This coming weekend prepare yourself for a true whirlwind of art in northeast Minneapolis. Celebrating its 19th year, Art-A-Whirl is presented by the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association and features hundreds of artists in over 60 locations.
For first timers wondering where to begin, the Northrup King Building is an excellent starting point. An immense complex made up of 10 buildings, it was a seed company before its current incarnation; a person could spend an entire day of Art-A-Whirl in this one space. In artists’ studios and gallery spaces, a person will find every possible type of art from encaustics (hot wax painting that dates back to the ancient Egyptians), sculpture, fiber, painting, woodworking, jewelry, and more.
If you have ever wanted to visit an old coffin-making factory, then the Casket Arts Building and Carriage House offers more history and further studio and gallery spaces. Grain Belt Studios offers another glimpse into Minneapolis’ past but exhibits the modern aesthetic of its current inhabitants. Within walking distance of many of the larger buildings are small galleries or even private homes where artists open their doors to the public. After you take the time to explore, perhaps you will find that perfect piece of art to enliven your home or office.
If you plan to drive, it is recommended to arrive early on Saturday and Sunday. Otherwise, help yourself to the Nice Ride bikes or free rides on Metro Transit if you present an easy to print pass from the Art-A-Whirl website. There is also a trolley/shuttle service, though at peak times the wait can be long.
For food, dine in one of northeast Minneapolis’ amazing restaurants that offer everything from burgers to falafel, try a local brewpub for refreshment, or visit one of the many food trucks that will be scattered about near studio buildings.
Visit the Art-A-Whirl website at for maps, frequently asked questions, and individual information on over 500 artists.
Image via: Art-A-Whirl Facebook Page