Inside Out Lowertown


Inside-Out-Lowertown-Colleen-McGuireIn the Lowertown art district of Saint Paul, Minn., a new outdoor exhibit is on display, and involves much of the community that calls Lowertown home. Inside Out Lowertown features artists and culture makers who live and/or work in the neighborhood. Lowertown touts having the largest concentration of artist live/work studios in the United States, so it is only fitting that the project has sprinkled over 175 photographs of the artists outside, on their warehouse studio spaces.

Artist in residence


This artist chose to sketch in the Jardin des Tuileries, just outside the Louvre in Paris. But what was he looking at? A family playing amongst the statues? A beautiful woman sunning herself in the morning light? I will always wonder what was on the other side of his sketch board.



Tomorrow husband has a wine and cheese opening to officially debut photographs from his Highway 61 journey in the fall. I might have gone a little overboard on the cheese selection, but I never allow guests to go hungry. One of the cheeses that we’ll serve both in block form and in a fromage fort is Kerrygold, a sharp aged cheddar from Ireland. My mother introduced me to Kerrygold when I was a child. Her grandfather introduced it to her, and the love of this cheese has been passed down through the generations.

This is day 346 of Photo 365.

Highway 61: Minneapolis to Memphis is open Friday, December 13 at Never Mind Gallery in Saint Paul.

The up and comer


One of my favorite up and coming artists is Adetomiwa Gbadebo, a young painter originally from Abeokuta, Nigeria who now calls Saint Paul home. His passionate inspiration comes from art, love, justice, peace and all things that man can do to rise above.

In this series Adetomiwa chose to use black as his predominate color because to him, black is beautiful, and he hoped that by using it, people would no longer be afraid of what the color can signify in American society.

This is day 337 of Photo 365.

Twin Waves


Ray King, a Taiwanese-based artist, recently installed “Twin Waves” in the main entrance of the Saint Paul Union Depot. King, who exhibits his light sculptures internationally, is one of several artists that are now on display at Union Depot in Lowertown. Through a $1.25 million art grant program established by the Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority, work is slowly being purchased to adorn the chambers and halls of the train depot. I particularly like this exhibit.

This is day 296 of Photo 365.



AZ Gallery, in the Northern Warehouse in downtown Saint Paul, was caught taking down an exhibit and preparing for the third annual Lowertown Art Show, which opens this weekend. Work by over 50 artists will be on display through November 24.

This is day 295 of Photo 365.

Crawling for Art

A little known art festival runs twice a year in the Lowertown district of downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota. The Saint Paul Art Crawl has been held every April and October in one location or another for the last 30 years. Today the Lowertown art community opens up its studio spaces to display paintings, photography, sketch drawings, media art and the like. More than just an art show, the concept of Art Crawl is to educate the masses on new ideas in the world of art.

Perhaps the name “Art Crawl” describes the state you are in after eight hours of moving from studio to studio. Most of the artists’ studios are in converted warehouses with few elevators. Climbing six to eight flights of stairs per building is a great workout, and you typically have enough time between each floor to give your knees a rest while you survey the various art mediums.

If you are in Lowertown during Art Crawl, here is one full day of studio hopping that I recommend:

  • JAX Building
  • Northern Warehouse
  • Tilsner Artist Cooperative
  • Cosmopolitan Apartments
  • Lowertown Lofts Co-op
  • Rossmor Lofts

If you need to re-fuel, The Black Dog is the local coffeehouse where the artists hang out. It’s a little bit Seattle grunge, a little bit Greenwich Village, with rotating art exhibits on the walls and live music playing in the corner during the Crawl. The food is local and organic when it can be, and offers selections for meat eaters and vegans. Beer and wine are also available along with juices, smoothies, coffee and tea.

To get an idea of the types of art you can find while Crawling, visit the past Art Crawl competition winners gallery.

What other neighborhood art festivals have you found in your travels? What made them unique? I’m always looking for a new art destination, so let me know!