Art-A-Whirl Event Roundup

With an overwhelming amount of things to do and see this weekend, DISPATCH wanted to help by putting a bunch of highlights in one handy place. Here are some picks worth a look for Art-A-Whirl weekend.

Solar Arts at Art-A-Whirl®

Solar Arts Building, 711 NE 15th Ave, Mpls – Friday 5-10 PM, Saturday, 12-8 PM, Sunday 12-5 PM – Free – All Ages

One of the flagship locations for Art-A-Whirl weekend, the Solar Arts Building is packed with visual arts, music, and activities inside on all three floors and outside. 

Indeed Brewing’s annual Whirlygig dominates the ground level with music on all three days, including NUR-D, Turn Turn Turn, Papa Mbye, Mayyadda, Cornbread Harris, and many more. Food trucks from Red Cow, Revival Smoked Meats, The Donut Trap, and KCM Eggrolls will be on hand.

Inside, Solar Arts offers a fully immersive visual arts experience on the second floor, with more than 40 artists displaying and selling their work, as well as music all three days on the gallery stage. Climbing one more floor brings you to the largest open art studio and market of AAW, live music on the third floor gallery stage, and Bavarian pretzels, popcorn, and a full bar from Mintahoe Catering. 

Gnarled by Nature Art-A-Whirl 2023

Eat My Words Bookstore, 214 13th Ave NE, Mpls

Gnarled by Nature brings their brand of metaphysical enhancements and jewelry to a tent set up outside Eat My Words on one of the main thoroughfares of Art-A-Whirl weekend. Saturday and Sunday only.


Elias Metal Studio, 1129 Van Buren St NE, Mpls – Saturday 12-9 PM – Free – All Ages

Elias Metal Studios hosts their block party on Saturday with the headlining Sax/DJ duo Sax Sells headlining, as well as DJ collective No Boys In the Booth providing tunes. Donations encouraged. 

A Conspiracy of Strange Girls Art-A-Whirl Market at Twin Spirits Distillery

Twin Spirits Distillery & M Coffee Shop, 2931 Central Ave NE , Mpls – Saturday, 2-7 PM, Free – All Ages

After a two year absence, A Conspiracy of Strange Girls returns to Art-A Whirl Saturday with a group of nine vendors, tarot readings, and cocktails from Twin Spirits. 

“38” Preview and Book signing

Northrup King Building Studio 294, 1500 Jackson St NE, Mpls

Preview a three-year undertaking to honor the Dakota People and the lives taken in the 1862 mass execution in Mankato. A signed limited-edition of the fine art book 38, containing the complete artwork collection, will be available for purchase, with profits donated to a Native Land Back initiative. Author Keith Dixon will be available to talk about the project.

Bethany Larson & the Bees Knees

Minneapolis Photo Center, 1400 Van Buren Street NE #170 – Saturday 4-6 PM – Free –  All Ages

Bethany Larson and the Bees Knees offer up their slightly twangy, ever-harmonious sounds Saturday afternoon at the Minneapolis Photo Center, just off the Northrup King building. 

Botanical Printing Demonstration

Holland Arts Building East – 3A,  639 22nd Ave NE, Mpls – 3 PM – Free – All Ages

Botanical printing is a form of bundle dyeing where textiles are tightly bundled with plants and steamed, releasing naturally occurring tannins, pigments, and acids to create one-of-a-kind prints. Textile artist Mattie Ernst will lead the demonstration and discussion. 

Free Mini Glass Blowing Classes

Stone Arch Glass Studio, 316 Buchanan St NE, Mpls – Saturday + Sunday – 1-5 PM – Free

The Stone Arch Glass Studio is offering up a free glass blowing class on Saturday and Sunday on a first-come, first-serve to “those old enough to understand the dangers of working with fire.” A great chance for those curious and adventurous enough to try it and bring home a unique piece!

Lighting the Way: A Beeswax Candle-Making Experience

Thorp Building-Studio 153, 1618 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis – Friday, 6-8 PM – $15-$30

Hosted by The White House Artist Collective, a visit to the Thorp Building on Friday evening of Art-A-Whirl will offer an interactive beeswax candle making class. Sara from Slow Burn Candles will lead the class where students can choose from the classic taper style, or for the more adventurous artists-in-training, the twin flame twisted tapers. 

MOON Factory

Northrup King Building, Studio 371, 1500 Jackson St. NE, Mpls. – Friday 5-10 PM, Saturday 12-8 PM, Sunday 12-5 PM – $70-$110

Anna from Stargirl Art creates a one-of-a-kind immersive experience by using color choices and personal details to create your custom MOON. The personalized artwork is a one-of-kind piece that will be ready within a week of Art-A-Whirl.

MX. The Movement – Gender Queer & Here

Northrup King Building, Studio 445, 1500 Jackson St. NE, Mpls. – Saturday + Sunday

MX. builds connection in the queer community through modern clothing design. They will be hosting live demos of digitizing art and embroidering designs on gender-neutral clothing that’s been diverted from landfills. 

The Whirl’d Bazaar at Jac Flats

901 18 1/2 Ave NE, Mpls. – Friday 5-8, Saturday 12-8, Sunday 12-5 – Donations Appreciated

Travel the Whirl’d Bazaar all weekend at Jac Flats! Each day will have plenty for all ages to enjoy including live music, food trucks, wig making, art prints, and “ongoing rug tufting.” 

Avail Ceramics 

Holland Arts Building East, Studio 14, 639 22nd Ave NE, Mpls – Saturday 1 PM

Avail Ceramics will host a ceramic decal demo for their handmade pottery for “fermentation/preservation, libations, and home.” 

Exploring the Bond Between Painting and Music

Thorp Building, Studio 175, 1618 Central Ave. NE, Mpls – Sunday, 2 PM 

Milinda Nitti of The White House Artist Collective will lead a musical performance accompanied by live painting by artist Alyse Emanueland. Nitti says of the piece:

“The joy we feel from hearing sounds is closely related to the joy felt when making sounds themselves. When performing and listening to music, we are renewing, transforming, and creating together—performer and audience. We all have internal subconscious rhythms—our heartbeat and our breath. Experience a temporary shift in perspective as we embrace the bond between painting and music, and honor the subtle calmness and depth that can be found in this space.” 

Potekglass Fused Glass

Flux Arts Building, 2505 NE Howard St, Mpls – Saturday + Sunday, 10 AM-4:45 PM, $15

Potekglass will have their studio open to everyone all weekend—and for a $15 materials cost, visitors can take home a 2” X 2” fused glass magnet. 

In the Field with SPEAK MPLS: Art-A-Whirl Edition

Waterbury Building, 1121 NE Jackson St #121, Mpls – Saturday, 12 PM, $30-$60, All Ages

You’ll get the skills behind the scenes with SPEAK MPLS in this two-and-a-half hour class, utilizing various microphones, cameras, and lights in a field production kit. After the class, students will be qualified as a crew member to help on AAW coverage for SPEAK MPLS. Registration is required. 

Stone Arch Glass Studio 

Stone Arch Glass Studio, 316 Buchanan St NE, Mpls – Saturday + Sunday 1-5 PM

MN Legit will have eight glassblowers doing demos, as well as games and giveaways. For those “feeling spicy,” you can even give glass blowing a….wait for it…whirl. 

Sociable Cider Works

1500 Fillmore St NE, Minneapolis, Friday-Sunday various times, Free

Sociable Cider will host music all weekend long, covering its bases from young rockers The She’s Burgers to vets Eleganza, fresh off the road. In between, look for sets from The Silent Treatment, The Real Chuck NORAD, Machinery Hillm, and more!