New to the Art Crawl scene? Here are a few tips:
GETTING THERE: Park centrally and walk around OR take the Green Line which ends at Union Depot - you'll be dropped off right in the heart of Lowertown, St. Paul (which is the heart of Art Crawl!) Lowertown has the most concentrated group of artist buildings for you to browse, so print out this map and park in one of the lots suggested here. Union Depot and the Prince & Broadway lots are good bets and very inexpensive.
CHECKING OUT THE ART: There's a lot of it and you're going to be overwhelmed. If you're a planner, study the Art Crawl's website and print out a map. Personally, I prefer to wander, following signs and posters, and being surprised. The various loft buildings not only house artists' studios, but they usually host guest artists (like me). If someone's studio is open, it's okay to walk in. That's what the crawl is all about - getting to see the artists' spaces, a little behind-the-scenes look.
Of course I'd suggest you visit ME at the Tilsner Building! Then of course, check out the excellent neighboring buildings - Jax, Northern Warehouse, and Lowertown Lofts... all within a couple blocks. Be sure to go in Union Depot and get a 2-for-1: gorgeous architecture and a lobby full of guest artists.
FOOD & DRINK: There are usually food trucks parked near Mears Park and some of the participating artist buildings. However, Lowertown's been getting some cool new restaurants in the past year. Check out the brand new Public Kitchen & Bar overlooking Mears Park; Tin Whiskers for a local brew, and the Buttered Tin for breakfast or brunch. My other faves in St. Paul are Tanpopo Noodle Shop, Black Sheep Pizza, The Bulldog and Sakura. And a reliable bet for really delicious fresh brats and dogs: NateDogs "Quality Weiners" usually has a cart on the corner of Broadway and 4th (near the Farmer's Market). Follow them @Nate_Dogs for updates on their whereabouts and GET THE CHEESY BRAT!
BUYING ART - OR NOT: It's okay to walk into an artist's studio and 'just look around'. You don't have to buy something. Most people don't. But if you DO want to buy something, bring a couple forms of payment. Most artists including me take credit cards, but it never hurts to bring cash or a checkbook for those who haven't converted to using a Square reader yet. If someone's studio is open, it's okay to walk in. That's what the crawl is all about - getting to see the artists' spaces, a little behind-the-scenes look.
Finally - keep up with the goings-on of Art Crawl by social channels:
- Facebook @saintpaulartcrawl
- Twitter @SPACrawl