Don’t Call It a Gift Guide

But, well, it is a great way to find gifts.

Since Minneapolis-St. Paul is home to an award-winning Arts District, December is a great time to revisit some studios for artistic inspiration—and some shopping while you’re there. 

Abraham PiperSolar Arts

There’s no better way to see the creative absurdity and ridiculous perfection in Blue Kazoo puzzles than in the cheeky ‘Keep It Clean’ 1,000-piece vintage poster jigsaw puzzle. Buff privates scrubbing down their … selves at the behest of Uncle Sam highlights artist Abraham Piper’s approach to pretty much everything, which has won him a sizeable fan base. 

Hossle Woodworks—California Building

Let’s take a minute to appreciate woodworker Justin Hossle’s dad joke: “Tried to come up with a joke about carpentry… Nothing wood work.” The self-taught woodsmith is the sole designer and builder at Hossle Woodworks and makes stylish and modern pieces, from a beautiful media console (better ask Santa for this one) to pot stands for your plants to unique ornaments (that, yeah, would make great gifts). 

Anthony S. Huonder + AsH Pottery—Q.arma

Forget cups with kids’ pictures on them … Blending functional pottery and beautiful visual artworks, AsH Pottery creates high-fire stonewares that look—through their push-pull contours and moody, earthy coloring—as natural as their inherent usefulness.

Emily Gray Koehler—Thorp Building

In a city full of poster print options, Emily Gray Koehler stands out with a combination of deeply detailed woodcut prints that capture nature scenes—birch trees, angus cows, a moon over bare branches—in her unique and vibrant style, which appeals to both poster fans and folks who might appreciate the subjects in the medium.  

Clay City SquaredFlux 

The anchor of the newly named Flux Arts Building in Northeast, Clay City Squared might be more for an arts appreciator to finish their stylized kitchen backsplash, but Clay City also houses artists who even create watercolor-like tiles prints to and custom shapes and standout accents.

Julie Burkhart-Haid—Solar Arts

A true master of the jewelry craft, it’s easy to see the 35 years of experience in Julie Burkhart-Haid’s custom pieces. Her studio in the Solar Arts Building showcases little artworks that her many, many fans can show off every time they wear them.

Patricia CanneyCalifornia Building

Hard to pick just a few artists in the NE Arts District? Yes. Even harder to pick just one piece from an artist that speaks to you? Also yes. Patricia Canney’s beautiful paintings—variations on figurative work that include lush, soft colors—present deep portraits without the figures.

WintercraftNorthrup King Building

As practical as they are decorative—since, you know, it’s dark starting at 4 PM—Jennifer Shea Hedberg and Wintercraft make it easy for amateurs of any age to create stunning ice lanterns to display your own creations through the winter. 

Kerri (Mulcare) SandveCasket Arts Building

Artist books, zines, screenprints, sculptural paper works, and collages—Carbon Copy Press has a little something for everyone who appreciates printing. A former Artist Collective Fellow at MN Center for Book Arts, Kerri (Mulcare) Sandve even runs a killer Oatreon to give fans first look (and dibs!) on her work and merch.   

Anna Stargirl ArtNorthrup King Building

Can you find your house on Anna Palmquist’s highly detailed watercolor map of Minneapolis-St. Paul? Likely. The print is so specific you might think she captured actual residents walking around the sky-blue lakes. Her artwork combines the structured—like a star map diagram of the moon—with flowing color.