Art Fair takes over Uptown next weekend

Uptown is only a few days away from being consumed by a throng of artists, volunteers and spectators during the 44th annual Uptown Art Fair Aug. 3-5.

The event will feature paintings, sculptures, photographs and other works from a cast of 350 artists from throughout the nation. The fair is the Uptown Association’s signature event and requires the efforts of 1,000 volunteers, five staff members and 25 steering committee members to pull off. Attendance is in the hundreds of thousands.

Uptown Association Executive Director Maude Lovelle said the fair has a few new features this year.

One pairs artists with local celebrities to create art using a variety of mediums. City Council Member Ralph Remington (10th Ward) and several TV and radio personalities are expected to participate. The finished pieces will be sold at a silent auction and proceeds will be used to support art programs in Minneapolis Public Schools.

Another new feature is a literacy booth complete with a variety of books, couches and guest readers.

Lovelle said one of the most significant aspects of this year’s fair is a partnership between the Uptown Association, featured artist John Petrey and the American Heart Association. Petrey, who makes traditional American dresses out of nontraditional materials, plans to create a red dress using bottle caps. The dress will be auctioned off at an American Heart Association event with proceeds going to cardiovascular research.

Lovelle said she would like to incorporate similar efforts into future art fairs to spread the word about issues that impact many people. AIDs or cancer could be topics at the event in coming years, she said.

Many past art fair activities will continue this year, such as the evening dance party at Old Chicago the Tomorrow’s Stars Seen Today program that allows youth age 8–18 to bring and sell original artwork.

Art fair booths will take up the “mall” area between West Lagoon Avenue and West 28th Street and Knox Avenue South to Hennepin Avenue South. Booths will also be scattered along Hennepin, Lagoon, Lake Street and Humboldt Avenue South.

The mall area will be closed to traffic, as will Hennepin from 28th Street to 31st Street. Buses will be allowed to travel on Hennepin from 28th to Lagoon but will be rerouted down Lagoon and other side streets before reaching 31st. For more information, visit www.uptownminneapolis.com/artfair.