Window shopping is about to get cooler in downtown Minneapolis

Made Here's Joan Vorderbruggen works on a Whittier storefront in an earlier iteration of her series.

Made Here's Joan Vorderbruggen works on a Whittier storefront in an earlier iteration of her series. Star Tribune

You don’t have to buy presents for anyone, regardless of which holiday you happen to celebrate. Instead, you could write your loved ones a nice note or make a donation in their name. However, if you do feel that a special gift or two is in order, we’ve got you covered, because who needs the hectic buzz of shopping malls when you could step into a gallery and get a lovely piece of art that shows how much you care?

Spirit: Made Here

City Center

Or, if you must go the commercial route, we suggest you head to downtown Minneapolis, where you can take a peek at new window displays courtesy of Made Here. You don’t have to be a grinch to reject consumerism. Instead, check out these options below to give something really special.



Spirit Made Here Launch Event

Where it’s at: City Center Atrium, 33 S. Sixth St., Minneapolis (plus vacant storefronts in downtown).

What it’s about: The Made Here team is back at it again, with 30 new window displays in downtown Minneapolis. Themed around the idea of “spirit,” the outdoor exhibit launches on Thursday with a reception in the Minneapolis City Atrium featuring light appetizers and a cash bar. There will be an artists’ market, tours of the installations, and performances, including spoken word from youth involved with Kulture Klub Collaborative.

Why you should go: Spearheaded by Joan Vorderbruggen, Hennepin Theatre Trust’s director of public art and placemaking, Made Here proves once and for all that art can be anywhere and everywhere. As in past shows, this series of window displays comes from a diverse range of artists, located in spots you’d never think to look for art. Textiles, video, sculpture, and much more will be on display, with downtown Minneapolis as the canvas.

When: 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday.



Muxer Rebelde Anti-Mall Holiday Sale and Performance

What it’s about: Rebel women, where you at? We’ve got an event for you. At the second annual Muxer Rebelde Anti-Mall Holiday Sale and Performance at Electric Machete Studios, the artists in the collective will be honoring the Aztec mother goddess Tonanztin and the Virgin of Guadelupe. There will be poetry, music, art, and gifts.

Why you should go: Put on by the Indigenous, Mexican, and [email protected]/[email protected] artists of Electric Machete (that "@" symbol indicates they are inclusive of all genders), this event is a great chance to support local creatives, and to find the perfect gift for your loved ones. Their space has a super nifty vibe, and events there are filled with lots of activity, music, and energy. If you haven’t stopped by, you should.

When: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday (performances are at 7 p.m.).



24th Annual Women’s Art Festival

Where it’s at: Colin Powell Youth Leadership Center, 2924 Fourth Ave. S., Minneapolis.

What it’s about: Reject the patriarchy by supporting women artists this weekend for the 24th annual Women’s Art Festival, where over 130 women artists of all experience levels will gather to share their work and have a good time. There’ll be live music all day, plus food and drink by Sisters’ Sludge Coffee Cafe and Kabomellete Food truck.

Why you should go: Whether you need to get some holiday shopping done and want to support local women artists, or are just looking for a little feminism this weekend, the Women’s Art Festival is the place to be. Discover new artists and meet some folks for lively conversation.

When: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday.



Rosalux Gallery Open Door

Where it’s at: Rosalux Gallery, 1400 NE Van Buren St., Minneapolis.

What it’s about: Once a year, Rosalux Gallery opens its doors for a juried show that showcases a wider swath of artists than those who are in the collective. This year, Andrea Carlson has taken the task to selecting artists, who employed the theme of “tactility.” Textures come out to play in all kinds of ways in this show, with work by Nicolas Darcourt, Justine Di Fiore, Mary Gibney, Monica Howell, R.J. Kern, Daniel McCarthy-Clifford, Karen Peters, Montana Picard, Erika Ritzel, Nick Rivers, Adam White, and Jake Zirbes.

Why you should go: We love the Rosalux roster of artists, who put on scintillating shows throughout the year. But what’s great about the "Open Door" exhibition is that you get new and different perspectives from a range of backgrounds and experiences through the filter of a smart curator who can bring a fresh take. Andrea Carlson, who is a fascinating artist in her own right, shifts the gallery into a new vantage point. Come and take it in.

When: There will be an opening reception from 7 to 10 p.m. this Saturday. The show runs through December 31.