St. Paul Crawl ain’t small

Our state’s capital showcases their artistic talent through a series of gallery tours, artist studios and live performances.

Barbara Evan’s “Silly Girl” is one of the many featured works of art at this fall’s St. Paul Art Crawl.
PHOTO COURTESY  ST. PAUL ART COLLECTIVE

Barbara Evan’s “Silly Girl” is one of the many featured works of art at this fall’s St. Paul Art Crawl. PHOTO COURTESY ST. PAUL ART COLLECTIVE

John Sand

St. Paul Art Crawl WHEN: Oct. 9-11 stpaulartcrawl.org For students, it may be difficult breaking into the prolific Twin Cities art scene, with the plethora of art galleries strewn about the metro area and starving artists passing their time with uninspiring day jobs. Aside from making connections with the Walker Art Center and the University of MinnesotaâÄôs Nash Gallery , students can dip their toes into the depths of the art scene twice a year during the St. Paul Art Crawl. The Art Crawl is a bi-annual event wherein more than 310 artists open their studios in 25 historic buildings to showcase their work and flaunt the products of the St. Paul Art scene. The Art Crawl also extends into music. Jeff Ray, an instructor for St. Paul Guitar Studio , is performing his interpretation of rhythmic roots and blues guitar for âÄú15 Minutes of Fame,âÄù in Studio Z of the Northwestern Building. Ray says the showcase and studio have built off of the theme of the Art Crawl. âÄúWe are bringing all of these different styles of guitars,âÄù he says, âÄúItâÄôs a celebration of diversity, just as [the Art Crawl] is a celebration of artistic diversity.âÄù University students can even begin their own collections of original art. Twin Cities collective Altered Esthetics has put together an art vending machine, where patrons of the crawl can purchase a piece of original art for just $5. Artist Rose Marie Felsheim has been in the St. Paul Art Collective, the non-profit organization behind the event, since before the Art Crawl began in 1991. âÄúItâÄôs gone beyond anything weâÄôve ever imagined,âÄù she said. The first crawl opened the doors of three buildings and showed the work of about 75 artists. Now, around 500-2,000 people per day wander through each of the studios in the crawl. This year, Felsheim is showcasing giclée, spray-painted prints of a selection of paintings of her garden that were originally done for her children. The crawl boasts artists that have been involved since the beginning of the crawl and artists that are relatively new to the scene. Young artist Giesla Hoelscher, a resident of the Carleton Artists Lofts on University and LaSalle avenues in St. Paul, is partaking in her third fall art crawl, displaying her digital collages of photographs from the Twin Cities metro area. How can one begin to explore the entire work of St. Paul artists in a single weekend? In their answer, Priestley and Felsheim agree; the sheer number of artists makes it impossible to experience each building over the course of just one weekend. Priestley suggests bringing a cultured date or group of friends down to Lowertown on Friday evening to scope out the events and choose the places to stroll through later in the weekend. If a work of art becomes a need, wander back on Sunday morning and buy it. Original art is a unique gift to give over the holidays, and an easy way to brighten up those bleak dorm rooms. What better way to partake in the metro culture than supporting the resident artists? âÄúIf you want to aesthetically, economically and culturally support the community,âÄù says Felsheim, âÄúThis is an excellent opportunity.âÄù