Loosened from the mud, I find myself floating in a world of possibility.

So can you.

A Day of Whirling around at Art-A-Whirl

This last weekend NE Minneapolis hosted the largest open-studio art show in the country. That's the description I heard on NPR and when I heard it I thought "Right on! NE Minneapolis rocks!" I think this is the 8th year of Art-A-Whirl and each year it gets bigger and bigger. So here's the deal: NE Minneapolis has the largest concentration of Art studios in the Twin Cities. Many of the old warehouse buildings have been transformed into art studios. At times, I enjoyed wandering through the buildings as much as I enjoyed viewing the various art studios.

The best part of Art-A-Whirl for me is the all the various studios scattered through the neighborhoods of NE Minneapolis. Many local artists work in their homes and each year we get to walk around the neighborhood and see their work spaces.

And there is a wide variety of art mediums, everything from ceramics to visual media installations. There are fabric arts, blown glass, driftwood pieces, canvas paintings, photography, enormous bike-driven puppetry, etc, etc, etc. The list is endless.

There are also many crafts and antique sales. And, of course, many people take advantage of the foot traffic by holding their first springtime garage sales. The entire community of NE Minneapolis feels like a festival!

Near our home there are mostly artists that work in their homes and garages. But not too far away is Johnson Avenue where they stage a craft fair with live music playing all weekend - affectionately called Johnstock.

That's where we headed on Saturday. I had such a great time and took so many pictures that I'm going to have to spread out my posts throughout the week. In today's post I want to share some of the faces of people involved in AAW.

There was so much cute baby stuff! I had to quickly set a budget in my head so as not to overdo it. So many great onesies with creative sayings and patches. Seeing them gave me ideas for future craft projects.

Here's AJ from Heart Held Designs who was selling baby slings that I couldn't pass up. This seems like the perfect warm weather way to wear my baby.

I had to have her show me how to put the Baby Lotus Bud in it and couldn't resist taking a photo of the two of them!

The thing that I was most impressed with was all the artists and crafters that re-purposed their materials. There was a guy there who took used billboard designs and made all sorts of bags with the plastic material. What an ingenious idea. I kept thinking how so many of those large pieces of plastic are not going to end up in a landfill.

Chelsey from Silver Bug Studio takes antique and unique costume jewelry and handcrafts them into new jewelry and accessories. Isn't that a great idea?! I kept thinking what a great job! What fun to rummage around, shopping for interesting little pieces and making something entirely new and beautiful. She says that there are so many that she just loves that it is hard to sell her jewelry.

It's a good thing that she gave up her goods because as you can see from her display unit Art-A-Whirlers snatched up her beautiful pieces.

Here's some more of her work.

This is the necklace that I bought. I love it!

I'm didn't get this woman's name nor her card, but I just went nuts over her barrettes.

Normally, I wouldn't be into this kind of stuff because my hair is too thin for such pretty things. But now that I have a daughter, I have a whole new outlook on hair accouterments.

Doesn't my little preciousness look even more precious with her sweet little barrette?

This is Dalton, my neighbor. He has a ceramics studio in his garage.

He had just thrown some porcelain pieces and is in the process of making tiles for his kitchen remodeling project.

It's great seeing artists in their workspace. He's got a kick wheel which keeps the noise to a minimum. I learned a lot that day about firing clay. I'm amazed he finds the time to throw some clay around considering he has a family to look after. During this time year with Art-A-Whirl happening, I am always impressed with the dedication that artists put into their work.

Art-A-Whirl is such a unique experience with a little bit of everything thrown in. Open studios, craft fairs, galleries, food and music. It makes me proud to be a part of this community. AAW displays the heart of this incredible community!

The next post will recap our wanderings through the Thorpe Building and the many studios we visited on Sunday.


  1. I've wanted to go for the past couple of years but it always seems to hit on a bad weekend for me!

  2. Gee that sounds like a perfect way to spend a day and Lotus looks darling in her barrett. I loved reading this post. Made me feel like I got a stroll along with you. *smiles*

  3. Just come across your blog and looking forward to reading more.


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