It’s time to get outside and explore more than just the birds and the bees buzzing around. There’s art to see! At summer art fairs, you can discover artists, enjoy being outdoors, or just eat your way through an afternoon.
“Empowering Artistic Females” is this year’s theme, with Northbrook, Ill.-based Karina Llergo as featured artist. Her piece “Break Through” depicts a woman dancing under an umbrella, her feet covered with the same dripping, visceral red paint as the umbrella she holds.
Catch live music, a kids’ crafting area, and a wide variety of food, from Red Cow burgers to Jasmine Deli Vietnamese food, ice cream, egg rolls and several beer gardens.
10 a.m.-7 p.m. June 1-2, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. June 3, 50th St. & France Av. S. edinaartfair.com
If you love watercolors and wonder where to get them, look no further. Minnesota Watercolor Society members also will offer workshops, including “How to create cloud painting landscapes” by Kathy Braud (4 p.m. June 1).
9 a.m.-7 p.m. June 1, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. June 2, State Fairgrounds.
Located just east of St. Paul’s Lowertown, this festival welcomes more than 50 visual and performing artists. Many artists will be creating work live; be sure to watch the plein air painters at work.
10 a.m.-5 p.m. June 2, Swede Hollow Park.
More than 70 artists set up booths around this St. Paul neighborhood’s historic Carnegie library for this fair, now in its 49th year. Expect plant and book sales, art activities, music, food and more. Featured artists include a glassblower, a potter and a furniture maker.
10 a.m.-5 p.m. June 2, Como and Carter avenues, St. Paul.
Rather than one crazy all-nighter, Northern Spark is experimenting this year with two shorter nights full of art and performance in downtown Minneapolis. Get there on foot or bike. The festival opens with Wakemup Productions’ “Smart Wars: Mni Wiconi Alliance,” an experience of funktavism (fun activism) aimed at awakening “our shared indigenous reality.” Activities and tours abound, such as yarn weaving, glass blowing, guided walking tours of Nicollet Mall and a native perspective project about the Boundary Waters.
9:02 p.m. (sunset)-2 a.m. June 15-16, Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis Central Library and the Commons by U.S. Bank Stadium.
For this annual art crawl, members of COPA (Corcoran/Powderhorn Artists) open up their studios in south Minneapolis and invite the public to see what they’re up to. This year, videomaker/animator John Akre will show a community animation project at Susan Hensel Gallery, which also will exhibit digital embroidery. Studios open up a world of art, from paintings of Prince to crocheted wine charms and Minnesota-inspired jewelry.
10 a.m.-4 p.m. June 16, between Lake and 38th streets and Chicago and Hiawatha avenues.
More than 200 artists and 20 bands and performers take over Stevens Square Park in Minneapolis for a bustling summer weekend. The organization boasts that this will be its biggest festival to date. Oh, and there will be plenty of food trucks.
11 a.m.-6 p.m. July 21, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. July 22, 1801 Stevens Av. S., Mpls.
North Minneapolis celebrates its thriving arts community with three days of art-filled celebrating. A Thursday evening block party on Plymouth Avenue kicks things off, followed by a day of receptions and ticketed events and then a Saturday takeover by more than 300 artists. Juxtaposition Arts will unveil a skate plaza at W. Broadway and Emerson Avenue N., the site of its future building. “It feels like a family reunion,” Juxtaposition Arts CEO DeAnna Cummings said of Flow. “Even if you are not from the North Side, it feels like family you didn’t know you had.”
6-10 p.m. July 26, 3-10 p.m. July 27, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. July 28, various locations in north Mpls.
Gather ’round the pond and mingle in the gardens for two days at this annual art festival featuring 140 visual artists working with ceramics, drawing, fiber arts (some of it wearable), glass, jewelry, leather, metal, painting, paper, photography, mixed media, wood, printmaking and sculpture. There’s a selection of food, as well, from classic hot dogs and brats to spring rolls, omelets, ice cream, and lemonade. Bonus: Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden are just across the Siah Armajani bridge.
10 a.m.-6 p.m. July 28, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. July 29, downtown Mpls.
Uptown gets even busier than usual with the region’s biggest art fair. In addition to showcasing the work of more than 350 artists from around the world, it includes a youth art fair (ages 8-18), every genre of music you can think of, and food from 25 vendors. Minnesota painter and illustrator Brian Jensen has created a print exclusively for the fair.
Aug. 3-5, around Lake Street and Hennepin Avenue S. in Mpls.
This annual regional juried fair, held the same weekend as Uptown’s, brings in artists from all over the country. Nearly 200 of them set up tents around Powderhorn Lake on one of the hottest weekends of the year. Truly, summer is the best season in Minnesota.
10 a.m.-6 p.m. Aug. 4, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 5, Powderhorn Park, 3400 15th Av. S., Mpls.