Friday, April 23, 2010

Art Crawl tips

Sunrise (18x24 / acrylic on canvas)

The Art Crawl is almost ready to begin--it's time to present --
"Tips for making the Art Crawl a fun experience"
--Wear comfortable clothes and walking shoes. You will be doing a lot of walking and after a while, comfort takes priority over fashion (at least in my book...but then I'm an artist, not a fashionista).

--A word of warning: we have a little bit of construction going on in Lowertown St. Paul. But don't let a little lightrail construction discourage you. Park in a lot and then walk or catch the shuttle bus. I would suggest using the parking lot at Kellogg and Broadway. (Unofficial word is that if you park in the upper level of this lot, it's r free). Oh, you can also catch the shuttle bus at this lot.

--Then select a few buildings to begin your crawl experience. I recommend starting with the Tilsner  (300 Broadway Street) where I'm located (Studio #507). The Tilsner is located across the street from that parking lot I just told you about (see how that works!) Generally I suggest checking out some of the buildings that are live/work spaces (like the Tilsner) and buildings that are solely work spaces--like the Jax. The Jax has a high concentration of open studios--many of the artists have been open there for years. I still have a working studio at the Jax and love the work of the artists there.

--Buy a crawl catalogue for a small donation ($2, I think). It's your all-in-one guide to the art crawl. It contains a nifty map of the crawl,along with artist information. 

--Generally start on the top floor of a building and work your way down. It's easier and less tiring to go down steps. Don't count on elevators--some buildings don't even have public elevators (but the Tilsner does)

-Although you won't be served a meal, you will find plenty of treats at the Art Crawl. So studios will even be serving wine.

--There will also be music and performers in some studios or outside buildings. You'll find the most street entertainment on Friday night. The Black Dog Cafe usually has a fire juggler on Friday night and will definitely have music on Friday night. 

--Feel free to chat with the artists. They open up their studios so you can learn about their work and because they would like to hear what you think. This is the part I most enjoy. After creating art almost in a vacuum for 6 months out of the year, I welcome the opportunity to share my work with others and hear what they think. 

--Which leads me to my last point (not so much a tip perhaps, but a thought...) -- The Art Crawl is a great place to buy art, directly from the artist! Many people don't think of buying original art as something they can do, but often it's much more affordable than you might imagine. And it makes a great gift--one that will last a lifetime and be remembered for a lifetime. When my husband (then a boyfriend) took me to my first art crawl years ago, he returned to a studio we had visited and bought a painting for me. It was one of the best gifts I've ever received...and I think about that every time I see the painting hanging on our wall.

But even if you don't buy any art, come to the Art Crawl (I always call it a cheap date!)...And have a good time!

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