On behalf of the Uptown Association, welcome to the 45th Annual Uptown Art Fair! We’re proud of our top quality juried street art fair, and would like to share some interesting facts
The Uptown Art Fair began in 1963 as a small neighborhood event to raise awareness of the arts while raising money for Uptown projects such as extra security officers, sidewalk cleaning, and street lighting. That first year was a tough one, but thanks to the persistence of the organizers and exhibitors, as well as the generosity of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, we held on, despite the fact that organizers practically had to beg people to attend.
The Uptown Art Fair grew by word-of-mouth, and the following year, 75,000 people attended to view the work of 75 artists. The crowd was great; some of the artwork—not so much. With such a wide disparity of art (artists were allowed in on a first-come, first-served basis), and a bottom line with little wiggle room, it looked like the fair would soon go the way of the dinosaur.
The Art Fair held on year after year but continued to hit roadblocks. When pet rocks started to take precedence over professional paintings, organizers realized—with a growing sense of frustration—that they couldn’t maintain the original mission of the fair: to bring quality art to the people.
In 1985, under new direction of the Uptown Association (created as a merchant’s association in the Uptown commercial district), a jury committee was formed to set standards for new applicants. Artists would no longer be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. They would have to apply to the show and meet certain requirements regarding impact, originality, intention, and craftsmanship (so long, pet rocks). The juried process greatly improved the quality of the art—along with the overall caliber of the fair—and is one of the primary reasons the Uptown Art Fair has climbed the ranks to become one of the top 10 fine arts festivals in the country.
Other reasons our fair is one of the best in the country:
We hope you have a great time at the Uptown Art Fair!
The Uptown Art Fair Steering Committee
For more information, visit www.uptownminneapolis.com/art-fair.
1406 W. Lake Street
Minneapolis, MN 55408