This weekend, Northeast Minneapolis will open its streets and show off its artistry for the largest open studio tour in the country, Art-A-Whirl. The art festival, hosted by the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (NEMAA) has some impressive stats for its 24th annual celebration: Nearly 800 artists, two dozen mediums, and more than 60 locations.
From paintings to pastels, fiber to furniture, and textile to tile, visitors can catch demonstrations (like clay throwing, glass blowing, and even 3D printmaking), mini workshops, installations, special exhibitions, musical performances, and more. Once you’re gotten your fix of art, sit in on a concert, dance over to Hip Hop Yoga with 612 Jungle (if that’s your jam), or try something a little more low-key and sift through the locally handcrafted vintage wares at Z Amore instead.
And as an incentive to support local artisans, you’ll earn an “I Bought Art” sticker from NEMAA artists, designed to indicate which visitors have purchased original artwork. Just by showing off your sticker, you’ll score discounts from businesses and booths throughout the festival, including $1 off tap beer at 612 Brew, BOGO at Broken Clock Brewing Cooperative, and even a free beer at Fulton.
Over the span of the three-day extravaganza, free trolleys and 13 Nice Ride MN stations make it easier than ever to hop to and from the festival’s many locations. Driving yourself and want to avoid your Minneapolis parking nightmares? Try MetroTransit instead. They’re providing free passes to Art-A-Whirl attendees, so snag one here before you head out.
Meanwhile, American Swedish Institute (ASI) launches The Vikings Begin on May 17, located in the Turnblad Mansion and Osher Gallery through Oct. 27. The exhibit is a historic reflection of Viking culture and society, and features boat burial artifacts, installations, helmets, swords, jewelry, glass vessels, bowls, and more.
Produced by Sweden’s Uppsala University and Gustavianum, the university’s museum, this is the first time the exhibit has toured the United States. This weekend, you can see 10-plus years of scholarly research and archaeology come to life at two events: the Viking University and Viking Family days.
Viking University Day (Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) brings in some of the most well-versed university scholars and researchers from Uppsala, Árni Magnússon Institute in Iceland, the University of Minnesota, and more for lectures on Scandinavian languages, women in the Viking age, and even authentic Viking food.
You can guess who Viking Family Day (Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.) is meant for. With your crew, see Viking re-enactors fight mock battles, make Viking-themed crafts, eat festival food, and sit in on storytime with Viking scholar Gísli Sigurðsson.