A few weeks ago my friend Marisa and I attended the Art Crawl in Saint Paul, and this weekend I joined my friends Steve and Todd at Art-A-Whirl, the art crawl held each year on the third weekend of May in Northeast Minneapolis. This was my first year attending Art-A-Whirl, and we got there a bit late so we were limited as to how many studios we were able see.
The old Grain Belt Brewery is one of the most beautiful buildings
in Northeast Minneapolis.
We had inadvertently started at the least busy area, and by the time we had reached the section with most of the artists it was nearing closing time, but now we know which locations to spend our time at in the future.
Northeast is the oldest area in Minneapolis. It began as a separate city named St. Anthony (not to be confused with the current cities of St. Anthony and St, Anthony Park) along the east bank of the Mississippi River, near St. Anthony Falls. The area grew as a milling community and was eventually merged with Minneapolis in 1872. Over the next several decades, many industrial and manufacturing companies would come call Northeast home.
This painting is of a coffee house near where I live in Uptown.
Steve and Todd getting ideas for remodeling their new house.
I love this old typewriter.
Today many of these manufacturing building – most noted the Northrup King Building, the Thorp Building and the Casket Arts Building - are home to hundreds of local artist’s lofts and studios, and Minneapolis officially recognized the area as the Arts District in 2003. Today the Art-A-Whirl art crawl, run by the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (NEMAA), encompasses more than 400 art studios.
The area is home to many ethnic churches including
St. Mary's Orthodox Cathedral.
This was my first year attending the event, and I will definitely go back. Now that I know which areas have the most studios to see, it will make planning the day much easier. I will also need to make sure I get there earlier so that I have time to see everything. If you love art, and like supporting local artists, you will want to check out Art-A-Whirl, as it’s an event not to be missed. See you next May!
***Do you have local art crawls in your community?