Artists In Storefront 3's storefront tour and ugly sweater contest this Saturday

Outdoor art by Mary Jane Mansfield 
Outdoor art by Mary Jane Mansfield 
Photo by Steven Lang

Earlier this month, Artists in Storefronts launched its third storefront gallery series in the space of a year. This edition is more ambitious than ever. "It's weird to imagine all of this has only been happening for a little over eight months," says AIS founder Joan Vorderbruggen.

No kidding. This round is comprised of 20 storefront exhibits, a street-art mural, and a commissioned outdoor sculpture by Mary Jane Mansfield. Also new this time is Jaime Carrera's Outlet Performance Festival, and a collection of fashion designs inspired by the drawings of a Louis Bustos, a five-year-old boy.

This Saturday, AIS is hosting an ugly sweater contest and walking tour, beginning at the Black Forest Inn's annual Christmas Market. People are invited to come dressed in their most ridiculous holiday sweater and tour Artists in Storefronts highlights.

Related stories:
Jaime Carrera talks about Outlet performance festival
Mary Jane Mansfield talks about 'Dream'
Joan Vorderbruggen: 100 Creatives

Mural by CAW*ES & Wundr
Mural by CAW*ES & Wundr
Photo by Steven Lang
"The ugly sweater theme is outside of my comfort zone, and I'm a bit fascinated by it," says Vorderbruggen. However, she doesn't personally see overly exuberant or garish styles of dress as a bad thing. In fact, she adores it. "If I were really able to take the challenge seriously, I'd sew a working Teddy Ruxpin bear to my sweater and pre-record the entire storefront tour through him. I'd straight-up frighten everyone, and take home the gold!" Unfortunately, purchasing a working Teddy Ruxpin is way too expensive. 

But ultimately, the event was decided because Vorderbruggen likes to be silly. "This is an idea people seem to enjoy during the holidays, and due to the season and the cold weather a theme was in order as well as a walking tour that includes bopping in and out of pubs in the area." She also wanted to promote the Black Forest Inn's Christmas Market, as it is full of local vendors and is a wonderful tradition in the neighborhood. "A slightly buzzed holiday afternoon with a pack of good timers dressed up all goofballs seemed worthy of kicking off our tours of the third run," she says.

Rudy Fig's storefront at Blacklist Vintage
Rudy Fig's storefront at Blacklist Vintage
Photo by Steven Lang

The tour will include Mary Jane Mansfield's outdoor sculpture of a tiny house with a yellow picket fence and colorful windows and roof panels that are lit with holiday lights at night. Mansfield completed the project as part of her curriculum at the University of Minnesota. 

There's also the very expansive and colorful street art mural, located where Third and Second Avenue (meet near 28th Street) by CAW*ES & Wundr.

The Outlet Performance Festival is also well underway. It will be taking a break for the holidays, then starting up again for six consecutive Saturdays through February 9. 

The opening reception included garments created by six designers -- Liseli Polivka, Project Runway alum Christopher Straub, Raquel Redmond, Samantha Rei-Crossland, Deborah Block, and Vorderbruggen -- based on the drawings of a five-year-old boy. The pieces are now on display at Head to Toe salon.  

If you miss the tour on Saturday, there will be a few more, including one on January 19 with Andy Sturdevant and Bill Lindeke (which will double as a pub crawl). Another Vorderbruggen-led one on February 9 features boasts a walking tour with luminaries. The series will end with a live auction of the garments at the closing reception at Rainbow Chinese on Saturday, February 16.  

Finally, in March, Vorderbruggen will do a "Year in Review" at SOOlocal featuring Steven Lang, Carrie Thompson, Jack Edwards, Jaime Carrera, Jason Wade, and others. 


Artists In Storefronts 3: Storefront Tour and Ugly Sweater Contest
2 p.m. Saturday, December 22
Black Forest Inn's annual Christmas Market
1 E. 26th St., Minneapolis
Wearing an ugly sweater is not mandatory for participation

Use Current Location

Related Location

Black Forest Inn

1 E. 26th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55404


Sponsor Content


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >