The creative zone of Lowry Hill East

The Wedge is packed with galleries, art supplies and creative spaces.
The Wedge is packed with galleries, art supplies and creative spaces.

Northeast Minneapolis may hold the title for most art studios in a concentrated area, but Lowry Hill East is also a well-established art neighborhood. From shopping for supplies to picking a frame to purchasing work by internationally-known artists — it’s all here. And you don’t have to leave the area’s busy borders of Lake, Lyndale, Franklin or Hennepin to take it all in. Enjoy this tour of galleries and creative spaces with a bit of local history thrown in on the side.

 

Intermedia Arts

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With a history going back to 1973, Intermedia Arts has changed and evolved over the years to become a national leader in using art to enact social change. Performance spaces for theater, dance, and literary readings; a visual art exhibit space; and ever-evolving exterior graffiti art make this a lively place. The organization also shares part of its building with a coffee shop and several community cowork spaces. The current exhibit Creative CityMaking documents (mostly through charts and graphs) a project between Intermedia Arts and the City of Minneapolis. From June 9–11 celebrate hip hop choreography with performances, classes, and history.

822 Lyndale Ave. S. Monday–Friday, 10 a.m–6 p.m.; Saturday, noon–5 p.m.

 

Highpoint Center for Printmaking

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The light-filled gallery is easily visible from Lake Street and beckons visitors with its pristine aesthetic. Here you can learn about fine art printmaking at a center that’s become a national leader since its founding 15 years ago. Highpoint is dedicated to advancing the art of printmaking through exhibitions, education, and a visiting artist program. Fine art printmaking is different than printed posters turned out on a mechanical press. Artists actually make the original plate by cutting into wood or linoleum, etching stone or metal plates, using a screen blocked with stencils, or employing a photographic emulsion. Ink is then transferred onto paper with pressure and the image appears. Usually when the artist has made several prints of an image, the plate is destroyed. Prints are then signed and numbered. Because of its variety of techniques and visual appearances, printmaking is its own genre of fine art. Try it out yourself at Highpoint’s next Free Ink Day, July 23, noon–4 p.m. Drop in anytime, learn about printmaking, make your own print, and bring home original art. (No registration necessary.)

912 W. Lake St. Monday–Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.; Saturday, noon–4 p.m.

 

Track 29 Gallery

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Artworks hang on walls of most every home and business, so it’s an especially astute developer that actually has “gallery space” on the list of building amenities. Track 29 believes in providing a creative living experience for renters through gallery exhibitions curated by local fine art aficionados such as Jan Elftmann of the legendary cork truck. Stop in and take a look at the changing pieces in a special lobby exhibit area. Currently showing: Chip Schilling’s letterpress pieces and dog-eye-level photos along with vintage postcard collages by Mary Bergs. Don’t miss the giant steel oak leaf drinking fountain out in front of the building — it’s not a City of Minneapolis artist-made drinking fountain, but was commissioned by Track 29’s developer.

2841 Bryant Ave. S. Open Mon–Sat, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.; Sun., noon–5 p.m.

 

Douglas Flanders & Associates

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One of the longest-running fine arts galleries in Minnesota with more than 40 years in business, Flanders has presented work ranging from regional artists to international giants such as Picasso, Chagall, Warhol, and Lichtenstein. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThrough June 19 see work by local legend Scott Seekins that explores his alternative to the 150-year remembrance of the Great Sioux Uprising of 1862. A second gallery that just opened a few storefronts to the west hosts a salon style show with a whopping 400 pieces! In addition to exhibiting artworks, Flanders also provides collection advice, estate appraisals, and installation services.

818 W. Lake St. Tuesday–Wednesday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m.–9 p.m.; Friday–Saturday, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.; Sunday, noon–5 p.m.

 

Dean Gallery and Vern Carver and Beard Art Galleries

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When three longtime Minneapolis galleries merged together in one space on Hennepin Avenue, they became Minnesota’s oldest, continuously operating gallery. The Beard Gallery was founded in 1886 with James J. Hill as a partner/investor. Hill’s love of art was evident in his house built on Summit Avenue just five years later that boasted a two-story art gallery filled with French landscapes. The Beard Gallery was located on 10th and Nicollet not far from the Handicraft Building’s art school. During its later life in LaSalle Plaza, the gallery continued showing work by Minnesota artists from the early 20th century. Also on Nicollet, the Vern Carver Gallery opened in 1950 showing contemporary work by regional artists. The Dean Gallery opened in 1970 as fine art posters became popular. The gallery developed an inexpensive way to frame posters using thin plastic edging over thick foam board, then shrink-wrapping it all together. This proprietary invention is still being used there today. Stop in and check out this gallery triptych and see work by regional artists from the past and present as well as numerous framing options.

