Art a whirl!!

If you live in the twin cities, you must do Art a Whirl.  It is a blast!!  It’s held every third weekend in May in Northeast Minneapolis, rain or shine.  I have been at least one other time but I had no idea how big this thing really was .  Until today.  Miss M wanted to go with some friends and hubby’s band was playing in the afternoon. So I drove three teenagers to the fair.  They went their own way and I had two hours to explore on my own!  Oh, the fun.  It really was fun!

I googled Art a Whirl before heading out to the fair and happened upon this website chock full of information.  Apparently this has been going on for 20 years, unbeknownst to me.  Until today!  From this website I learned there are two information booths with directories of all the artists and where to find them.  So I headed towards one of them and saw interesting things along the way. I also learned to look for the large red circles.  When you see one that means there’s art inside.  I saw several on my walk to the information booth.  When I got there I heard one volunteer telling an art a whirler that the building just across the parking lot is a good place to start. So I took that advice and headed into the Grain Belt Bottling Building, which is an individually designated historic structure, thus dubbed by the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Committee.  It’s a cool old building that is now being used for artists’ studios.  Wow, this place was incredible, both because of its size and the overwhelming amount of art contained within.  In the galleries below are just some of what I saw.  Click on any photo in any gallery to see larger images.

Since my head was full of art, I decided to take a break and headed back to the New City School where hubby’s band was going to play.  I sat on the steps of the school and checked out my artist directory a little more.  There were many venues all over Northeast Minneapolis, one of which was several blocks to the north.  After I had rested a bit,  I went off on another adventure.  This time it was through a residential neighborhood and I passed several nice gardens and plenty of things are blooming right now.  I did stop to smell the lilacs along the way.  My destination was the East Side Neighborhood Services building. They just happened to be celebrating 100 years of service in the area and there was a huge cake that visitors could enjoy.  Inside were 18 artists displaying their works.

Teenagers sitting on the climbing thing for smaller kids.  I also spotted several areas that had kids’ activities.  Fun for the whole family!


Finally, the band we came to see.  The Vorpel Swords sounded great and you could tell that they were really enjoying themselves. Makes for a fun show.

A really fun day and I barely scratched the surface!  And the weather cooperated too. It was about 75 degrees and mostly cloudy but it didn’t rain!  I realized at the end of the day that the free trolley takes you to just about all of the places that are displaying artworks.  Next year I’m taking the trolley to go see other buildings that I didn’t get to today.  What a great way to spend a nice, spring afternoon.  Highly recommended.  Just go. You’ll be glad you did.


Filed under Minnesota, Writing

7 responses to “Art a whirl!!

  1. Love the outing, concept and pictures.

  2. What a glorious day! Thanks for taking us along, Toby. I need to get our of the house more. Happy Sunday. :-D

  3. Barneysday

    We attended a community-wide art show last year that was wonderful. I take my works to local craft shows, but it would be great to see larger gatherings in public arenas so that more people could participate, on both sides of the aisle. Thanks for sharing a great story.

  4. Pingback: My 4th blogoversary!! | travels with toby

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