Take a walk on the artsy side

The 2010 St. Paul Art Crawl is sure to provide aesthetic bliss.

Joshua Cunningham, the 2010 Poster Competition Winner for the Saint Paul Art Crawl, paints a picture in Minneapolis that he may be selling at the Saint Paul Art Crawl this Friday.

Jason Kopp

Joshua Cunningham, the 2010 Poster Competition Winner for the Saint Paul Art Crawl, paints a picture in Minneapolis that he may be selling at the Saint Paul Art Crawl this Friday.

Sally Hedberg

St. Paul Art Crawl

When: Oct. 6-8

Where: Various studios in Lowertown St. Paul

Cost: Free

 

Bohemia has an area code, and itâÄôs 651. Though the college-age crowd may find our capital city less artistically stimulating than its sister, Minneapolis, that doesnâÄôt mean it actually is.

In fact, Lowertown St. Paul happens to play host to one of the most alluring creative events of the year this weekend, the St. Paul Art Crawl.

A production of the St. Paul Art Collective, the crawl is about building relationships within a community. Hundreds of artists will open up their studios to share not only their art but also the personal habitats that influence it the most.

âÄúThereâÄôs an entirely different ambience than when you go into a gallery,âÄù said stained-glass artist and studio owner Josephine Geiger. âÄúItâÄôs invaluable and itâÄôs a really strong way to connect the people.âÄù

During the art crawl, Geiger will showcase several like-minded artists within her studio.

âÄúThere are way too many artists that donâÄôt have a good way to get their work out and be seen,âÄù Geiger said. âÄúThis allows them to get exposure without having to know a lot of clients.âÄù

Because the event is free and open to the public, it draws in a much wider demographic than, say, an exclusive gallery show. Who really likes mystery hors dâÄô oeuvres anyway? Many of the artists view this as a positive element.

âÄúI see people at the art crawl that I wouldnâÄôt ever see in a gallery,âÄù said painter Joshua Cunningham. âÄúIâÄôve found that part of the art crawl to be extremely rewarding. YouâÄôre putting your life out there and itâÄôs a huge endeavor.âÄù

The works at the art crawl run the gamut of media: Paintings, photography, sculpture, jewelry, blown glass, music, live performance and nearly anything else that falls into an artistic medium will invigorate the streets of St. Paul.

In addition to building relationships between the community and the artists, the art crawl fosters a special bond among the artists themselves, many of whom live within the vibrant Lowertown neighborhood.

âÄúI think the art crawl gives local artists a way to interact, communicate and grow in front of the whole state and in front of each other,âÄù said the Vice President of the St. Paul Art Collective, Rhea Pappas. âÄúIt makes art more than just a person in the basement. It allows you to be a social artist.âÄù

Pappas, who in addition to her administrative role will also be showing a poignant collection of photographs, sees the crawl as an important window into the actual labor of being an artist.

âÄúLowertown is the working part, and Minneapolis is the showing part,âÄù Pappas said. âÄúGetting to see what everyone around me is actually doing is extraordinary.âÄù