How to Art-A-Whirl®

How to Art-A-Whirl®

A candid collection of recos to get you through the nation’s largest open studio tour

Every year, The Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (NEMAA) produces and hosts Art-A-Whirl®—an event like no other where all the wild energy of Springtime is focused and unleashed in the art hotbed of Northeast Minneapolis.

Here are some events that promise to impress. For complete Art-A-Whirl info and maps, check out NEMAA’s website.


The California Building is a good place to start.

They have legit coffee, and you’ll need your energy to climb the stairs. There are gems on every floor, so don’t get weak.

Remo Campopiano shows up with new, experimental paintings and his remote controlled ArtBots.

J.M. Culver hosts a Special Inventory Sale.

Caitlin Karolczak and Jamie Owens present End of Days.

Caitlin Karolczak and Jamie Owens, End of Days  at the California Building.


A-Mill Artists Lofts present a solid line-up out in the lovely St. Anthony Main area.

corner{gallery}underground is a private studio space featuring installations of video, sound, sculpture, photography and painting.

Video and sound works by Brooklyn-based artists Serena Stucke and Dan Tesene.


Get to the Solar Arts Building for diverse art, killer food, and great beer.

Find Phaedra Odelle, Dipped In Acid, and other excellent artists here.

Chill in Mid Century Mod style in The Chowgirls Lounge, a maker's market complimented by specialty cocktails and organic TV dinners.


Work by Reggie LeFlore at the Northrup King Building


Block off a few hours for Northrup King Building, featuring over 300 artists and galleries under the same massive roof.

Kolman & Pryor has been a trusted favorite for presenting quality artists since 2010.

Ashley Mary has the most stylish studio around. She’s one of MSP’s finest artists and a darn nice human.

Reggie LeFlore whips up graft name tags, gives graff-style writing demos on canvas, and shows off recent stencil and aerosol work.


At Artspace Jackson Flats, start on the fourth floor and work your way down.

Check out print work by artist Dallas Kelliher, The End Designs.

Self-taught painter, Sita Dasi, experiments with texture and emotion.

Get your B&W Polaroid photo taken by Easton Green.


Do not miss the Casket Arts Building.

On Friday night, Fancy Ray McCloney hosts an unofficial opening ceremony at Franconia in the City@Casket.

Exceptionally talented artists like Russ White, Linnea Mass, and Annie Hejny.

All the festival comforts are out there with food trucks, beer from 612Brew in Northeast, and a basement speakeasy featuring custom cocktails from Vikre Distillery.


Franconia in the City@Casket


Venture out to Rosalux for a unique opening Friday night, and celebrate all weekend.

Friday night is the opening of Blanket Statement. Artist Terrence Payne presents an unusual body of work where he applies his unique sensibilities to quilting.

And all weekend, Rosalux celebrates Art-A-Whirl with the launch of its newly expanded gallery store with an exciting group exhibition.


Quilt art work by Terrence Payne, showing at Rosalux


On Saturday, indulge in festival-style art, food, drinks, and music at the corner of Hai Hai and Grumpy’s NE.

The infamous intersection of 22nd and University goes big every year.

Hai Hai hosts a parking lot party featuring live painting by Jennifer Davis.

Grumpy’s NE presents their 20th Annual Art-A-Whirl Bash with artists like Sarah Davis and headlining band, Superchunk.


IC: (L) Jennifer Davis at Hai Hai, (R) Sarah Davis at Grumpy’s NE


Late night Saturday, Public Functionary shuts it down with their Art-A-Whirl After Party, Control.

Curator Rod Adams takes over, bringing in sound, styling, and performance. Adams's experience uses pain and trauma to create feelings of freedom. Don’t sleep on this one.


And finally, we caught five minutes with the owner of Rogue Buddha Gallery and asked for Art-A-Whirl insider info.

Gallerist Nicholas Harper knows where to find the strange and interesting things in the heart of Northeast Minneapolis.

Nicholas Harper, image courtesy of Rogue Buddha Facebook 

First, he invited everyone to stop by Rogue Buddha all weekend to check out his group show, Possibly Maybe, plus the playful shenanigans of Boxy Mouse,and occult-ish beauty from Jessie McNally 

Late Saturday night, he is a special guest in a show at St. Boniface Catholic Church, where Paris 1919 will perform new work "... For Now". It’s a live musical piece using projection technologies and digital manipulations to impact visual artwork by Harper and other guest artists.

He also mentions that Romantica is headlining Sunday evening at Anchor Fish & Chips, just down the street from his gallery.

Harper advises a strategy of balance for Art-A-Whirl revelers:
"Focus on art during the day, check out the beer and music later. Buy art and don't be an ass." 


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