There’s a new cultural offering at Eden Prairie Center: a pop-up gallery hosted by the Performing Institute of Minnesota (PiM) Arts High School.
The PiM POPUP, which opened Nov. 25, is located in a retail space opposite the food court on the mall’s upper level, between Sandbox VR and American Eagle Outfitters. It will be open from 4 to 8 p.m. on Fridays and from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays until Feb. 26.
The space is designed to highlight the school’s performing arts education, as well as publicize its student performances and showcases. Visitors can pick up information about the school (located at 7255 Flying Cloud Drive in Eden Prairie) and talk to current students, parents, staff, and volunteers.
Rob Thompson, director of communications and development at PiM Arts, says, “The pop-up is a lot of fun, and it’s a great way for people to get to know who we are. We’ve been in Eden Prairie for six or seven years now, coming from Hopkins, and we want people to know that we’re here, and we’re part of their community.
“Everything that we do at PiM — our performances, our galleries — is open to the public. We’d like people to come and see these,” he said.
At the front of the space, visitors can view enjoy a showcase of vibrant and creative costumes and props from past theater productions, as well as watch clips of performances on large-screen televisions.
A gallery in the back of the space features student work, including paintings, drawings, sculptures, and photography, which will be changed regularly to display new and different work. Student digital and media work will also play on a screen in the gallery area, and Thompson said that one weekend in January, there will be a small film festival.
The space also features a “Humans of PiM” wall that highlights current students and alumni.
In addition to the gallery, student musicians will perform holiday and jazz music in the mall’s center court from 4 to 6 p.m. on Fridays. “Especially during the holiday, we thought this would be a great way to be exposed to some of the Eden Prairie community,” Thompson said.
Flying Cloud Winter Art Market
Although none of the student work at the pop-up is for sale, anyone interested in purchasing PiM student-created items is invited to attend its annual Flying Cloud Winter Art Market.
The market will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15, at the school’s White Box Theater, located at 7255 Flying Cloud Drive.
Thompson said, “This is a family event where students and staff sell their work in a market atmosphere. This year we will be featuring over 30 sellers!”
Products for sale include prints, pottery, wood-spun pens and bowls, T-shirts, patches, candles, jewelry, crochet hats, headbands, and more. Credit and debit card payments will be accepted.
“We will have a workshop to screen print your own PiM T-shirt, cider and cocoa, concessions and PiM merch from our boosters (supporting PiM Material Scholarships, which fund supplies for students submitting to galleries and competitions), activities for children, and tons of great handmade pieces for your holiday gifting,” Thompson said. “We hope to see you there!”
PiM Arts High is ‘open to everybody’
Thompson encouraged people interested in learning more about PiM to come to the pop-up, including students interested in attending the school.
He said prospective students don’t have to be experienced artists, musicians, or performers to attend. “The important thing to know is that we are a school that teaches these things,” he said. “Even if you’ve never been on stage before, if you have an interest and really love theater, this is a great place to come and learn how to do that.
“The same is true for dancing, and singing, and all of those things. The door is not closed to you if you don’t have experience,” he added.
PiM is a four-year public charter high school. Thompson said, “We’re open to everybody. The enrollment process is quite easy — you fill out a form online, submit some of your work, whether that’s a video of you singing or a digital portfolio of a couple of things you’ve drawn or painted.
“The arts teachers review that, and we might send you a couple of emails back and forth to get to know you a little bit, and then we place you in classes that will challenge you,” he said. “If you’ve been dancing forever, we’re not going to put you in an entry-level class, but if you’ve never been on stage, we’re going to teach you how to do all that.
“The barrier to entry is nothing — there’s no audition process. It’s like going to any other public high school,” he added.
Learn more about PiM Arts High School on its website and by visiting the PiM POPUP.
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