This weekend, the Twin Cities will transform into an art mecca for artists and enthusiasts from around the country. Nearly 700 artists with booths at the Uptown Art Fair, Loring Park Art Festival, and Powderhorn Art Fair will draw hundreds of thousands to the area for food, entertainment, and, of course, world-class art.
The annual triple blessing comes with a catch: you only have three days to take it all in. In other words, go with a game plan. We’ve put together some highlights from each fair to make these choices a bit easier for you. But with Metro Transit’s free transportation to the fairs, why not hit all three?
Uptown Art Fair, August 3-5
- Size: This is the biggest of the three art fairs with 360 artists from around the world. It also has an attendance second only to the Minnesota State Fair.
- Competition: Uptown hosts a highly competitive juried art fair spanning everything from glass, to woodwork, to jewelry.
- Food as art: Check out the Kitchen Window Culinary Arts Competition, where the Cities’ hottest chefs use art as inspiration for their culinary creations.
- Entertainment: The range of acts that’ll hit the performance stage is impressive. They’ve booked everyone from cloggers, to gospel singers, to pop-rock bands and comedians.
Powderhorn Art Fair, August 4 & 5
- Variety: From jewelry, to fiber, to digital art, Powderhorn boasts an array of media from its 184 artists.
- Kid-friendly: With a puppet show, a large youth art exhibit (made entirely of coffee and milk), and one of Keys 4/4 Kids’ “Pianos on Parade,” this fair is an ideal stop for young families.
- Eco-conscious: Bring your own water bottle to this fair. This year, they’ve stopped selling water bottles and put in additional water fountains to reduce waste.
- Food: Fair food = good food. But Powderhorn takes it to the next level with its multicultural assortment of food vendors. Tamales? Curry chicken? Funnel cake? They’ve got it all.
Loring Park Art Festival, August 4 & 5
- Location: The fair is just steps from the Walker Art Center and the Basilica of St. Mary in the heart of the city.
- Quality: Loring strives to attract a “sophisticated urban audience” by bringing in top-notch work, year after year.
- Compact: This is the smallest of the three weekend fairs (140 artists will show their work), making it easier to navigate.
- Fashion finds: Stop by Loring for art you can wear. With the festival’s leather, jewelry, and fiber (wearable) categories, you might find the next addition to your wardrobe.