May 22
12-5 p.m.
May 21
12-8 p.m.
May 20
5-10 p.m.
Art, Festivals, Galleries
Though corners of quiet contemplation can still be found at the annual Art-A-Whirl festival, novice visitors may initially be disoriented by a boisterous scene that in some areas can resemble a bacchanalian carnival. Marking its 21st year, the signature event of the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (NEMAA) has been cited as the largest open studio art crawl in the country, featuring more than 600 artists exhibiting works in over 750 locations throughout the neighborhood. Displayed within galleries, lofts, garages, and bars is an invigorating blend of methods and mediums, freely mixing painting, photography, sculpture, metalworking, and just about any other category one can imagine. Even the most experienced visitors are bound to find surprises around every corner, as well as new insights to be gleaned from conversations with the artists, ongoing demonstrations, and interactive workshops. Complementing the festive atmosphere are the nonstop music lineups offered by such NE staples as the 331 Club and Grumpy's, as well daylong concerts hosted by the area's burgeoning breweries. Attendees can prepare in advance by picking up a directory (online or at the festival) or downloading a newly released app providing essential details on artists, locations, special events, and dining options. With Metro Transit offering free passes and a complimentary trolley traversing the sprawling grounds, this annual celebration remains the ideal time to explore the artistry that has lent such creative character to this venerable neighborhood. For a complete list of locations, check