April/May 2011 InTown
Mod at MIA
What do an Eero Aarnio fiberglass chair and a Michael Graves toaster have in common? Both are household items designed by modern masters, and both will be on display May 19–October 30 at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. The exhibit will showcase design from 1945 to present, including work by Charles and Ray Eames, Harry Bertoia, Frank Gehry, Piero Fornasetti, and Jens Quistgaard. The combination of items from MIA’s permanent collection and others—such as three brooches designed by Bertoia, on loan from the collection that belonged to Minneapolis architect Ralph Rapson—will highlight playful post-war design, its use of new technology and materials, and the belief that good modern design improves quality of life. artsmia.org
There’s something uniquely Minnesotan about David Salmela’s work—his sense of form and practicality, his recognition that design is ultimately about “making great things happen in any situation, regardless of constraints,” and his small and remote architecture firm that consistently produces remarkable and internationally recognized results. The latest examination of his award-winning work, The Invisible Element of Place: The Architecture of David Salmela (University of Minnesota Press), by Thomas Fisher, professor and dean of the U’s College of Design, traces Salmela’s development as a designer. Fisher highlights such projects as Jackson Meadows, the Marine-on-St. Croix conservation community that became a national model; the breathtaking Streeter house in Deephaven, deemed “brilliantly designed” by the AIA jury that gave it the 2008 Housing Award; and a number of Minnesota cabins that brilliantly employ Salmela’s signature minimalism and environmental harmony. In all, 51 notable projects are featured, captured by photographer Peter Bastianelli-Kerze. A wonderful coffee-table book for anyone who appreciates architecture—especially Salmela’s mastery of Midwestern vernacular.
Steelroots at the Arb
Artist Steve Tobin creates roots—enormous, bronze, curvilinear forms, designed to evoke nature as well as our shared humanity. His Steelroots works have been exhibited internationally and at several venues in the United States. Now, Minnesotans have the opportunity to view 16 of his sculptures at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum through January 31, 2012. In “Steelroots: Touching Earth and Sky,” visitors can experience these massive metal works and how they change with the seasons. arboretum.umn.edu
Pretty in Pink
Are you seeing pink everywhere this spring? We are, too. There’s nowhere we love it more than in the showy and Zone-4 hardy hydrangea. The folks at Bailey Nurseries have helped out enormously with two new pretty-in-pink varieties: “Bella Anna,” an Annabelle hydrangea in the Endless Summer Collection that boasts magenta-pink florets that bloom all summer; and “Vanilla Strawberry,” a relative of the classic PeeGee that begins with creamy white blooms in midsummer then turns pink, strawberry red, and even burgundy as the weeks go by. Pick your own shade of pink hydrangea at Bachman’s or the 44th Street Nursery in Minneapolis.