Monday, June 11, 2012


Art A Whirl sets my heart a twirling. I simply adore strolling amongst the studios and viewing the physical manifestation of the artist’s imagination. Inspiring to see a bit of their soul displayed and have the honor to speak with the creator. It was nice to peruse the guidebook in advance of the crawl. It gave me the opportunity to plan my route. It is physically impossible to visit each and every studio open during the largest art-crawl in the United States. I concentrated on the larger buildings that I did not view last year.

Attended the opening reception on Friday night at the Thorpe Building. Unfortunately, many of the venues weren’t available at the start time. Perhaps I should have ventured there later but the parking lot filled very quickly. The post-apocalyptic space engineered by The Friemily Collaborative was awesome. Their magical space was a delight but was quiet when I toured.  Motos vibrated the end of the building with throbbing tunes and way-cool motorcycles. Banner Creations folks were affable and it was interesting to touch their recycled plastic bottle products with zero waste.

Saturday I trekked to the California and Artbloc buildings. It is most disappointing when the studio door is closed. California building was the worst for lack of open as advertised. Sunday I went to Quarma and Northrup King. I spent about ten hours crawling around during the three days. I wanted to do more but the sciatic pain returned after walking on cement. It also irritated my heel spur despite wearing tennis shoes. In 2011, departed early after the tornado destroyed the nearby neighborhoods because I am a Red Cross volunteer. I assisted at the shelter off and on for six weeks. I wrote about it May 23rd, 2011. If you like jewelry, invite the folks from the nonprofit Jewelry For Hope to your party. They support a school in Haiti and can bring an impressive display of funky recycled material bead necklaces, earrings, and bracelets to sell. Contact Jan Jones at for details.

Attention AAW Organizers: plan for lost and bewildered patrons. Assume that they know nothing and need to be led by the hand. Consistent AAW signage both outside and inside the venues, building maps, and greeters needed at every location. There should be a sandwich board (St. Paul Art Crawl excels) or large lawn sign for each building and independent studio (LOLA does this well). The building should have large signs inside pointing to open studios (Thorp shines) and posted maps (Northrup King stands out). Architectural Building was on the map but I could not determine if any of the studios were really open.

Each building should have one main entryway with a nearby information booth. Other entryways should be marked with directions to the information booth and tour guides posted at main intersections of the building. I got lost in Thorp before finding the information booth because the signage had not been posted, yet. The Thorp’s Scavenger Hunt was clever but it was only explained at the info booth, which I found near the end of my visit. It would be helpful if the AAW website had a list of all the special events and activities from every venue. I would have liked to see performances, if I had known about them.

I enjoy chatting with friendly artists. I avoid the arrogant or irritable folks. Why do they even bother to open their doors if they really don’t want to interact with the public? It would be better to just not participate rather than dispel potential patrons with a bad attitude. Artbloc was the most difficult to locate, no building map, greeters, or interior signage. I got lost in the connected warren of buildings, and was dismayed that I could not find the open studios. I did happen upon the chocolates sale, yummy! Oddly, even though several food trucks prep their wares at the Artbloc site, none sold to patrons.

Apologize that this review is belated but I had to attend my uncle’s funeral. Plus, I like to mull a bit before I publish. To be continued with a list of favored creativity…

Enamored of Art.
© 2012 Ima B. Musing

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