2815 Hennepin Ave. S. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, 10 a.m.– 6 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m.–8 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

 

Soo Visual Arts Center

A not-for-profit arts organization founded in 2001, SooVAC has been a leader in discovering new talent and encouraging careers of experimental or underrepresented visual artists. Mark your calendars for what is promising to be an eventful opening reception Friday, June 17 from 6–9 p.m. Paintallica is a collaborative group of artists from across the country who join together periodically to create installations in specific locations. This will be their first project in Minnesota even though several members of the group live here. They’ll spend time brainstorming ideas, “getting rowdy,” then actually creating the work. Double Vision Quest: A New Site Specific Installation will emerge from their process. If this is a little outrageous for you, take a quick break in the restrooms for more traditional art — murals in tile of Mona Lisa and Magritte’s apple-faced man.

2909 Bryant Ave. S. Wednesday, 11–5 p.m.; Thursday–Friday, 11 a.m. –7 p.m.; Saturday–Sunday, 11–4 p.m.

 

Opening Night

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Selling artwork since 1975, this gallery originally specialized in costume and set design illustrations from local theaters. Today they represent contemporary artists from Minnesota and beyond who work in painting, drawing, photography, and fine art prints. The gallery is currently showing colorful floral work by Minneapolis/Grand Marais artist Marcia Casey Cushmore. The exhibit titled “Happy to be Here” shows clustered images of leaves and flowers as if looking down while walking through fields.

2836 Lyndale Ave. S. Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.; Saturday, 10:30 a.m.–4 p.m.

 

COCO

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With five locations in the Twin Cities and Chicago, this coworking collaborative space is a great place for creative entrepreneurs to work in a fun environment and be inspired. More than 1,000 architects; lawyers; restaurateurs; authors; software, web, and app developers; and many others work here — although at different times and in different locations. The design of this space is funky — shared tables, individual desks, standing workspaces, sofas, plenty of light fixtures, “phone booths,” and multiple person “camps” are scattered about the former parking garage. It feels like a cross between a college library and hip coffee shop. Large windows overlook an expansive garden. This “community of dreamers, creators, and doers” is one of ten national Google Tech Hub Partners. Through workshops, events, and mentorships this program’s mission is to help startup businesses thrive. Memberships in COCO range from just five days a month to 24/7 access. Indoor bike storage, a coffee bar, and full kitchen make for a dream office. Live and Skype events encourage learning, networking, and camaraderie. Stop in for a tour, you won’t want to leave.

1010 W. Lake St., Suite 100. Tours offered Fridays 11–11:30 a.m.

 

Buzza Lofts

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Though it’s now home to lofts and not really open to the public, you can still appreciate the artistic history of Buzza from the sidewalk while gazing up at its giant concrete letters. From 1909 to 1942, numerous artists employed by the Buzza Company designed, illustrated, gold-leafed, and hand-embellished more greeting cards than any other company in the county. Trains (on what is now the Greenway) pulled right up to the Buzza loading dock and distributed 40 million greeting cards a year! In addition to cards, Buzza produced very popular and sentimental framed mottos that have become highly collectible. They also printed bridge scorecards, place settings, paper ornaments, tips on entertaining, and bound cookbooks. To learn more about the company history, and to see original illustrations and artifacts from a former artist, visit Greetings: A History of the Buzza Company on display at the Hennepin History Museum through July 3.

1006 W. Lake St.

 

Art Materials

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All artists need supplies and Art Materials has been there for them — for 60 years! Other art supply companies have come and gone, but this one’s stayed strong in its original location on Lyndale. Pens, paper, paint, brushes, canvas, modeling clay — you name it, they have it. The lofty store is filled with the practical as well as artsy impulse buys and gifts. Art Materials carries supplies for professionals, amateurs, and those staying between the lines in the new coloring-books-for-adults craze. Stay tuned for more information about celebrating this Minnesota institution’s birthday later this year.

2728 Lyndale Ave. S. Monday–Thursday, 10 a.m.–8 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Sunday, noon–5 p.m.

 

LUNCH TIP: Nearly an arts organization of its own, Bryant Lake Bowl serves up a mean BLT along with nightly performance art.

Open daily, 8–2 a.m., 810 W. Lake St.

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