Artist Profile: The Iconic Illustrations of Mark Herman

Mark Herman’s bright sunlit Minneapolis studio is covered in prints, sketchbooks, and miscellaneous artworks he’s thought up over the years. We’re sitting back in his cozy office, which is lined with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves stuffed with photographs, mementos, some of his own artwork, and books that he ironically doesn’t touch. “I’m a terrible student—horribly dyslexic, barely … [ Read more]

St. Paul artist Michael Iver Jacobsen named Surly’s 2018 Featured Artist

More than 120 artists threw their work in the ring to be this year’s featured artist for Surly Brewing Company. The winner: March 2017 Growler cover artist (and the artist behind the illustrations in the September issue’s Field Guide to Cider), Michael Iver Jacobsen. Jacobsen created the artwork for this year’s Darkness label (and the three Darkness … [ Read more]

Matt Osterman’s “Hover” is a Heartland Horror story

Drones are as accessible as iPhones these days. Anyone can get their hands on one—to take videos, race, or simply enjoy as a toy. Minnesota filmmaker and director Matt Osterman’s latest work, “Hover,” takes this technological phenomena one step further and explores a not-too-distant future where drones are used for a more sinister purpose. Osterman, 40, … [ Read more]

Through Diversity and Collaboration, TU Dance Continues to Defy Definition

Somewhere beyond the confines of ballet and other genres of dance resides contemporary dance—an artistic expression fluctuating between cadenced and arrhythmic motion, which ignores traditional boundaries and evades simple categorization. For the last 15 years, this universe of dance has been embodied—and expanded—by St. Paul, Minnesota-based company TU Dance. TU Dance was founded in 2004 by … [ Read more]

Not Just a Happy Apple: Mike Lewis on John Prine, Bon Iver, and his very own music

How the hell can a person go to work in the morning and come home in the evening and have nothing to say?”  That’s singer/songwriter John Prine. Well, that’s Mike Lewis quoting Prine’s song “Angel From Montgomery” while sitting next to me at a countertop. We’re nearing the end of an hour-long conversation, and I’ve … [ Read more]

Pop music and classical opera meet picnic-on-a-farm with Picnic Operetta

Unlikely pairings can lead to uniquely satisfying outcomes: whiskey chased with pickle brine, Lady Gaga duetting with Tony Bennett, cronuts. This concept is familiar territory to Scotty Reynolds, who has not only embraced it but created an entirely new artistic enterprise from it in Picnic Operetta. Juxtaposing classical music, pop music, a five-course picnic, and environmental … [ Read more]

A lesson in drag at Guthrie Theater

It takes more than putting on a dress and squeezing into nylons and high heels to be a true drag queen. You have to know the history of it, the community of it, the art of it. You have to know who you are and who you’re hoping to become. You have to commit to … [ Read more]

“100 Years and Counting”: The next chapter of the Minnesota Museum of American Art

Racks stuffed with paintings, shelves holding all shapes and sizes of sculptures, and artist-designed furniture fill a fluorescent-lit warehouse. The sheer amount of art packed into this single room is nearly impossible to take in; to the untrained eye, it looks random and chaotic. But for the staff of the Minnesota Museum of American Art, … [ Read more]

Smaller Towns, Vibrant Sounds: Exploring the music scenes of Greater Minnesota

Some music venues advertise thousands of seats and state-of-the-art light shows. Others double as sports arenas. And then there are those that offer pottery classes or operate out of someone’s living room. While the Twin Cities house some of the state’s most iconic music venues, Minnesota’s small towns are the perfect places for discovering vibrant … [ Read more]

Best in Show: Four State Fair judges reveal what it takes to bring home a ribbon

Most people associate the Minnesota State Fair with seas of sweaty bodies, rickety Mighty Midway rides, and the inevitable fried food hangover induced by delicacies like Pronto Pups, cheese curds, and a beautiful union resulting in something called the “Pizzarito.” Yet its core purpose remains the same after more than 150 years: to celebrate the … [ Read more]

We Could Be (Feline) Heroes: Bowie fans and cat lovers come together for 14th annual fundraiser concert

Since 2004, local musicians have filled First Avenue’s Mainroom for one night a year to celebrate David Bowie—and cats. Rock For Pussy is now in its 14th year, and although the event has grown since its inception, its goals remain the same: to raise money for Feline Rescue, a Minnesota-based no-kill cat shelter, and to … [ Read more]

Artist Profile: Niky Motekallem

The ways in which humans interact with animals are far-reaching. From beloved pets to filtering additives for beer to grilled steaks on our dinner plates, we have deep, dependent relationships with the animals in our ecosystem. Illustrator Niky Motekallem displays her love for nature in her art, which is filled with colorful, kaleidoscopic renderings of … [ Read more]

Todd Glass pushes back on the idea of PC culture ruining comedy

Todd Glass isn’t afraid to speak his mind. With a career spanning more than three decades, the comedian has performed all over the world, sharing his observations, insights, and absurdities with audiences of all ages and backgrounds. His most recent Netflix special was released in January to overwhelmingly positive reviews, and his podcast, “The Todd … [ Read more]

PHOTOS: Rock The Garden 2018

Rock The Garden 2018 has come and gone. If you were there, you know it was hot, sweaty, and an exhaustingly fun time. If you missed it, or just want to reminisce, The Growler’s got you covered. Our photographer was there (regrettably wearing a black shirt, and black pants) and captured the tropically humid music … [ Read more]

Superior Sounds: Great summer concerts along the shores of the greatest Great Lake

Summer in the Upper Midwest—so much to do, so little time! Like any other Minnesotan, I enjoy hopping a plane to somewhere warmer for a week or so in the winter, but summer is the perfect time to enjoy local offerings out on the open road. Some vacation for leisure; others for adventure. I always … [ Read more]