The Uptown Art Fair

July 28, 2012 6:00 AM

the uptown art fair logo The Uptown Art Fair

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Uptown Art Fair
Hennepin Avenue (from 28th Street to 31st Street and “The Mall”)
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 823-4581

Price: free
Hours: Fri, Aug. 3 – 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Sat, Aug. 4 – 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sun, Aug. 5 – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Be one of the 375,000 people who attend the Uptown Art Fair this August to enjoy everything from live music and magic shows to food vendors and a wine-tasting garden. That’s in addition to more than 350 talented artisans from locations near and far, showcasing professional-quality works of art in 12 mediums. One-of-a-kind works in paint, ceramics, jewelry, mixed media and sculptures are just some of the treasures you can expect to explore at this free festival.

Related: Best Photography Exhibits In Minnesota


Several pay-to-park lots are available in the surrounding area, and the Uptown Art Fair does sell some parking spaces to the general public at the Sons of Norway lot  at the corner of West Lake Street and Humboldt Avenue. There are also limited on-street parking spaces available nearby, however parking is not allowed on Hennepin Avenue between 28th and 31st streets inside of the fair. For convenience sake, it is suggested that you use available Metro Transit options — including a free Metro Transit Art Pass for several of those options — or ride your bike. Free valet bike corrals will be available, as well as a park and pedal service. Keep an eye on the fair’s website as this year’s details become available.

Must-See Events

uptown art fair performance stage The Uptown Art Fair

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Performance Stage presented by Ultimate Events
2841 Hennepin Ave. (Old Chicago)
Minneapolis, MN 55408

Hours: Fri – 1 p.m.; Sat and Sun – noon

Visitors may expect to see acts from all ends of Minnesota’s cultural landscape — from clogging and belly dancing to drumming and Irish dancing. The headline acts for this year include BIG Sexy (folk/funk/pop/hip-hop/blues/metal) on Friday night (starting at 8 p.m.) and Herman Jones My Funk Brother Band (funk/R&B/blues) on Saturday night (again, starting at 8 p.m.). The music closes out with a 3 p.m. show on Sunday featuring the TCC Gospel Choir. Get ready for a long evening if you come for a headliner, as previous stage acts have continued the party well into the night.

youth art fair The Uptown Art Fair

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Tomorrow’s Stars Youth Art Fair
3001 Hennepin Ave. (Calhoun Square)
Minneapolis, MN 55408

In its 8th year as a part of the Uptown Art Fair, the Tomorrow’s Stars Youth Art Fair is dedicated to featuring art by youth 8 to 18 years old. Taking place in the Calhoun Square retail center space, it gives up-and-coming young artists a chance to to display and discuss their art with fair attendees. They may also sell their artwork and keep all of the proceeds.

family imagination station The Uptown Art Fair

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Family Imagination Station
Walker Library Courtyard (at the corner of Hennepin and Lagoon Avenues)
Minneapolis, MN 55408

The Family Imagination Station is an opportunity for attendees of the fair to participate in the creation of their own works of art. In the past, projects have included birdhouses, garden decorations, plates and bowls, and other small clay crafts (some projects may require firing, and will be available for pickup at the Northern Clay Center several days after the fair). Additionally, professional artists will be on hand, creating their own projects to inspire fellow art lovers.

outdoor wine garden The Uptown Art Fair

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Outdoor Wine Garden
2841 Hennepin Ave (Old Chicago parking lot)
Minneapolis, MN 55408

For guests looking to take some time to sit back and relax, the Barefoot-sponsored Outdoor Wine Garden might be just the ticket. In the past, this has been an afternoon-only activity, so stay tuned to the fair’s website for this year’s exact hours. Featuring a full selection from across the wine spectrum, sampling glasses will be available. Wine will also be for sale by the glass. The wine garden is conveniently located just a few feet from the Performance Stage, offering free entertainment to enhance the experience.

uptown art fair The Uptown Art Fair

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Art Exhibitions
Hennepin Ave (from 28th Street to 31st Street and “The Mall”)
Minneapolis, MN 55408

Spanning four blocks of Hennepin Avenue and the four blocks commonly referred to as The Mall, the artist exhibition space is definitely the highlight of the show. Two-D forms of art include printmaking, drawing, painting, photography, and mixed-media pieces, while 3-D forms include sculpture, fiber (leather, embroidery, baskets, etc.), ceramics, glass (stained glass, blown glass, etc.), wood, and mixed media (works incorporating more than one medium). Whether you are hoping to admire the work, purchase a piece for your home, or to simply find some inspiration for your own artistic endeavors, the roughly 350 featured artists from around the world definitely make this show worth the price of its free admission.

Related: Best Iconic Works Of Art In The Twin Cities

Rich Rein has been featured in Midwest Outdoors and Outdoors Weekly magazines and has been a contributor to and He is a Minnesota transplant staying busy holding down a career as a software developer by day and a firefighter/EMT by night. His work can be found at