Transgender artist, musician, and performance artist Venus de Mars and poet Lynette Reini-Grandell present early and current music, visual art, and writing, exchanging views and reflecting on the complicated collaboration of their artistic lives that sometimes feels like jumping into a void with no precedent. Together, they talk about challenges and how art helps to ready themselves for the next leap. Venus de Mars is a multidisciplinary artist and musician, best known as a singer-songwriting transgender rock star and leader of the band All the Pretty Horses. De Mars is also one of the foundational artists for Rifle Sport Alternative Art Gallery, creating the iconic big blue doors that fronted on Hennepin Avenue and installations that included a Honda Civic art car parked halfway up the main staircase. A chance tax audit transformed h/ir into a champion of artists’ tax rights, after which the Venus de Mars Fund with Springboard for the Arts was established; you can read more about de Mars’ tax audit in sociologist Alison Gerber’s Narratively article (http://narrative.ly/how-to-make-it-as-an-artist/the-nightmare-audit-of-an-indie-artist/), and in a story by Marianne Combs on MPR (http://www.mprnews.org/story/2013/07/19/arts/demars-artist-tax-audit). De Mars is the recipient of multiple grants and awards, among them a Minnesota State Arts Board grant, a Bush Fellowship, and a Minnesota Music Award. An acoustic album produced by longtime collaborator Barb Morrison (Debbie Harry, Rufus Wainwright, Scissor Sisters, etc.) is expected in spring 2015. Lynette Reini-Grandell is a Pushcart-nominated writer based in Minneapolis whose first collection of poetry, Approaching the Gate, was published by Holy Cow! Press in October of 2014. Her work has appeared in Poetry City USA, It’s Animal but Merciful, The Understanding between Foxes and Light, MNArtists.org, Poetry Motel, Revolver, and Evergreen Chronicles, among others. Her poetry is part of an art installation in room 5D of the Carlton Arms Hotel in Manhattan. In Minneapolis, she performs regularly with the Bosso Poetry Company, a subsidiary of Bosso Enterprises, theoretically based in Big Lever, Wyoming. She also performs poems based on her Finnish heritage with Nordic roots performer Kari Tauring. This event is free (donations accepted) .
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