Posts Tagged ‘Minnesota’


Image: Joe and Jen Photography for Public Functionary

TOMODACHI’s home state of Minnesota is well-known for its vibrant art scene, and at the center of that scene is Northeast Minneapolis — a neighborhood designated as “The Northeast Art District.” Every 3rd weekend in May, the popular district hosts Art-A-Whirl, a massive 3-day studio and gallery crawl (the largest in North America, according to their website). Now in its 21st year, the festival has grown to include everything from visual art to live music to lots and lots of beer (another thing the district is famous for — its myriad of brew pubs). There are hundreds of studios, galleries and art-centric businesses to visit during the crawl — odds are you’ll never be able to see it all.

We’ve compiled our top 6 must-see picks for this year’s event below — but don’t forget to visit the official AAW site at for information on artists, district maps and even a download for an Art-A-Whirl app — a new addition this year. Enjoy!


My Colours Are Bizee + Cool Girls Issue 1 Release

A new art space is popping up in Northeast! The mini-space, a little cube, which is actually the garage of freelance art director John Hardy, boasts finished gallery walls and will likely be one of the best hidden gems of this year’s Art-A-Whirl. a little cube’s inaugural exhibit features the work of OUECHA aka husband/wife art duo Frank and Christina Lyon. The exhibit “My Colours Are Bizee” (a name inspired by their future baby) is a collection of drawings derived from a larger body of OUECHA designed materials, which explore techniques for marker on paper. Also featured in the exhibit is the release of Cool Girls Issue 1 ‘On Dreaming’ that seeks to “colour and thematize the notion of the “digital dream”.”

If you go:

a little cube
1139 Monroe St NE, Minneapolis
(Garage faces large parking lot on Quincy St.)

Friday 5/20: 6 – 10pm
Saturday 5/21: 12 – 8pm
Sunday 5/22: 12 – 5pm


57Princes: Artists’ homage to the Purple One

Nestled in a residential area, in one of the oldest studio buildings in Northeast (an old Polish school house, no less) is Studio A, which ironically, is the last artist-occupied space in the building, which was recently bought by a developer who ousted all other artist tenants. Possibly the last AAW hurrah for this storied building, Studio A will host “57Princes: Artists’ homage to the Purple One” featuring a Prince-inspired group display of works set upon a muralized backdrop created by Erin Sayer and Liseli Polivka. Studio A, owned and operated by Northeast-specializing realtor and all-around cool cat, Aaron Neumann, is always a must-visit AAW spot! Of note: party with the artists after 9pm Friday night — Music by Warehouse Eyes, Lady Parts and Damian D. Anderson.

If you go:

Studio A
607 22nd Ave NE, Minneapolis
(just a couple blocks up from Grumpy’s NE)

Friday 5/20: 5pm-? (Party starts and 9pm and goes late)
Saturday 5/21: 12 – 8pm
Sunday 5/22: 12 – 5pm


Screaming Hand 30th Anniversary Show

A chance to see some of the most influential artists of the past 30 years side by side with local artists? We’ll take it! A tribute to artist and skateboarding icon Jim Phillips, creator of the famed Screaming Hand logo, this touring exhibit inspired by Phillips’ iconic work makes a stop at Burlesque of North America’s CO Exhibitions space, just in time for AAW weekend. Featuring work by Jim Phillips Sr., Jimbo Phillips, Colby Phillips, Jeremy Fish, Mike Giant, Todd Bratrud, Bigfoot, Michael Sieben, John Lucero, John Munnerlyn, Steve Caballero, Steve Olson, Natas Kaupus, Eric Dressen, Thomas Campbell, Sean Cliver, Mark Gonzales, Benny Gold, Jason Jessee, Mark Widmann, Makoto Yamaki, Skinner and many more PLUS, Burlesque has contributed to the exhibit with over a dozen favored locals such as Jennifer Davis, Michael Cina, Michael Gaughan and Jared Tuttle.

