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Art-A-Whirl Shows Off Homegrown Art to NE Mpls. Community

Updated: 05/19/2014 7:11 AM
Created: 05/18/2014 2:33 PM KSTP.com
By: Kate Renner

Northeast Minneapolis played the art gallery this weekend for more than 30,000 people. Art-A-Whirl took over the northeast with more than 600 local artists displaying their artwork all over the neighborhood.

Many artists treat Art-A-Whirl as a launching off pad for a career of making art. No matter the medium, there are no limitations to what can make art.

"Made from vintage jewelry I got from my mom," said Emily Skudlarek, of The Gilded Anchor.

"Different colored paints, different papers," said Julie Schwartz, a local artist.

"A lot of ink work," said Jason Jaspersen, a New Ulm artist.

Wearable art is in fashion.

"I make bowties for men and for kids," said Kaytee Crawford, The Dapper Stitch. 

As is performance art, Jason Jaspersen makes sand illustrations. "(I'm) basically moving sand around on a light table. There's a webcam that connects to my computer, computer goes to a projector, and it's for everyone to see," Jaspersen said.

For most artists, the dream is always the same.

"I'd like to be able to sell enough so I don't have to have another part time job," said Skudlarek.

"My day job is an art teacher, but I think I can safely say I'm a semi-professional (artist), evenings, weekends and summer time," Jaspersen said.

Art-A-Whirl introduces the public to homegrown art, and artists, to the praise and scrutiny of the public.

"This is my first big show, Art-A-Whirl, and I did really well," said Crawford. She made a couple hundred dollars.

"I've sold one print," said Schwartz.

Some of their art generates a viable income.

"These xerox prints (sold) for $2, those went really well. But I've done projects in excess of $10,000," Jaspersen said.

Sharon Kaniess knows once an artist leaps into life as a full-time professional, it's unpredictable.

"We had to have a lot of trust in how life would work out and it always did," Kaniess said.

Kaniess is showing her late husband's art work. "There is so much of his art that still should see the light of day," said Kaniess.

But no matter the sales, Kaniess says a true artist knows their worth is in the creation.

"Whether you can make your living at it in exchange for money or not, it's just who you are," said Kaniess.

A different sort of art also made a splash this weekend. Art-A-Whirl welcomed craft brewers into the mix of artists. Five northeast breweries participated this year by giving brewery tours.


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