The art fair season is in full swing in Minneapolis, with a steady stream of festivals taking place throughout the city. Whether you’re interested in buying local art and handmade goods or looking for a fun, family-friendly outdoor activity, these fairs have something for everyone.
Red Hot Art Festival
This art and music festival with an emphasis on diversity celebrates its 16th anniversary with a lineup of more than 100 artists including painters, potters, print artists, photographers and jewelry designers, plus 20 bands and performers, food trucks, interactive games and hands-on demonstrations for all ages against the idyllic backdrop of Stevens Square Park.
With most artists’ work priced between $5 and $50, this festival gives more people the opportunity to interact with local art at an accessible price point.
When: Saturday, July 23 from 11 a.m.–7 p.m. and Sunday, July 24 from 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
Where: Stevens Square Park, 1801 Stevens Ave.
Loring Park Art Festival
Founded in 2000, the Loring Park Art Festival showcases more than 140 visual artists selling original paintings, pottery, jewelry and textiles, as well as strolling musicians, stage performances, children’s activities and food from 17 vendors.
When: Saturday, July 29 from 10 a.m.–6 p.m. and Sunday, July 30 from 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Where: Loring Park, 1382 Willow St.
FLOW Northside Arts Crawl
The West Broadway Business and Area Coalition’s FLOW Northside Arts Crawl shines a spotlight on the Northside neighborhood of Minneapolis. In its 12th year, the festival features gallery receptions, public performances and pop-up art shows at 35 sites featuring works from more than 300 artists of color, the West Broadway Farmers Market, a fashion show and pop-up boutique and the unveiling of the Eastern Gateway Public Art Installation.
When: Preview party: Thursday, July 27 from 6 p.m.–10 p.m. Crawl: Friday, July 28 from 3 p.m.–10 p.m. and Saturday, July 29 from 11 a.m.–9 p.m.
Where: Preview party: 2400-2418 Plymouth Ave. N.; crawl goes along W. Broadway Ave. from the Mississippi River to Penn Ave. N.
Cost: Free; some events ticketed
ArtCar and ArtBike Parade
According to ArtCar artist (and founder of the ArtCar Fest in San Francisco) Philo Northrup, ArtCars are defined as “street-legal vehicles that have been permanently transformed into mobile sculptures.”
See these painted and bedazzled cars and bicycles as they cruise around Lake Harriet during the 23rd-annual ArtCar and ArtBike Parade. One of the longest-running, largest events of its kind in the country, the Minneapolis parade features around 50 eye-popping creations on two and four wheels.
Look for art mobiles decorated with everything from coins to cats, including Patti Paulson’s lipstick ArtCar – covered in 1,501 kisses, lipstick tubes, compact cases and a six-foot lipstick sculpture on the roof – artist Toni Warner’s dragon-themed car and puppeteer Duane Tougas’s ArtBike, crafted from cardboard and papier-mâché.
When: Saturday, July 22; cars line up at 5 p.m.; cruise begins at 6 p.m.
Where: Starts at Harriet Island Rose Garden, 4124 Roseway Road
Joe Sinness: The Flowers
Minneapolis artist Joe Sinness, a recipient of a 2013/14 McKnight Visual Artists Fellowship, continues to explore themes of sexual desire, narcissism and cinematic performance in “The Flowers,” a solo exhibition presented by the Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program at Minneapolis Institute of Art.
Working with his signature colored pencil photorealistic style, his newest work mines old Hollywood, vintage physique magazines and iconic films such as “Cruising.” The series of portraits, still lifes, cinematic panoramas and theatrical sculptures transforms real people into fantasy characters against the backdrop of queer, ethereal settings, blurring the line between traditional portraiture and performance.
When: On view July 20–Oct. 29. Opening reception: Thursday, July 20 from 6 p.m.–9 p.m. Artist talk: Thursday, September 21 at 7 p.m.
Where: MAEP Galleries at Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2400 3rd Ave. S.
Since 1940, the Minneapolis Aquatennial has highlighted summer activities in and around the lakes and rivers of the city.
The civic tradition continues with four days of festivities lining the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis.
The best-attended events are the CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade (Wednesday, July 19 from 8:30-10:30 p.m.), with floats, bands and costumed characters making their way down Hennepin Avenue and a fireworks display sponsored by Target Corporation (Saturday, July 22 at 10 p.m.), said to be one of the largest in the country.
The more than 25 events throughout the four-day festival include the Aquatennial Tennis Classic, Twin Cities River Rats water ski shows, Twin Cities Carifest (a Caribbean festival that includes traditional food, music, arts and a carnival parade), the AquaJam skateboarding competition and a canine film festival, plus pre-fireworks festivities featuring food trucks and live music.
When: July 19–22
Where: Various locations in downtown Minneapolis and along the Mississippi River
Momentum: New Dance Works
“Momentum” is one of the major dance events of the year in the Twin Cities, spotlighting new works from the emerging local and national dance-makers.
This year, the Walker Art Center, in partnership with the Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts and the Southern Theater, has commissioned pieces by four artistically and culturally diverse emerging artists and dance collectives that push the boundaries of the art form.
The first weekend of the festival includes performance duo Fire Drill, which teams up with L.A.-based sound poet Tom Comitta for “Bill: The Musikill,” an experimental musical set in a dystopian tech commune, and the Minneapolis-based dance troupe BLAQ, which celebrates black sisterhood in “Taneber/BLAQ Wall Street.” The following weekend features Twin Cities experimental performance groups STRONGmovement and Cathedral.
When: July 13–15 and July 20–22
Where: The Southern Theater, 1420 S. Washington Ave.
Night Market at the Commons
Downtown’s new 4.2-acre green space, the Commons, is adding a new nighttime farmers market in partnership with the Mill City Farmers Market.
Pick up organic produce from local farms, artisanal food products and handmade arts and crafts, or bring a picnic blanket and stay for live music, kids activities and meals from prepared food vendors.
When: Tuesdays July 18–26 from 3:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.
Where: The Commons, 425 Portland Ave. S.