The Echo

Festival whirls into action

Art-A-Whirl showcases hundreds of artists

Raphy Gendler

Contemporary artist Jerry Majkrzak sits among three of his paintings during a small preview of his work May 7. He is preparing for upcoming Art-A-Whirl festival May 15-17.

Celene Koller
Contemporary artist Jerry Majkrzak sits among three of his paintings during a small preview of his work May 7. He is preparing for upcoming Art-A-Whirl festival May 15-17.

Oil painter Sarah Thornton highlights the importance of art in her life as she prepares for her eighth showing at Art-A-Whirl.

Art-A-Whirl is a weekend-long open studio tour throughout Northeast Minneapolis’ Arts District where guests can observe galleries and meet artists. From painting to metalwork and pottery to graphic design, the Northeast Minneapolis Art Association (NEMAA) will, for the 20th year, showcase the Minneapolis art community, which USA Today recently named best in the country.

According to junior Amina Dedefo, art involvement benefits students.

“It gives (students) a visual perspective on things,” Dedefo said.

The festival will feature more than 500 artists using more than 20 mediums, according to Alejandra Pelinka, executive director of NEMAA.

Many artists will have live demonstrations and mini workshops, where guests can see artists’ work and learn their techniques.

NEMAA expects between 30,000 and 50,000 people to attend the studio tour, according to Pelinka.

Freshman Brooke Purowitz said she thinks students should take an interest in the arts.

“It’s important to be artistic, and it helps get your mind off other things,” Purowitz said.

According to Pelinka, many artists worked in the Minneapolis Warehouse District in the 1980s. Because of expenses like studio leases, they were unable to stay in their previous locations, and migrated to Northeast Minneapolis, which is now a thriving arts district.

The goal of Art-A-Whirl, according to Pelinka, is to create a relationship between artists and community members. Pelinka said Art-A-Whirl is an important opportunity to feature the strong art community many aren’t aware of.

Art-A-Whirl and the Northeast Arts District benefits the local community, according to Pelinka.

“The large concentration of artists builds on the vibrancy of the community and impacts the economy greatly,” Pelinka said.

Pelinka said many guests will eat at local restaurants and support local shops.

Pelinka said Art-A-Whirl promotes the originality of the community.

“(Art-A-Whirl) showcases what an asset we have in Northeast. It is valuable for teens to understand and explore their surroundings, and be curious about their community’s art,” Pelinka said.

Art-A-Whirl takes place May 15-17 in the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District. The event is free and open to the public, and Metro Transit is providing free transportation during the weekend.

Students can learn more about Art-A-Whirl at nemaa.org.

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About the Contributors
Raphy Gendler, Managing Editor

Raphael Sig Gendler (born November 18, 1998) is an American recording artist, songwriter, record producer, fashion designer and entrepreneur. Raised in...

Celene Koller, Photo Editor

I’m Celene, a really chill and really white mexican. One of your cool photo editors for the year. Outside of Echo you can find me laying anyplace I can....

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