If you go:

CO Exhibitions
1101 Stinson Blvd, Minneapolis

Friday 5/20: 5-10pm
Saturday 5/21: 12-6pm
Sunday 5/22: 12-5pm


Mark Schoening: Shape Shifter

Our friends at Public Functionary never disappoint, hence this Art-A-Whirl, make it a point to stop by and lay eyes on their current exhibit, featuring artist Mark Schoening. A bit off the beaten path, this colorful collection of obsessively pieced together laser cut wood pieces and process materials is a cleanly presented exhibit that you won’t have to battle the crowds to experience – and that’s a good thing. Stop by on Friday night for live music from 7pm-10pm featuring G.P. Jacob and Toki Wright, DJ Keezy and Khem Clam for the release of new EP – The Longest Bridge.

If you go:

Public Functionary
1400 12th Ave NE, Minneapolis
(Corner of Buchanan & Broadway)

Friday 5/20: 5-10pm
Saturday 5/21: 12-8pm
Sunday 5/22: 12-5pm


Art-A-Whirl at the Food Building

Art and food are two things we certainly can’t argue with, especially when they are combined! Stop by this beautifully restored building, currently home to The Lone Grazer Creamery, Red Table Meat Company, 2 Gingers Whiskey and (one of our favorite restaurants) The Draft Horse. They’ll be hosting a myriad of local NEMAA member artists throughout their expansive space, which is a treat to explore regardless. Bonus: sampling of the building’s delicious wares will be happening all weekend long — plus a stop at the Draft Horse for one of their famous pot pies and a cocktail is never a bad idea!

If you go:

The Food Building
1401 Marshall Ave NE, Minneapolis

Friday 5/20: 5-10pm
Saturday 5/21: 12-8pm
Sunday 5/22: 12-5pm


Rogue Buddha Gallery

An art star on the busy AAW thoroughfare of 13th Avenue, the Rogue Buddha is the oldest gallery in Northeast, run by renowned oil painter Nicholas Harper. This dimly lit, dark art destination features the work of a number of artists of Harper’s choosing, including assemblage artist Michael Thomsen, whose large-scale sculptures are exploratory labyrinths of found objects and gilded wonder. Harper’s paintings take center stage, however, ranging from surrealist long-necked ladies, richly shadowed portraits and delicate bone assemblage pieces. Be sure to check out the back room while your there for a decadent sampling of Rogue Buddha art favorites, hung salon-style.

Rogue Buddha Gallery
357 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis
(Next to Northeast Social)

Friday 5/20: 5-10pm
Saturday 5/21: 12-8pm
Sunday 5/22: 12-5pm


Art of Food examines Minnesota’s role in food design

2016 at 09:09 pm by admin | Comments Off


Visitors to the Minneapolis – St. Paul International Airport this year will be in for a treat, thanks to the opening of “The Art of Food: A History of Minnesota Food Production.” The exhibit, which opened on April 15th, examines Minnesota’s influence on the food industry around the world. The exhibit includes a variety of brand that have originated from Minnesota over the past 100 years, and includes world-famous, Minnesota-based brands like General Mills, Land O Lakes, Summit Brewing Company and more. Alongside this collection of food memorabilia and information, the exhibit hosts a number of vintage commercials, covering decades of food advertising, stirring nostalgic childhood memories for visitors of all ages. The exhibit will remain open at the MSP until November 15th, 2016, giving tourists and locals alike plenty of time to check it out for themselves!







Artist recreates Van Gogh work through landscaping

2015 at 02:33 pm by admin | Comments Off


As part of the celebration of their 100th anniversary, the Minneapolis Institute of Art has commissioned art into reality by transforming a large plot of land into a living Van Gogh painting! Created by landscape artist Stan Herd, the large-scale replication of Van Gogh’s famous “Olive Trees” painting was created through the use of native Minnesotan plants, and spans an area of over 1.2 acres on the Thomson Reuters campus in Eagen. The work has been in progress since this past spring, when Herd planted the wide variety of seeds needed to recreate Van Gogh’s iconic brushstroke art style, such as grass, oats, and other plants. The landscape art is purposefully located near the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, where fliers can see the painting in its full glory from an airborne perspective. For the rest of us on the ground, make sure to visit this piece of living art while you can, since the piece will eventually wither and disappear with the passing of autumn. Don’t worry if you miss out; you can also check out the real “Olive Trees” painting and other classic works of art at the Minneapolis Institute of Art!

