Art-A-Whirl at a Glance: A Concentrated Guide to Northeast

Categories: Art, l'etoile

For those of you who want the condensed info on the must-see buildings and areas during Art-A-Whirl, look no further. This handy-dandy guide will clue you in on destinations that hold the highest amount of concentrated fun and visual stimuli. Don't forget to check l'etoile's full guide to Art-A-Whirl special events!


Housed in what used to be an actual casket manufacturing plant, the Casket Arts Building is a relative newcomer to the Northeast Arts District, having been renovated only a few years ago. Here you'll find over 100 resident artists as well as a number of guest artists. Highlights include Flocked: A Wallpaper Project, a pattern-themed installation created by dozens of buzzworthy locals; Pete Driessen's Gorgonica exhibit which features a fleet of mixed media ship sculptures, fifteen marching soft-water tanks, and a full scale Optimist Dinghy; contemporary photography and paintings in the studio of awesome local filmmaker Mark Wojahn; not to mention, cute lobby lounges on each floor where you can rest your weary feet -- and of course plenty of live music, demos and surprises throughout the weekend. Located at 681 17th Avenue NE.

Click HERE for more info on Casket Arts


One of Northeast's staple arts buildings, the California houses over 80 amazing painters, sculptors, jewelry makers, mixed media artists and more. Aside from the tasty treats you can procure from the adjacent Mill City Cafe (we suggest the Cuban sandwich!) we recommend popping into the building's first floor art gallery for a peek at the recently opened Brock Davis exhibit, which features work from the much-talked-about "Make Something Cool Every Day" project -- a project that encouraged artists globally to make a piece of original art every day for a year -- Davis was the only one to complete the project! We'd also suggest a stop into painter Doug Padilla's studio, always a great spot for colorful art and cool art scene stories from days of yore. Other l'etoile faves such as Aldo Moroni, Robyne Robinson, Kendall Bohn, Susan Opitz and many more have studios in the building. Located at 2205 California St. NE.

Click HERE for more info on the California Building


Ah, the birthplace of Art-A-Whirl. Long ago (15 years to be exact) a handful of spunky artists at the ye olde Thorp had a crazy idea: a building-wide studio crawl lovingly dubbed "Art-A-Whirl." Well, that little seed that was planted so many years ago has now blossomed into a full-fledged, neighborhood-wide extravaganza of epic proportions. An extravaganza that has single-handedly transformed the landscape of Northeast Minneapolis from a cozy neighborhood into what is now the art capital of Minnesota. Highlights at this legendary building include a HUGE Friday night party featuring live art, outdoor projections, a fashion show, exhibits, open studios, beer, music, and oh-so-much more. The party continues throughout the weekend with live music and performances the Freight elevator, carefully curated by Thorp O.G., Mean Larry. Be sure to check out the studios of l'etoile faves Dave Sollie, Kerry Riley, The Lab Digital Imaging, and Scott Nedrelow -- who will be debuting his collaboration with Ruben Nusz entitled Location the first in a series of limited edition artists' books featuring idea-based work in all media; essentially a well-curated quarterly gallery exhibit in book format. The Thorp Building is located at 1618 Central Avenue (in the same building as Diamond's Coffee Shop). AAW at the Thorp is co-sponsored by l'etoile!

Click HERE for more info on the Thorp Building


There's plenty going on in and around the Bottling House and the Keg House this Art-A-Whirl! Droves of awesome artists await you at these historic hot spots on the edge of the district. Stop into the MNFashion studio to see a fashion photography exhibit, or take a spin through the Bottling House atrium to check out a slew of guest artists on display. We especially love Grainbelt artist Lynn Speaker's signature gunpowder-blast art pieces and Caitlin Karolczak's surreal oil painted creatures. On the edge of the parking lot, behind the Bottling House, you'll also find the stand-alone studio building of artist Nick Legeros, whose amazingly crafted bronze sculptures grace many local landmarks. If you're lucky, you may even catch Nick casting something live in his studio! Just a hop, skip and a jump down from all the 13th Avenue hoopla, the Grainbelt buildings are a must-stop on your AAW itinerary. Located at 79 E. 13th Avenue NE.

Click HERE for more info on the Grainbelt Studios

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