Northrup King Building showcases local Minneapolis art

The old seed company building in Northeast Minneapolis featured over 100 artists at a show last Saturday.

Katie Lauer

The Northeast Minneapolis Arts District has dozens of studios and buildings, and has been called one of the best art districts in the country. But the area’s sheer amount of art can be overwhelming at times.

“Northrup King Nights!” hosted at the Northrup King Building, creates an opportunity to see the work of half of the building’s over 200 tenants all in one night.

The latest “Northrup King Nights!” event was held Saturday.

During these evenings, four floors of studios and hallways are ornamented with work. The building becomes a maze of art to get lost in. From photography and acrylic, to sculpture and mosaic, there is something for everyone to find and enjoy.

Emmy White, a nurse-turned-watercolor artist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in the ’60s, said these gallery nights are good for both the artists and the community.

“I think Northrup King is a cool place to be,” White said. “For a number of years they’ve been open Saturday afternoons, but this is great. People can wander around. It’s like going to a museum.”

For Alex Woker, a senior studying management information systems at the University, and Lauren Michaels, that was part of the allure.

“We had never been here before, so we thought we would check it out,” Woker said. “There are a ton of artists, so it seemed like a good way to see everything at once. You can get a taste of all the different styles.”

Michaels, who attends Augsburg College, agreed.

“If they weren’t all open like this, I wouldn’t wander in here on my own time,” Michaels said.

With maps and directories in hand, the halls were full of wandering guests.

A sense of exploration and discovery pervaded the building. Alison Price, an artist and social media coordinator for the building, said that was the point of the event.

Price, who paints and works with mixed media, said over 50 percent of the event’s visitors were new to the building.

“A lot of people don’t realize the treasure that’s in their backyard,” Price said.

She said open gallery nights like these are important in showing others the community that is around them and explaining what art can do.

“The culture is embodied in the arts,” Price said. “You can find all of our history in arts. You can find yourself, your future, your past.”