Golden Valley Girl and the Bouncing Girls

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    photo credit – Joe Stradinger
    I, like many other Minnesotans, ventured out to the State Fair last week. Among the usual draws at the fair – Pronto Pups, Mini Doughnuts, Cheese Curds… and the like, I discovered something totally new and exciting.
    While I was making my way from the Midway to the Dairy Barns. I crossed paths with The Saint Paul Bouncing team.  They were the most vertical attraction of a parade that went through the main drag and I was immediately captivated by the high-flying act.
    Everyone knows that the best superpower  would be to fly, and that is exactly what the Saint Paul Bouncing team gets to do. They have been flipping, spinning, and twirling in mid air since 1886 and the tradition is still going strong.
    Watching them do their act at the fair was fun, but knowing that they hold open auditions every year made me even more excited. The requirements for people who wish to try out as a flyer are pretty simple – you have to be less than 120 pounds  (well, maybe not so simple after hanging out at the fair)   and you have to be flexible.
    If you make the team  there is one other competitive aspect to their season  – tryouts for the St. Paul Winter Carnival. At the carnival there is a competition to be The St. Paul Bouncing Girl. This title is prestigious and allows you to be queen of the Carnival, you can go from “One…Two…Up She Goes” to royalty with a simple flip or a spin.
    As an ex gymnast myself (my ex inner gymnast told me to forget that it had been a dozen years since flipping on balance beams) I loved the idea of picking up a new hobby that is fun, exciting and as far from the college bar hopping scene dominating my  campus, as possible.
    For more information on the club, when they will be making appearances, their history, and how you can get a hold of their very cool trading cards visit them here or look them up on Facebook.  Somehow they even manage to tweet in between flips.
    Personally, I can’t wait to see who has the best act at the Winter Carnival this year
    Thanks to our intern, Callan DeBruyn, aka Golden Valley Girl, for her help this summer with blog posts and social media tips.  She has returned to Boston for her Sophomore year at Northeastern but we suspect she will be back for try-outs in December.

Fairs, Circuses and All Things Fun

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It’s Minnesota State Fair Time! I love an excuse to eat some crazy food and mingle with the great people of our diverse state.  Since I am a bit of history nerd I was really excited to hear that one of St. Paul’s biggest celebrities, James J. Hill, used to lend the best pieces from his private art collection to be displayed at the State Fair’s J.V. Bailey House for all of Minnesota to see.

My excitement doubled when I heard the Minnesota Museum of American Art, (St. Paul’s only art museum) is carrying on that tradition with their Fairs, Circuses and All Things Fun exhibit in the exact same historic home on Cooper Street and Cosgrove.

This all ages, crowd pleasing show will make you and the whole family smile and it brings to life all the reasons we love to go to the State Fair or similar events.  Don’t miss the fantastic kinetic sculpture, Shoe Fly, by Norman Andersen and get inspiration on how to use leftover egg cartons from Clement Haupers’, frame of the painting Vulcan Victory.  Read the labels carefully and see just how many Minnesotan artists are represented, one more reason to be a proud Minnesotan!

Hope to see you there, the exhibit was created special just for the State Fair, so don’t miss out!  Make sure to send pictures and comments to the MMAA and the St. Paul Spot, we’d love to know what you think. In addition, MMAA will participate in the Fine Arts Exhibition by including three paintings by Minnesota artists in the special show Marking Time: Looking Back at Minnesota Artists and the Juried Exhibition, located in the Fine Arts building near machinery hill.

Happy Fair Days!

-Minnesota Museum of American Art

P.S. Catch gallery talks at JV Bailey house exhibit:
– Thursday, August 25, 5 and 6 p.m.
– Wednesday, August 31, 5 and 6 p.m.
– Friday, September 2, 1 and 2 p.m.

Guest blogger from MMAA, Shelby Matula

St Paul’s got talent

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St. Paul artists are well represented at this year’s juried Minnesota State Fair art show.  Here is a sampling of St. Paul talent.   To experience the show without the distraction of reflecting lights and glass (but with the distraction of hundreds of elbowing state fair visitors and whatever weather conditions may be dictating the building’s unconditioned space),  walk to the north-eastern  ends of the fairground.  Afterwards you can rest up with a milkshake and a corn dog, then proceed to the Green Living expo.