Metro Arts Tours: Featuring the Best Local Talent
The days are longer and warmer, it’s time to make your plans to get out and experience some of the best visual art our local scene has to offer. Explore some of our upcoming crawls and tours as well as get to know some of the artists who identify as part of our community.
Saint Paul Art Crawl
The St. Paul Art Collective (SPAC) brings the Saint Paul Art Crawl back once more for spring 2015. Since 1977, SPAC has empowered artists in St. Paul by expanding connections and protecting inspirational spaces for artists to create and grow. Recognizing that art is essential for a healthy and vibrant community, SPAC runs and supports projects, initiatives, and events that increase the awareness of its artists, their work, and the crucial role they play in the greater cultural life of the Twin Cities. The Saint Paul Art Crawl has been the Collective’s cornerstone event for over twenty years, with the number of participating artists now exceeding 300 and the number of visitors averaging around 20,000 for each semi-annual, three-day event. Recognized for its tremendous success, the Saint Paul Art Crawl has become a model arts event that is emulated in cities across the country. The Art Crawl has evolved from a fun weekend art event, to a framework for creating and fostering important, interdependent relationships between the arts community and the city itself.
Featured Artist: Angela Hed Vincent
With a medium of intention-based art (meaning that the work begins with an intention), Angela’s medium is, to a large extent, dictated by that intent. Recently, paper has been an integral part her work. Her passion for art began when she was four, when her grandmother taught her how to embroider. “For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to create things with my hands,” she says. “I now have a master’s degree in sculpture and find myself binding books nearly every day, remembering my grandma as I stitch.” Look for her bound journals, Joy Page prints, and pottery at the Saint Paul Art Crawl.
Featured Artist: Geralyn Thelen
Some might recognize this artist’s work from Just Me Geralyn and Glass. Geralyn is a fused glass artist, which means she makes kiln-fired glass, a process through which she creates one piece from various pieces of glass before firing the art in the kiln anywhere from 15 to 30 hours. It all began eight years ago when a friend asked her to take a class in fused glass. Being someone who is always looking for a new adventure, she agreed. “That one class changed my life,” she says. “I started out making small glass pendants. Then I morphed into making plates and my pieces just kept getting bigger and bigger.” This year Geralyn completed a 72-inch high sculpture of four sunflowers.
Featured Artist: Bill Hosko
“My kindergarten teacher wrote on a report card once, ‘Billy should be an artist when he grows up,’” he says. “That was in 1968, and I am still not fully grown up!” The artist, who works in pen and ink, watercolor, and oil paint, opened his own downtown St. Paul gallery in early 1994. Finding inspiration in everything, a lot of his work features architecture: commercial, residential, public places and parks, and city skylines, with Chicago remaining his world-favorite. His artwork featured in the Saint Paul Art Crawl captures some of the most iconic scenes and buildings in St. Paul.
Featured Artist: Tom Reynen
Many photographers get their start by taking photos while traveling and the same goes for Tom. But the advent of digital cameras changed things completely for him. He could easily fix photos on the computer and try all sorts of creative effects. His passion for travel and nature carries through his photography. “I love capturing details, whether in a flower or in the architecture of a building,” he says. “I also love working with various types of photo software and people have hired me to fix their vacation or personal photos or turn them into a work of art.” Art Crawl attendees can expect to see his photography in two different locations, featuring landscape photos at the AZ Gallery and vegetable photos at the Dow Gallery.
Lake Minnetonka Studio Tour
Lake Minnetonka Area
Continuing a tradition for over eight years, a group of 28 artists around Lake Minnetonka will be opening their home studios to the public this May. During the Lake Minnetonka Studio Tour visitors will discover a variety of styles and mediums including painting, ceramics, fiber, jewelry, wood, glass, and more. It is a perfect time of year for people to enjoy a springtime drive, to discover inspiring and beautiful art, and to see first-hand the studios where artists create. Find a unique gift for Mother’s Day, or a new work of art to enhance the home, buying directly from the artist who created the work. An open studio format is a great opportunity for artists to share their creative passion with the community in an atmosphere that is inviting and informative. Artists will be happy to answer questions about their work and the creative process. They look forward to welcoming art-lovers throughout the weekend of the tour.
Presented by the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (NEMAA), Art-A-Whirl is an open studio tour in Northeast Minneapolis. It’s a great opportunity to tour private artist studios and galleries, connect with the artists, and purchase original artwork. During Art-A-Whirl, private art studios, galleries, homes, storefronts, businesses, and restaurants have artwork on display and are open to the public, creating a fun atmosphere to connect with artists and purchase original artwork. The focus of the event is to promote the artists and art of Northeast Minneapolis. Over the last 20 years, it has become the largest open studio tour in the country. See the work of more than 500 artists in more than 20 mediums including clay, furniture, glass, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and much more. The artists’ open studio tours may include demonstrations, live performances, and large-scale exhibitions. Studio tours offer a great opportunity to ask questions, discuss techniques, experience art first-hand, and purchase unique artwork directly from the artists.
Featured Artist: Mark Davison
Sculptor Mark Davison walks with an arm crutch due to being on the first AZT trials back in the ‘80s, causing him to get very sick at the time, but is much healthier now with new medications. His friends wanted to give him a productive outlet so they chipped in and bought him a pottery class for his 40th birthday. He’s been working with clay ever since. Death, religion, and sexuality all play big parts in his work, but he produces a wide variety of sculptures. “When I’m making art I don’t usually start with the end in mind,” he says. “The clay becomes a receptacle for what I’m feeling at the time, whether that’s pain, sadness, or joy. As each piece emerges, it develops a life of its own. Because of this, you won’t see much duplication in my work; each piece has my particular quirky touch.”
Fresh Art Spring Tour
Lake Pepin and Chippewa River Valley, Wisconsin
Wisconsinites burst out in spring every bit as much as the wildflowers. The Fresh Art Spring Tour gives you the opportunity to have an art adventure in one of nature’s remaining unspoiled regions: the area between the rivers, the villages of Pepin, Stockholm, and southern Pierce County. The homes, studios, and galleries, some formerly old farms and their out-buildings, have been made into spaces of beauty. The gardens are blooming and charming, as some of these artists are master gardeners as well. The artists in Pepin and southern Pierce Counties have a big presence. It’s the usual story: the country farmsteads were cheap. Artists moved here in the ‘70s, with a “back to the land” intention. It’s like a lot of areas where artists move in, they open little shops as a way to make a semblance of a living…add a good restaurant or two, and eventually the towns become a destination. Traveling along the river and into the countryside you will discover the scenic winding roads and, every once in a while, the talented artists and craftspeople on the tour.