Summer Art Festivals Heat Up the Twin Cities

The wait is over: Art festival season has officially arrived in Minnesota. Whether you’re looking for a perfect centerpiece for your dining room table, an original painting to fill the bare spot on your living room wall, or a blown glass ornament for your summer garden, you’re guaranteed to find something spectacular at one of these 15 art festivals. So bring your mighty appetite, singing shoes, and dancing pants–oh, and don’t forget your wallet. With the food, entertainment, and local art you’ll enjoy this season, you won’t be able to say no.

Edina Art Fair

The Edina Art Fair celebrates 52 years with more than 280 fine artists and 250,000 visitors from around the continent. This free event offers more than 15 live performances, plenty of beer and wine gardens, food trucks, and even community art projects. This year’s theme, Empowering Artistic Females, highlights nearly 70 female business owners and shines a bright light on their creativity in 12 artistic mediums. This top-ranked Minnesota festival is one of the nation’s best, so you don’t want to miss it.

When: June 1-2, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and June 3, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Where: 50th and France Ave. business district in Edina

NorthStar Artists’ Market

Art demos, scavenger hunts, and watercolors—oh my! The NorthStar Artists’ Market (presented by NorthStar Watermedia Society) is back for its 16th year of all things watercolor and acrylic. Nearly 70 artists will showcase a combined 4,500 works of art for visitors to purchase. Enter the drawings to win original art or just hang around the free artist demonstrations all weekend to soak in all the skills you can.

When: June 1, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., June 2, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

Where: Fine Arts Building at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds

Art in the Hollow

St. Paul’s Swede Hollow Park will be swarming with glass mosaics, murals, sculptures, and visual and performing artists at Art in the Hollow. Open-air painters will create work on site and a separate gallery will be dedicated to teen artists. Not your thing? Visitors can participate in judging the prize-awarded sculpture contest and enjoy more than 50 artists. This unique fair is the only art festival on the city’s east side.

When: June 2, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Where: Swede Hollow Park in St. Paul

Mini hand-made pots in a bowl
(Fotolia, MNStudio)

St. Anthony Park Arts Festival

For 49 years, the St. Anthony Park Branch Library Association has made cultural and artistic footprints in St. Paul each year at its annual St. Anthony Park Arts Festival. This festival features a used book sale, plant sale, water balloon battle, and even opportunities to whip up some street chalk art with local professional artists. It’s an event perfect your entire family with henna tattoos, a “crazy hair” station, and a children’s tent where kids can learn to weave on a giant loom—and yes, of course, you’ll have your fair share of fine art, entertainment, and grub with more than 70 artists and seven musical performances, street food, and fun.

When: June 2, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Where: St Paul at Como and Carter Avenues

Art on the Lake

Excelsior’s Art on the Lake aims to take artists’ stories and combine them with a flourishing lake community on Lake Minnetonka. Partnering with AVIVO, Art on the Lake showcases more than 140 artists in 13 different mediums in traditional and contemporary art. Listen to local music, visit the beer and wine tent, and support local artists—all while enjoying the historic lakeside village of Excelsior.

When: June 9, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., June 10, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Where: Commons Park in Excelsior on Lake Minnetonka

Northern Spark

Night owls, listen up! Northern Spark isn’t your typical art festival. This progressive art fair will take you throughout historic downtown Minneapolis to three different locations, but, you know, in the middle of the night. The festival features video projections, experimental performances, and temporary art installations. Bring your caffeine and artsy-side to this late-night event for a perfect night out.

When: June 15 and 16, 9:02 p.m.- 2 a.m.

Where: Downtown Minneapolis at three locations (The Commons, Minneapolis Central Library and Nicollet Mall between 3rd and 8th streets.

Wooden spoons, platters, and wood work.
(Fotolia, MNStudio)

Stone Arch Bridge Festival

No Father’s Day plans yet? No worries. The Stone Arch Bridge Festival will carry your family along the Minneapolis Riverfront to enjoy art, live music, a car show, and—potentially Dad’s selling-point—a beer sampler. Get a workout in with family yoga in the park, paint and drink some bubbly at the Mandala’s and Moscato’s art class, or take a peek at the fine art, photography, and digital media.

