Minnesotans are superlative supporters of the arts, which may explain why we have such robust and prominent art destinations. Those who enjoy art will find that each of the following five spots is worth a visit.
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
2400 3rd Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Imagine the power of 83,000 works of art created over the last 5,000 years. Then imagine the challenge of making it accessible to the public, showcasing this vast inventory of treasures in an appealing and exceptional manner. The Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) meets that challenge with something for everyone. Not only does MIA fill gorgeous galleries with world-class art, but people find themselves at the MIA enjoying events with live music, libations, participatory activities, various art-making classes for all ages and customized gallery tours. The amazing feature about MIA is that general admission is always free.
Related: Best Museums In Minnesota
American Swedish Institute
2600 Park Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55407
With a series of major contemporary Nordic exhibits, the American Swedish Institute (ASI) is quickly becoming one of the hottest places in Minnesota for arts lovers. This summer, check out Love Norway X: Installations by Ian Ward Garlant, a modern take on ancient Scandinavian sculptures, or The Living Tradition of the Ryijy: Finnish Rugs and their Makers. Look out for complementing smaller shows to each exhibit highlighting the work and craft of local Minnesota artists. Using the historic Turnblad Mansion as a backdrop for ASI is one of the most architecturally stunning places to see art in the Twin Cities. ASI also holds a collection of works by Swedish and Swedish-American artists that are displayed in a rotating basis in the Turnblad Mansion salon. ASI is a great place to not only see art but make art: ASI offers year-round studio arts classes with a Nordic twist for youth and adults including glass-fusing, milk painting, wood carving and felting.
Weisman Art Museum
333 E. River Parkway
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Perhaps the most prominent and compelling public object for those who enjoy art is the landmark called “The Weisman.” The institution has been a teaching museum for the University of Minnesota tucked away in Coffman Union since 1934. But it was not until 1993 that the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum began as a separate facility to house the teaching museum and to make the arts accessible to the University and to the public. The Weisman opens its galleries daily to the public in order to share the latest in student projects and selections from the more than 17,000 art objects in its permanent collection. It also displays art at around 30 locales throughout the campus.
Walker Art Center
1750 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Not only is the Walker the finest local showcase of contemporary art, but this superior multidisciplinary art center also serves as a catalyst for the creative expression of artists of several disciplines. The Walker supplements its outstanding displays of visual arts by engaging audiences in the performing arts, cinematography, video and new media, thus introducing the public to many new and aspiring artists of our time. Minnesotans are fortunate to have this vibrant institution in our midst that’s searching for new and challenging ways to shape and inspire our lives and our culture.
Minnesota Historical Society
345 W. Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55102
Art lovers can explore the James J. Hill House that features rotating exhibits on display in the home’s restored art gallery. Exhibits change frequently and feature works by Minnesota artists. The art gallery is included with the price of a tour or can be viewed alone for $2.
Robin Johnson was born in Annandale, Minn. and graduated from Richfield High School and then the University of Minnesota where he studied Political Science, Business and Industrial Relations. A writer for Examiner.com, he also consults with a variety of organizations and individuals helping them develop and grow. His work can be found at Examiner.com.