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Sunsets, wanderlust, and longing for a home: This week's top art happenings

Alyssa Bagus

Alyssa Bagus

Gallery talks about journalism, memory, trauma, and endings; digital interventions that turn travel on its head; sunset watching: Get ready to have your mind blown this week.

Jonathan Herrera Soto

Jonathan Herrera Soto

Jonathan Herrera Soto: In Between / Underneath

Where it's at: Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis

What it's about: For this solo exhibition, Minnesota artist Jonathan Herrera Soto explores issues surrounding freedom of the press. Herrera Soto has created stenciled portraits of missing and murdered Mexican journalists using a mud mixture made from unfired clay, charcoal, soil, and ashes. The resulting works are displayed on the floor, and are designed to be stepped on. The show also includes collograph prints of the artist's own clothes, and a series of charcoal rubbings called “Love Poem.”

Why you should go: This solo show, which is part of the Minnesota Artist Exhibition Program (MAEP), confronts the dangers journalists face both in Mexico and the U.S. Thursday's event will include a talk at 7 p.m. with journalist Steve Fisher, who has done in-depth reporting on human rights in Mexico, including the kidnapping of 43 students in Iguala in 2014. The talk is a chance to go a bit deeper into the issues raised in Fisher and Herrera Soto’s work.

When: 6-9 p.m. Thursday

Sunset Practice

Sunset Practice

Sunset Practice with Peng Wu

Where it's at: MFA at MCAD, 2201 First Ave. S., Minneapolis

What it's about: In conjunction with the closing of “25: MCAD MFA Alumni Exhibit,” Peng Wu guides participants on a social practice experiment that builds on his recent residency at the Weisman Art Museum.

Why you should go: Seems simple, right? Find the nearest window and observe the sunset. Well, yes, but this can turn into a deeper, more connected experience. You’ll also be asked to consider how the sun setting is connected to research about sleep, and how our relationship with the sun is integral to getting a good night's rest.

When: 8:30-9:30 p.m. Friday

Alyssa Bagus

Alyssa Bagus

System Settings

Where it's at: Department of Art History Gallery at St. Thomas, 2115 Summit Ave., St. Paul

What it's about: Artist Alyssa Baguss considers wanderlust -- that irresistible impulse to travel and explore -- in this exhibition at St. Thomas. Using digital technology, which she manipulates in physical space, Baguss plays on the notion of travel as well as our addiction to screens. The work is beautiful and has a sense of humor.

Why you should go: Friday is the last day to catch this exhibition, so stop in if you can.

When: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday

SooVAC

SooVAC

In Conversation with Essma Imady and Torey Erin

Where it's at: Soo Visual Arts Center, 2909 Bryant Ave. S., Suite 101, Minneapolis

What it's about: Artists Essma Imady and Torey Erin will talk about their respective exhibitions, which both navigate themes of loss and memory, at SooVAC. In “Muscle Memory, Syrian Homecomings,” Imady uses video, sculpture, human hair, prayer rugs, and other objects to grapple with the notion of distance, estrangement from the sense of home, and trauma that lives in the body. Torey Erin's haunting “Seeming,” features sculptural works that carry with them a sense of otherworldliness, and feature “ash capsules,” drawn from her late grandmother's ash burial in a curling rock. There's also a delightfully curious video to be viewed through a peephole.

Why you should go: In this conversation, Imady and Erin will open up about their process to create these two very personal bodies of work. Their art is compelling and sometimes surprising, and you’ll find that there's some interesting connections between the two shows.

When: 1:30-3 p.m. Saturday