Art-A-Whirl 2015: Come For the Art, Stay For the Art

My husband has a sticker on his guitar that says, "Art can't hurt you." I always thought it was kind of a weird slogan. Who is that afraid of art? Me, as it turns out.

This weekend is Art-A-Whirl in Northeast Minneapolis and we are celebrating the 20th anniversary this year. Personally I have been going since 2007. I pretty much just went to visit my cousin. Lauren had graduated with a degree in visual art and was working a day job and doing art on the side. We have a lot in common and have a great time getting together, but I was hesitant when it came to her art. I'm sure I said the same old, tired jokes that everyone says and laughed nervously. Why do we all think we need to KNOW SOMETHING about art to participate, to enjoy ourselves? Actually I'd say I know a fair amount about art, at least as much as the average bear. I've even been to a couple of famous museums in my lifetime so what the heck was I afraid of?

Maybe people feel more comfortable in a museum because they understand the rules.

  • Be quiet
  • Don't touch
  • Admire from afar

Getting into a noisy, joyful environment like Art-A-Whirl is a whole different animal. We invite you to come right in and enjoy. Talk to the artists and buy something right off the wall, right on the spot. I completely understand that it takes some getting used to. 

What I would say to someone that is new to an art crawl or gallery show is: GO. Hang out with some art. It is OK to admire from afar if you're not quite ready to jump in, but definitely go. I found that just being around the art changed how I felt about it. I developed strong feelings about what I like and appreciate. Find some art that appeals to you and use that as a jumping off point to discover more things you like, because that's all it's about. 

Lucky you! If you come to my studio this weekend and take part in this monumental art crawl you'll even get to see the artist that has made me so happy over the years. Lauren Strom ( is still making art. Things have changed and evolved since 2007 when we first sat around the Grain Belt Bottling House, but it's a happy evolution. Lauren paints abstracts on wood and canvas. She also has prints, framed art and cards. There is some very special art for little people so if you have a small artist of your own definitely bring them along! We are going to be a small part of a big huge art community for the best weekend of the year in Northeast and we couldn't be more excited.