Nuit Blanche: An Art All-Nighter

There’s something alluring about being in an art gallery or museum after hours. The art on display just seems to demand more of your attention. This weekend’s event takes the idea of an after-hours party to the extreme. For the second year art patrons will be able to enjoy art all night during Northern Spark, a festival of public art and performances that takes place both inside venues and outdoors from sundown to sunrise, June 9-10.

Perhaps a better descriptor than “art all night” is “art all over” as patrons will be treated to displays across Minneapolis. During last year’s inaugural event, there were “50,000 visits to 100 projects by more than 200 artists in collaboration with 60 cultural organizations and sponsors at 34 venues in Minneapolis and St. Paul,” according to event organizers. This year’s event is shaping up to be just as filled with art intended to make visitors see the Twin Cities in a new light. According to organizers, the event “is about the dynamic intersection of art and science and technology and engineering and design and urban planning and nature and culture.”

The roster includes interactive music, film, performance art, comedy, public sculpture, light, and other media. One installation will light the Stone Arch Bridge with a quote from Dr. Seuss and theme of the entire event: “Think and Wonder, Wonder and Think.” The installation by Robin Schwartzman features 8-foot-tall, illuminated letters that hang on the outer walls of the bridge, between the arches, which will remain lit until sunrise on June 10.

Another exhibit, a “slumber party with writing,” will take place at the Open Book, with performances by poets, storytellers, and other spoken word artists. Paper Darts literary journal will create an issue of its magazine overnight, with submissions from the public. For those looking for more than just the art in the galleries, join Rain Taxi as they  conclude the night with stories of the paranormal, including hauntings of familiar local galleries.

Exhibits will cover Minneapolis, from the Stone Arch Bridge to the Walker Art Center, downtown, the Whittier Phillips neighborhood, Midtown Greenway, and the University of Minnesota. Smartphone users will be able to map their art trek with either the iPhone or Android mobile app, created by Carmichael Lynch, Northern Lights, and Pixel Farm Digital. The app offers a map of exhibits and Nice Ride bike stations. It will also show which exhibits are socially trending and gaining the most traction from visitors as they check into events they attend through the app.

The event is free and open to the public. View this trailer from last year’s event for a taste of what to expect during this year’s art all-nighter:

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