Twin Spirits Distillery was a welcome refuge from the cold Friday night as people packed into the cozy establishment for “Making Strange Microshow.”
Hosted by A Conspiracy of Strange Girls, a Minneapolis-based arts collective, the small show featured three members of the collective: Courtney Thomas, Remedy Rook and Samantha Leopold-Sullivan.
A Conspiracy of Strange Girls, created in 2016, is a value-based arts organization made up of people who identify as “strange girls.” The goal of the collective is to support fellow creatives by providing a community and opportunities for each other.
According to Strange Girls board member Danielle Pebbles, the goal of the microshow was to get members of the eclectic collective working together. Pebbles hopes to have a show every couple of months.
Friday night’s show incorporated multiple art mediums. Each of the three creatives brought their own artistic flair to the intimate exhibit.
Thomas, a self-taught illustrator, showcased multiple illustrations inspired by and highlighting women. One of her pieces featured a young woman participating in Shibari, the art of Japanese rope bondage. Thomas explained that symbolism is something she uses a lot in her art, and that for her, the Shibari piece represents empowerment.
“It’s a very beautiful expression, and I love the subversive idea of it being something empowering when consent is involved,” she said of the illustration.
Rook, a creative jack-of-all-trades and tattoo artist at The Ink Lab in Minneapolis, showcased a few harvest-themed pieces made of wood and handmade papers. What began as a love for nature, pushing her into the field of biology, eventually manifested in Rook’s passion for art.
“Before I started studying art, I studied environmental biology, and I don’t know at what point I made the decision, but it just became clear that art was what I was supposed to do,” she said.
Leopold-Sullivan, a sculptor and occasional art teacher, exhibited a couple of her unique sculptures using fabric as her medium. She uses her art as a tool to provoke reflection and questioning within the viewer.
“I draw my inspiration largely from within. I’m making what I call emotional bodies, exploring what form an emotion takes when you bring it outside of yourself,” Leopold-Sullivan said.
To say the show was a success would be an understatement. There wasn’t an empty seat in the house when the event started, and there was a constant flow of new faces pouring through the distillery all night.
According to Rook, the microshow is a great opportunity for members of the collective to come together over a night of fine art.
“It’s really satisfying to come together with other people who are making pieces I would consider to fall into that [fine art] category and just collectively produce something,” she said.