Stan Herd, Of Us and Art: The 100 Videos Project, Episode 30 from Minneapolis Institute of Art on Vimeo.


Live art experience at Envision Fall 2015

2015 at 03:01 pm by admin | Comments Off


TOMODACHI is excited to partner with the Envision Fall 2015 fashion show and our friends at Public Functionary and Fulton Beer to help create the event’s VIP experience on Saturday, September 26th at Orchestra Hall. We collaborated on a vibrant backdrop for the VIP room’s photo booth, which is designed completely with Japanese washi brand, mt tape!

More than just a pretty background, the photo booth is a unique live art collaboration. Guests are invited to pose for fashion photographer Alex Butterfield in front the washi installation; Alex then hands images off to award-winning illustrator, Allegra Lockstad, who will further embellish them using a digital Wacom tablet, projected LIVE. The photos will be posted on Facebook after the event — watch for them to be shared by TOMODACHI!

The Envision Fall fashion show is the Twin Cities preeminent fashion showcase, and the longest running fashion event in Minnesota. Held in the stunning venue of Orchestra Hall, Envision features a runway show of looks from both emerging and established local designers and boutiques.

The VIP Room, curated by Public Functionary, and sponsored by Fulton and TOMODACHI, will also feature music from Eric Mayson and special guests as well as a bar, food and a pop-up shop from Hotrocity and a mt tape table hosted by TOMODACHI!

Runway Line Up:

Caroline Hayden
Jenny Carle
Cory Allen
Form Over Function
Joeleen Torvick
Russell Bourrienne
Sarah Furnae
Tessa Louise
Yevette Willaert


Goorin Bros.
Larissa Loden
Mona Williams
See Eyewear
Stephanie Lake

For more info and to purchase tickets, visit


Mechademia conference returns to MCAD this fall

2015 at 01:34 pm by admin | Comments Off


The Minneapolis College of Art and Design, or MCAD for short, will once again be bringing anime and Asian culture to the Twin Cities with their annual Mechademia conference! Originally titled “School Girls and Mobile Suits”, the Mechademia conference was originally founded in 2001 as a means for discussion of Asian culture and its influence in design, fashion, and art from all over the world. The three-day event has often hosted a number of talks and events hosted by internationally renowned artists in the past, including “Cowboy Bebop” and “Ghost in the Shell” screenwriter Dai Sato and art critic Hiroki Azuma, and will be hosting art and talks this year from manga artist Tomoko Taniguchi, fashion artist Novala Takemoto, videogame designer Brianna Wu, and more!


On top of that, the event hosts a wide variety of workshops and hands-on experiences for visitors of all ages, and even a runway fashion show! The event even publishes an annual “Mechademia” art book, which has received international praise. Special thanks goes out to Samantha Rei Crossland and Frenchy Lunning for helping make this event a reality every year! The Mechademia conference will take place this month from September 25th to the 27th, so make sure to get your tickets and check out this awesome annual experience! Click here to find out more about Mechademia and MCAD!


LEGO art on display at Minnesota

2015 at 03:20 pm by admin | Comments Off


Cartoonist, designer and toy enthusiast Sean Kenney is set to unveil his craft in Minnesota this week with his brand-new LEGO themed exhibit, titled “Nature Connects: Art with LEGO Bricks”! Kenney, who has worked as a LEGO artist for the past decade, will be showing off his installation pieces this Friday, May 15th, at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska, Minnesota. The collection is part of Kenney’s traveling collection of LEGO installations, and will feature 26 of his works, focusing on a nature-inspired theme to harmonize with the Arboretum’s environment. Some of the works are so large that they require a steel inner framework in order to keep them stable! The show will be open until August 30th, and will host hands-on events and activities throughout the duration of the exhibit.