This is my first Art-a-Whirl as a full-fledged Northeast resident, and I have to admit the festive atmosphere was contagious. Good press and good weather seemed to draw out the crowds once again for this Northeast Minneapolis Arts extravaganza. I remember attending about ten years ago and being overwhelmed, but it seems to have reached new heights not only with the number of artists and locations participating, but also the amount of music, performances and parties. (What would NE be without the trains.)
There are a massive number of options at Art-a-Whirl. The California Building has been the anchor and around for more than 20 years as an artists hub; then the Northrup King just exploded about five years ago and now boast a huge number of studios in one building; and now the new kid on the block is the Casket Arts Building, in the Northwestern Casket Company building on Madison and 17th. The building is owned by the same couple than owns the California Building, which can only mean good things. (Their motto is "Where you can work in eternal peace.")
Of course the epicenter of my activities was Eleanor's studio at Northrup King. I spent most of Friday night there, and when things wrapped up we headed over to the Casket Arts Building to check out the VitaMN party. After a cup of Grain Belt and attempting to look like scenesters, we headed over to Psycho Suzies to chow down on a pizza and chug some fancy drinks.
Saturday I went back to the Casket Arts building to check out Deborah Jinza Thayer's performance that she was doing in someone's studio. Here's how the performance started, and finished. Deborah's great. Don't miss an opportunity to see her work.
I also picked up this awesome t-shirt designed by Margarita Faustino. It was from a print that was in a show at One on One Bike Shop a few months ago. (I wish I looked as good in the t-shirt!)Then I headed to NKB to check in with the artist. Things can get a little crazy with so many people in your studio.
I walked around and checked out the places on Quincy and caught some drumming.
We ended our NE Saturday by busting into the Modern Cafe with everyone else and having some great food. (Me: roasted chicken with morels. Eleanor: nettle ravioli.) The temperature did some serious dropping, so the bike ride home at 11:00pm was a little chilly!
The Art-a-Whirl continued on Sunday, but alas, I spend my Sundays working for the man.