circumstances. For example, can you pick out where the SUV picks a fight with a bus? Sparks from where the train turned corners are created with palette knife-carved streaks. Or, how about the bus that’s filled to capacity and the other that’s vacant?

How about that cab driver? Do you recognize him? There’s someone who just missed his bus, running to catch it at the next stop.

Whannel’s collage-style paintings even include some fragments taken directly from the streets. A sunburst form could be a tunnel while McNulty’s pieces can be viewed as aerial or micro views of the road. They appear more linear, as if traffic runs from left to right.

You could be watching the entire network of Metro Transit buses moving from stop to stop, or be seated inside the bus. Everything’s a brief figment — or a movie that passes outside your window.

• Tu-Su thru Oct. 31; Tu-Th noon-8 p.m., F-Su noon-5 p.m. Rosalux Gallery, 1011 Washington Ave. S. Free. 747-3942.

Deliberate Minneapolis tourist

Become a tourist in your own city. “Art on the Town” is a gallery crawl that celebrates the arts. This is a way to familiarize your self with the gallery scene. With your handy pocket guidebook that doubles as a passport, you’ll take a self-guided tour of local art venues.

Get your passport stamped by at least seven galleries for a chance to win original artwork. The grand prize is a $500 credit to go towards the purchase of artwork from any of the galleries that fall under the umbrella of the Twin Cities Fine Art Organization, a nonprofit that connects people to arts organizations.

First-prize recipients get a yearlong membership from nearby museums, while 1,000 winners will collect a signed and numbered lithograph of a vivid Michael Bartolas painting.

Framing and art supplies will also be awarded.

• Daily thru Oct. 16, various times Free. Check out for a complete schedule or call 423-9673.

You can reach Anna Pratt at