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This week's must-see art shows

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Summer art festival season is in full swing, with plenty happening this weekend. Whether you’re headed to West Broadway, Loring Park, or Stevens Square, it’s a great time to discover finds from local and visiting artists, have some great street food, and listen to music. Also this week is a show dedicated to work celebrating the paranormal, which should be a blast.

11th Annual FLOW Northside Arts Crawl

Where it’s at: West Broadway, Minneapolis. 

What it’s about: Businesses and organizations along West Broadway in north Minneapolis open their doors for this three-day festival packed with music, gallery shows, dance, murals, fine art, film screenings, and everything in between. Beginning with a block party on Thursday night, the crawl continues on Friday with preview events, gallery receptions, and performances, and concludes on Saturday with a grand finale featuring over 300 artists at 25 different locations. 

Why you should go: There’s so much happening at this year’s crawl, you’d be hard pressed to take in everything -- but it’s worth a try. Highlights include an outdoor photography installation featuring large-scale prints by Bill Cottman and a new film by D.A. Bullock of Bully Creative about the fire that erupted in the commercial corridor in 2015. Artist John Bueche will exhibit a public installation, and there’ll be puppetry workshops and a parade on Saturday, plus tons of performances and music. 

When: 5:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday, 1:30 to 9 p.m. Friday, and 10 a.m to 9 p.m. Saturday.

Loring Park Art Festival 

Where it’s at: Loring Park, 1382 Willow St., Minneapolis.

What it’s about: The Loring Park Art Festival gets a jump start this year, taking place a week earlier than usual. This should be good news for fans of the event, which used to take place during the Uptown and Powderhorn Art Fairs, as it gives them more time to visit all three. Taking place in the beautiful park, located just outside of downtown Minneapolis, the festival draws artists from all over the country, as well as many local talents. 

Why you should go: In addition to the lovely setting and the chance to look at tons of art on a beautiful summer day, Loring Park Art Festival offers a new program this year called Paint the Park. Throughout the weekend, artists are invited to paint what they see, either within the park or visible from standing in the park. Using their own materials, artists pay a $20 fee (exhibiting artists and their partners/spouses are eligible to participate for free), and then bring their completed works to the Outdoor Painters of Minnesota display booth near the park building to display.

Also, don’t forget to download a free MetroTransit pass. 

When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Red Hot Art Festival 

Where it’s at: Stevens Square Park, 1801 Stevens Ave. S., Minneapolis.

What it’s about: The Red Hot Art Festival is one of the spunkier art festivals in town, with a host of local artists exhibiting their work either in booths or in the community tent, which offers a lower fee to make it more accessible for emerging artists. The happening also boasts two days of live music, dancing, and other entertainment, plus food from La Loma Tamales, MN Nice Cream, Baldy's BBQ, and more. 

Why you should go: While the Loring Park Art Festival’s move to a week earlier means you can’t include it in your art-fair hopping during the Uptown Art Fair and the Powderhorn Art Fair, it’s new time slot makes it a perfect pairing with Red Hot Art Festival, as it's just a hot skip and a jump away. Plan to walk or bike between the two festivals for a day of art, music, and fun in the heart of the city. If you plan on going Sunday, start your day right with yoga in the park at 10 a.m.

When: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.