When: June 15, 5 p.m.-10 p.m., June 16, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., June 17, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Where: Minneapolis Riverfront (along Main Street SE beginning at Hennepin Avenue and extending to the Stone Arch Bridge. Some events are held at Father Hennepin Park and Water Power Park).

June-Bug Art Crawl

Corcoran and Powderhorn Artists (COPA) are back for another year for the June-Bug Art Crawl. The crawl guides visitors through neighborhood streets, where unlike traditional art events, visitors can see and experience the actual studios and homes of COPA artists to learn about their artistic talents while they’re in their creative element. This community event will include local businesses to draw traffic and artistic awareness into our Minneapolis streets.

When: June 16, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.

Where: Lake and 38th streets and Chicago and Hennepin Avenues

Wayzata Art Experience

Do you know any other art shows that offer sailboat rides, steamboat tours, a boat show, a beer run, and all the traditional art fair festivities in one? We don’t. The Wayzata Art Experience brings more than 100 fine arts exhibits, along with food trucks, art projects, performances from local talent, hands-on activities, and more. With so much to enjoy, you’ll want to be everywhere at once.

When: June 23, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., June 24, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Where: Lake Street in downtown Wayzata

Hand-made pins and brooches that look like insects
(Fotolia, MNStudio)

Art at St. Kate’s

Visit St. Catherine University this summer for quality fine arts and crafts from nearly 100 juried artists. Art at St. Kate’s, presented by Artists’ Circle and the Textile Center, is an art fair with some of your not-so-typical but oh-so-impressive goods—like blown glass, rugs, and hand bags. Still not sold? Free parking, musicians, and food trucks will definitely close the deal.

When: July 7, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Where: St. Catherine University in St. Paul

Red Hot Art Festival

Celebrating 17 years, Stevens Square Community Organization presents the Red Hot Art Festival. Thousands of visitors will come together to enjoy more than 100 local artists, 30 bands, food trucks, interactive games, and hands-on demos. You can even bring your perfect little pup—this event provides free dog sitting.

When: July 21, 11 a.m.- 6 p.m., July 22 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Where: Stevens Square Park

FLOW Northside Arts Crawl

FLOW Northside Arts Crawl puts a special twist on this community celebration of art. This self-guided tour of art studios, theaters, galleries, and more spans more than a mile along the streets of North Minneapolis. Nearly 300 artists and 35 different sites will offer indoor and outdoor activities that range from dance, drawing, and dropping beats all the way to fine art from amateur and professional artists alike.

When: July 26, 6 p.m.-10 p.m., July 27 3 p.m.- 10 p.m., July 28 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Where: North Minneapolis (along the West Broadway corridor from the Mississippi River to Penn Avenue)

Tiny hand-made pieces of pottery in a trough
(Fotolia, MNStudio)

Loring Park Art Festival

Downtown Minneapolis will welcome 25,000 attendees to the Loring Park Art Festival this season with more than 140 artists, 10 live performances, crafts for the kids, and all the culinary options galore with two food court locations. Enjoy the beautiful ponds and gardens while basking in art, culture, and entertainment with the whole family.

When: July 28, 10 a.m.- 6 p.m., July 29, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Where: Loring Park at Oak Grove and Hennepin Avenue

Uptown Art Fair

The 55th Annual Uptown Art Fair brings in 400,000 visitors and features more than 350 fine artists. The festival has food and beverages from more than 20 vendors, interactive activities for children and adults alike, and even a youth art fair for students 8 to 18 to showcase their creative works. Combine outdoor cultural performances with beer and wine gardens and you’ll always have a “win.” But who will snag the W in their culinary arts competition? Find out this summer.

When: August 3, 12 p.m.-8 p.m., August 4, 10 a.m.-8 p.m., August 5, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Where: Uptown Minneapolis (down West 29th Street and Hennepin Avenue).

Powderhorn Art Fair

Nearly 18,000 attendees over a span of two days doesn’t lie: The Powderhorn Art Fair has been one of the best for nearly three decades. The fair provides entertainment, food trucks, and highlights more than 200 artists from 26 states and 216 cities from across the nation. If you’re still not sold, the event offers an opportunity to support youth programming at Powderhorn Park and a portion of all proceeds will be donated to their activities.

When: August 4, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., August 5, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Where: Powderhorn Park in south Minneapolis

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