Art-A-Whirl is the biggest artist crawl in the U.S.—and a great opportunity to pick up original paintings, ceramics, and home goods by local makers. The crawl began in 1996 with a handful of a Northeast Minneapolis warehouses that had been converted into artist studios, and it’s since then, it’s also become a shopping destination for Minnesota-made goods. Here are five modern home goods makers to look out for at this year’s crawl, followed by a listing of maker pop-ups and open studio events. (Unless otherwise noted, all events take place during normal Art-A-Whirl hours, Friday from 5–10 p.m., Saturday from noon–8 p.m., and Sunday from noon–5 p.m.) For more information, visit artawhirl.org.
Since 2013, husband-and-wife duo Michele and Erik Vevang have been using traditional Scandinavian wood carving techniques to hand-craft spoons and bowls. Drawing on Erik's Norwegian heritage and the couple's background in the arts, the pair explore the intersection of craft and art by working with locally sourced wood to produce practical and beautiful items. They also create custom furniture, lighting, and reclaimed wood installations. For Art-A-Whirl, they're hosting a dozen other makers at their Northeast Minneapolis studio, with goods spanning ceramics to sculpture. All weekend @ VevangMPLS Studio, 2807 Johnson St. NE., Minneapolis, vevangmpls.com
Tinyloud Creative Co.
Megan Burke is a UX designer by day, and a ceramicist by night (and weekends). She creates her whimsical planters, ring dishes, earrings, and figurines in her Minneapolis ceramic design studio, Tinyloud Creative Co. True to its name, Tinyloud’s pieces are small in size yet bold in design. Her “Shut Eye” ring dishes are shaped like tiny hands, inspired by all-seeing-eye symbolism, and her figurines feature gold-flecked crowns (which can double as ring holders). Burke’s planters, which are illustrated with doll-like faces, are the perfect receptacle for succulent plants. This year for Art-A-Whirl, Burke returns to the Made by Hands maker market with her newest creations. Sunday from noon-6 p.m. @ Bauhaus Brew Labs, 1315 Tyler St. NE., Minneapolis, tinyloud.co
The modern pottery movement continues as a new generation of potters have joined the fold. Minneapolis-based artist Francis Pineda-Fischer founded Sandwich Ceramic just last year, but don't mistake him for an amateur—his vessels are simple, elegant, and functional. Utilizing a neutral palette, he adds contrasting glaze (in soft pink, gray, and ivory) as a counterpart to the rustic textures of the raw formed pottery. His collection, which is sold locally at Forage Modern Workshop, spans mugs, vases, planters, and plates. Look for his collection to pop up at Northeast ethical fashion boutique, Hazel & Rose, on Friday and Saturday during Art-A-Whirl. Friday from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. & Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. @ Hazel & Rose, The Broadway, 945 Broadway St. NE., #220, Minneapolis, sandwichceramic.com
This weekend, a group of 11 local wood makers are joining forces for a joint woodworking show at Art-A-Whirl. Art of the Grain highlights the natural beauty of wood with quality materials and construction. Among them are Craig Johnson of the Grand Rapids-based creative studio, Studio Tupla, a partnership of handweaving and furniture making with his wife, Carol Rajala Johnson. Craig honed his craft at Inside Passage School of Fine Cabinetmaking in Roberts Creek, British Columbia, before moving to Minnesota. His approach to design stems from his deep appreciation for the process of working with hand tools and his reverence for the natural beauty of trees and the various forms they can take—in his case, chairs, tables, and cabinets. Many of his designs are crafted from reclaimed, old-growth wood and feature gentle curves and light lines. Shop his wood furniture all weekend at Youngblood Lumber Co. @ 1335 Central Ave. NE., Minneapolis, studiotupla.com
Capital b Printing
Founded in the heart of St. Paul in 2013, Capital b Printing was born out of trial and error, a passion for the art of screen printing, and the desire to create personalized, handmade gifts by BFFs, Kaitlin Hughes and Amie Butler. Their collection of hand goods features throw pillows, tea towels, and totes are screen printed with reconstructed photos, maps, and original illustrations on high-quality materials. A combination of made-by-hand screen printing and sewing makes each piece perfectly unique. Most pieces also feature a nod to the Twin Cities, with new designs based on maps and city skylines of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Find the brand all weekend during Art-A-Whirl at both Chowgirls Lounge & Makers Market and Broken Clock Brewing. All weekend @ Solar Arts by Chowgirls at Solar Arts building, 711 15th Ave. NE. (third floor), Minneapolis + Broken Clock Brewing, 3134 California St. NE., Minneapolis, capitalbprinting.com
More home goods shopping at Art-A-Whirl 2018:
Chowgirls Lounge & Makers Market: Hang out in Chowgirls Catering’s mod lounge space on the third floor of the Solar Arts building and enjoy pop-up shopping from a curated group of more than 30 local makers, including Capital b Printing (screen-printed home goods), Mousework Glass, Northern Glasses, United Goods, and more, plus mid-century modern furniture for lounging from findfurnish, food by Chowgirls Killer Catering, and seasonal cocktails. All weekend @ Solar Arts by Chowgirls at Solar Arts building, 711 15th Ave. NE. (third floor), Minneapolis; view event page
Duke Albert & Moth Oddities Pop-up: (Saturday only): Northeast boutique Duke Albert and vintage seller Moth Oddities are joining forces for a pop-up shopping event at the backyard of Grumpy’s NE. Look for vintage rock tees, denim jackets, Hawaiian shirts, and unique gifts and home goods by makers from around the world. Plus: cornhole and live sumo wrestling bouts. Saturday from noon-9 p.m. @ Grumpy’s NE, 2200 4th St. NE., Minneapolis
Made by Hands Art & Crafts Extra-Vaganza (Sunday only): As part of Bauhaus Brew Labs' Art-A-Whirl festivities, shop paintings, jewelry, woodwork, sweets, knits, ceramics, and more from local makers (including Tinyloud Creative Co.), plus a live DJ, mini golf from Can Can Wonderland, and food and beverages from Revival, Parlour, and Travail. Sunday from noon-6 p.m. @ Bauhaus Brew Labs, 1315 Tyler St. NE., Minneapolis; view event page
Open Studio Highlights:
Northrup King Building (1500 Jackson St. NE., Minneapolis)
- Studio #148: Populuxe industrial-style lamps, Soviet-inspired poster art, and retro soda. Learn more about the new brand on the Home Dish blog.
- Studio #238: Artisan-made, fair-trade goods at ethical boutique True Ethic, plus air plants by special guest, Tamarack Design Group
- Studio #247: Colorful artwork by Ashley Mary Art and curated gift boxes filled with Minnesota-made goods by Minny & Paul
- Studio #252: Ceramics by A MANO
- Studio #254: Ceramics by Liz Pechacek and Darah Lundberg
- Studio #265: Larissa Loden will have cards, candles, and limited-edition Art-A-Whirl jewelry exclusives, plus cookies from Cookie Cart.
- Studio #277: Refinished, mid-century Danish Teak furniture by Danish Teak Classics, plus guest artist Ernest Miller Ceramics
- Studio #431: Ceramics by Kimberlee Joy Roth
- Studio #451: Hand-dyed textiles and paintings by Jennifer Chilstrom and ceramics by Meg Brown
Casket Arts Building (681 17th Ave. NE., Minneapolis)
- Carriage House, 1720 Madison St. NE.: Wood furniture by Stangler Works
Images courtesy the makers