Largest Picture Made of Lite-Brite
From the blocky, 8-bit look of retro video games to the resurgence of minimal synthpop, lo-fi technology has been making a comeback. The latest dip into nostalgia comes courtesy of Ta-coumba Aiken’s Lite-Brite installation opening in St. Paul’s Union Station. The Lowertown artist hopes to break a Guinness World Record by creating the world’s largest Lite-Brite picture using 500,000 Lite-Brite pegs, spanning 12-by-24 feet. The opening kicks off Minnesota Idea Open’s Forever St. Paul competition, a revitalization initiative that offers a $1 million prize for the best concept. Opening-day activities include super-sized games, live music, food, an official lighting ceremony hosted by Mayor Chris Coleman and a Guinness judge, and the chance to be part of history by adding the final Lite-Brite pegs before the switch is flipped. (3 p.m. Sat. Free. Union Depot, 214 E. 4th St., St. Paul. www.uniondepot.org.) JAHNA PELOQUIN
‘Henry (hearts) MPLS’
In his hometown, Ryan Henry Ward is known simply as Henry — “Seattle’s most prolific muralist,” according to the Seattle Weekly. More than 120 of his murals cover the Rainy City landscape, meaning you pretty much can’t walk 50 feet without bumping into his cast of colorful, whimsical characters like the Quadropus (an octopus with only four tentacles), guitar-playing unicorns and Sasquatch. This month, he set up shop at Minneapolis’ Cult Status Gallery, producing 20 paintings in the first 10 days alone. Expect to see more of Ward — during his short time in town, he’s already been commissioned for a few murals in the Twin Cities. (Free opening reception 7 p.m.-1 a.m. Sat. Ends March 1. Cult Status Gallery, 2913 Harriet Av. S., Mpls. 612-965-9162. www.cultstatusgallery.com.) J.P.
‘The Icebox Years: Howard M. Christopherson’
Now a sprawling home to the Twin Cities art community, Northeast was once just a shabby, working-class neighborhood. That was about 25 years ago, when photographer Howard Christopherson moved his Icebox Studio there from downtown Minneapolis. He soon added a gallery and framing business, and set about promoting the area by helping to launch Art-A-Whirl. In a fit of nostalgia, Christopherson is throwing up a sample of his own art spanning the past 25 years, mostly classic black-and-white photos from the Midwest and his exotic travels with maybe a bit of sculpture and some frisky nudes. Whatever shows up, count on a good time. (Free opening reception 8-11 p.m. Sat. Icebox Gallery, 1500 NE. Jackson St., Mpls. Ends April 20, free. 612-788-1790 or www.iceboxminnesota.com.) MARY ABBE