Minneapolis Art Weekend

In my world, there are a few activities that I feel I have to participate in before I can say I had a truly Minnesotan summer. A weekend up north, catching a Twins game, attending the “Great Minnesota Get-Together,” and having a weekend filled with all things art. This is that weekend. Starting Friday, artists and art lovers alike will be flooding the city, as the Uptown Art Fair, Loring Park Art Festival and the Powderhorn Art Fair are all taking place in Minneapolis. Here’s a closer look at the festivities.

Uptown Art Fair: Aug. 3-5
Friday: noon-8 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Hennepin Ave. from 28th St. to 31st St. and “The Mall”

The winner of nearly 100 International Festivals and Events Association Pinnacle Awards, the Uptown Art Fair is the largest affair of the three, seeing an average of 375,000 attendees each year. In fact, the only event that surpasses it in statewide attendance is the Minnesota State Fair. This year, 350 artists from around the world will display their work, ranging from limited edition to one-of-a-kind pieces that fall into one of 12 media categories, including sculpture, painting, glass, jewelry, and mixed media. While it may be the center of it, browsing through artwork definitely isn’t the only thing to do at the fair. Entertainment will be virtually non-stop, with performances ranging from Middle Eastern belly dancing to slam poetry to magicians. Other event highlights include watching local chefs and artists pair up to compete in the Kitchen Window Culinary Arts Competition, participating in interactive activities at the Family Imagination Station, sampling from 20 different food and beverage vendors, and participating in a community mural.

Photo Courtesy of
Loring Park Art Festival

Loring Park Art Festival: Aug. 4 & 5
Saturday: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
At the corner of Oak Grove St. and Hennepin Ave., across from Walker Art Center

Founded by three area artists, the Loring Park Art Festival’s goal is to offer something for everybody, providing a variety of styles, types of media and price ranges. This year more than 140 artists will display original pieces, in categories such as photography, printmaking, fiber, metal, and paper. Strolling musicians will entertain attendees, as well as nine other performers that will have shows over the weekend. If you’re feeling musical yourself, hit the keys of one of the artist-decorated Pianos on Parade that’s located in the park. New to the event this year is a Quick Draw competition, in which artists pick a location in the park to station themselves and then have two hours to complete a piece with a subject matter related to the area, before being displayed and judged.  

Powderhorn Art Festival: Aug. 4 & 5
Saturday: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Between Chicago Ave. and Bloomington Ave., and between E. Lake St. and E. 35th St.

Located in a 66-acre park, Powderhorn Art Fair features 184 regional and national artists. This community-centered event is the result of the combined efforts of the Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. In addition to main exhibitors, local artists can participate less formally in a community showcase, while others can choose to display their pieces together in a group exhibition. This family-friendly fair will also feature children’s activities, performances, acoustic music, and a reading from a local children’s author. A unique feature of this year’s event will be a replica of Spoonbridge and Cherry, made from 3,500 coffee cups and 71 gallons of milk, to commemorate CityKid Java’s 10th anniversary.

Can’t decide between fairs? Hit all three. Metro Transit is offering free rides to all of the festivals on Saturday and Sunday. Just download the pass, use the online Trip Planner to find the fastest route, and then hop on the nearest bus or light rail.