Add an artful twist to holiday gift giving this year with these events and pop-up shops hosted by Minneapolis art galleries and museums.
SooVAC Local Artist Holiday Shop: For those looking for a unique gift, go no further than Uptown art gallery SooVAC, which hosts a holiday gift shop through the month of December featuring gift-able, specially priced original art works, prints, ceramics, jewelry and other artful goods created by a curated group of more than 50 local artists, including Caitlin Karolczak, Amy Rice and Jennifer Davis.
When: Dec. 1–24, open Wednesdays–Sundays
Where: Soo Visual Arts Center, 2909 Bryant Ave. S.
Jul Shop & Julmarknad
Housed within the historic Turnblad Mansion, the American Swedish Institute’s seasonal Jul Shop is filled with Nordic and Nordic-inspired giftables and festive home goods for holiday entertaining, including Swedish glassware, Danish jewelry and pine and sea salt soaps and candles. The annual Julmarknad Christmas market (Dec. 2 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Dec. 3 from noon to 5 p.m.) features handcrafted items for sale by nearly 40 local and regional artists along with music and dance performances, appearances by Tomte and Santa, family crafts and festival food.
When: Open through Jan. 11 during museum hours
Where: American Swedish Institute, 2600 Park Ave.
Raging Art On
A holiday show in a gallery setting, Gamut Gallery’s annual Raging Art On holiday gift market features original art, prints and other artist-made goods from more than 60 artists, including Nicholas Harper, Boxy Mouse and Scott Seekins. Thursday’s opening night party features a set from DJ Adatrak of Rhymesayers, with live sets from DJs Bleak Roses on Friday and Keith Millions on Saturday.
When: Dec. 7 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Dec. 8 and Dec. 9 from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Dec. 10 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Gamut Gallery, 717 S. 10th St.
Cost: $10 Dec. 7; free Dec. 8–10
‘Prince from Minneapolis’
More than a year-and-a-half after the death of Prince, the Weisman Art Museum is paying tribute to the Purple One with a major exhibition. The show explores the forces at work in Minneapolis that helped create and give shape to Prince. It includes images by four photographers that captured Prince during his early years in Minneapolis, as well as work by artists inspired by Prince. Objects on display include art dolls created in Prince’s likeness by Seattle-based artist Troy Gua, a portrait of Prince by Minnesotan seed artist Lillian Colton, a Prince-inspired bicycle by frame builder Eric Noren and a specially commissioned mural by Minneapolis artist Rock Martinez. The show kicks off with a preview party with a purple lounge, small bites, a cash bar and, of course, Prince tunes.
When: Dec. 9–June 17. Preview party: Friday, Dec. 8, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Where: Weisman Art Museum, 333 E. River Road
Cost: Free museum admission; $25 for preview party ($10 students)
I AM MPLS 7
The annual I AM MPLS celebrates the Twin Cities’ diverse and vibrant creative community through fashion. This year’s seventh-annual event has a special twist: It’s getting taken over by local culture and fashion publication, Culture Piece Magazine. The CPM crew has curated an all-POC lineup of creatives, including hip-hop poet Chadwick Phillips and comedian Bruce Leroy Williams, to walk the runway in looks from area boutiques. The event also includes pop-ups from local brands including Ice Cream Bow Ties, founded by 10-year-old St. Paul boy Aniki Allen, who makes bow ties out of Legos and donates the proceeds to charity, as well as The Hues Company, which makes skincare products for people of color, plus a Selfie & Co. photo booth and Fulton beer. A portion of proceeds from the ticket sales benefit nonprofit, Be the Match.
When: Thursday, Dec. 7, from 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Where: Machine Shop, 300 2nd St. SE
Cost: $20 general admission; $50 VIP
Northern Grade Minnesota
When Northern Grade was founded in Northeast Minneapolis in 2010, the roving, made-in-the-U.S. market showcased menswear and men’s accessories by brands such as Red Wing Heritage, Duluth Pack and Leatherworks Minnesota. Since then, the pop-up has traveled the world, popping up everywhere from L.A. to Moscow, and even opened a permanent storefront in New York City. The market also expanded beyond men’s goods to sell finely crafted products by makers and manufacturers across America, spanning home goods, skincare and women’s fashions. This year, for the first time, the market is popping up at Holidazzle, an outdoor winter festival taking place in Loring Park, with a mix of local and national brands. The festival also features appearances from Santa, hot food and beverages, an ice skating rink and film screenings.
When: Saturday, Dec. 9, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 10, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: Loring Park, 1382 Willow St.
Info: northerngrade.com or holidazzle.com
‘An “Eventually” Christmas’
Back in the late 1800s, Minneapolis received the nickname “Mill City” when the mills along the Mississippi River starting cornering the flour industry. The Washburn A Mill was the second largest of the mills, creating Gold Medal Flour for the Washburn-Crosby Company (which later became General Mills). The company was known for its lavish Christmas parties, which lasted all day and featured music, vaudeville entertainment and quirky competitions, including a pillow fight and a “fat men’s race.” While working at the Mill City Museum, which resides in the ruins of the mill, comic performer and playwright Joseph Scrimshaw spent hours going through copies of the company’s employee newsletter, The Eventually News, named for the company slogan, “You’re going to try Gold Medal Flour eventually… Why not now?” From that material, he was inspired to write “An ‘Eventually’ Christmas,” a unique theatrical production staged in the museum’s eight-story flour tower elevator. It travels from floor to floor for each scene, guided by the Ghost of Mill City Past, on the eve of the 1920 Washburn-Crosby Christmas party as costumed actors recreate scenes, including the fabled pillow fight. Pro tip: While you’re there, take advantage of the opportunity to check out the museum’s observation deck, which has great views of the Mississippi, Saint Anthony Falls and the Stone Arch Bridge.
When: Dec. 14 and 15 at 6 p.m., 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Dec. 16 and 17 at 5 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Where: Mill City Museum, 704 S. 2nd St.
Cost: $20 adults, $18 seniors & college students, $16 ages 17 and under and MNHS members
British Arrows Awards
The Walker Art Center’s annual screening of the British Arrows Awards — nicknamed the Brits — has been a holiday tradition for years. The ongoing sell-out status of the show indicates there’s something accessible about it even for those who don’t work in advertising. The commercials run the gamut from lighthearted and heartwarming bits featuring cheeky, droll British humor, to epic clips starring sports players, such as Cristiano Ronaldo, and other commercials featuring famous voices, including one amusing bit featuring comedian Nick Offerman. Some ads are more sobering, such as a pair of short films that center around the ongoing refugee crisis, including a Unicef clip that pairs a young Syrian boy with a World Ward II survivor.
When: Dec. 1–30; showtimes vary
Where: Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave.
Cost: $14 adults, $11.20 students and seniors