It’s a whirlwind of a weekend—half art show, half party, and a whole lot of fun for everyone. Art-A-Whirl is back for its 22nd year May 19–21 in Northeast Minneapolis.
From clay to printmaking, glass to paintings, artwork from more than 600 artists at 50+ locations will be on display throughout Northeast. From the large studio buildings to individual artists’ studios, there’ll be no shortage of art on display. Use the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (NEMAA)’s official downloadable map to help you find your way and their app to help you navigate the event, find artists, plan your trip, and more.
As the largest open-studio tour in the country, we can’t list every studio, but here are some of the largest if you have limited time or want to pack as much into one stop as possible.
- Historic Thorp Building, 1620 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis
- Northrup King Building, 1500 Jackson Street NE, Minneapolis
- Solar Arts Building, 711 15th Avenue NE, Minneapolis
- Casket Arts Building, 681 17th Avenue NE, Minneapolis
It doesn’t get more comprehensive than the music schedule our friends over the 89.3 The Current put together. Head over there to see which bands are playing, when, and where throughout the entire weekend.
Beyond the amazing art on display, Art-A-Whirl has grown into a full-on neighborhood block party, with many breweries, bars, and restaurants hosting events. Here are some of the places where you can grab a drink, get a bite to eat, take in some live music, or just sit back and enjoy the people watching. All of these events are free to attend.
Whirlygig • Indeed Brewing • Friday and Saturday 12pm–11pm, Sunday 12pm–8pm • Free
Three days of art, beer, and music: Welcome to Whirlygig. Enjoy a beer or two from Indeed, including their new Lucy Session Sour, eats from Blue Door Pub and Natedogs, and live music all weekend. As you get full on food and beer, get your fill of the arts by heading upstairs and checking out the Solar Arts Building.
Arty Party • Fair State Brewing • Friday 2pm–12am, Saturday 12pm-12am, Sunday 12pm–9pm • Free
Art (as well as beer) will be flowing at Arty Party. Fair State will be premiering their Artsy Fartsy Pale Ale on draft on Friday at 2pm. The taproom will also host a silent auction all weekend, art-centric trivia, and live screen-printing.
The Liquid Zoo 2017 • Bauhaus Brew Labs • Friday 4pm–11pm, Saturday 12pm–11pm, Sunday 12pm–6pm • Free
Bauhaus’ Liquid Zoo event is a family-friendly celebration where top notch musicians, artists, and food and beverage purveyors collide. Plenty of Bauhaus beer will be available, along with pop-ups from Revival and Parlour. Saturday is an all-day concert featuring the likes of SOLID GOLD, Heiruspecs, ZULUZULUU, and Caroline Smith. Sunday holds a Made By Hands Arts & Crafts Extra-Vaganza, featuring paintings, jewelry, woodworkings, sweets, knits, and much more.
Art-A-Whirl at 331 Club and The Sheridan Room • Friday 5pm-close, Saturday 12pm-close, Sunday 1pm-close • Free
331 Club and next-door neighbors, The Sheridan Room, will be overflowing with music for three days indoor and outdoor stages as Mixed Blood Majority, Charlie Parr, Koo Koo Kanga Roo, Fury Things, and many others perform.
N.E. Beer Garden • Dangerous Man Brewing • Saturday 12pm–11pm • Free
A family-friendly event with live music, food trucks, and fresh beer. Performers include deM atlaS, Kitten Forever, Royal Brat, and more. From 12-3pm, The Minneapolis Beard & Moustache Club will host Beard-A-Whirl, a live, artistic beard contest for men, women, and children. Whether it’s a person’s actual handlebar mustache and goatee, or faux facial hair made from flowers and feathers, this “beauty pageant” will be groomed with creativity.
Grumpy’s NE 2017 Art-A-Whirl Party • Grumpy’s Northeast • Saturday 12pm–10pm • Free
Grumpy’s is a Northeast staple, and of course, will be getting in on the Art-A-Whirl fun with a stellar music lineup on Saturday headlined by Har Mar Superstar. Outdoor bars sprinkled throughout the event will be pouring lots of goodies, while NorthGate Brewing will also be on hand with their Canoe Country Cream Ale, sales of which benefit Save the Boundary Waters.
The Anchor Fish & Chips • Music starting Saturday and Sunday at 2pm • Free
Anchors aweigh! Enjoy food and beer from noon to close each day, along with an array of music, including headliners Monica LaPlante on Saturday and Romantica on Sunday.
Psycho Suzi’s Art-A-Whirl Outdoor Waterfront Festival • Saturday 1pm–2am • Free
Art-A-Whirl is an imaginative occasion, and Psycho Suzi’s is getting in on that spirit with an outdoor waterfront tiki festival. Devour State Fair-style food, and sip on tiki drinks and beers while you watch adorable puppies strut in costumes and dolled up ‘dos with their fifth annual puppy fashion show. Of course, there will be live music, as well as a dance party to move and groove to.
Betty Danger’s Country Club • Saturday 12pm–9pm • Free
Betty Danger’s Country Club wants to join in on the Art-A-Whirl fun, too. They’re looking to have a dangerously good time with catchy songs from Ladies of the 80s from 5pm–8pm. As for the art, browse the artist tents, get creative with DIY spin art, and interact with live graffiti artists.
612Brew at Art-A-Whirl • Friday 5:30pm–10pm, Saturday 12pm-10pm • Free
612Brew will host their fifth annual Art-A-Whirl party with a live music lineup headlined by Absolute Gruv (Friday) and The 4onthefloor (Saturday), an art showcase from several members of the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association, a pop-up tattoo shop from Jackalope Tattoo, a smorgasbord of food trucks throughout the weekend, and plenty of 612Brew beer from their tap trailer, a can tub by the stage, and two indoor bars. Attendees who show a receipt for an art purchase from the weekend get a free beer. The event is all-ages friendly.