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Top 5 Spots for Art Fans in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Sure, baseball and lakeside relaxation are staples of Minneapolis. But there is a wonderful creative side to this city as well, and it is well worth appreciating on your next trip to town. From formal art galleries to beautiful, colorful festivals, the city is bursting with inspiration. Book a stay at one of the chic hotels downtown and indulge in all things creative in Minneapolis.

A City Institution

Most people’s first stop for art is the Minneapolis Institute of Art. This is a wonderful starting point to understand the attitude that this creative city has toward art. Several galleries showcase historic works from Europe, which evolve into more contemporary pieces and photography. Have a quick walk through or spend longer studying more complex artworks, like ceramics and bronze sculptures. They do a wonderful job hosting student programs and supporting budding artists.

Art Outside

In the land of Instagram-worthy goodies, Minneapolis has plenty to offer. Art galleries sometimes give you the stink eye when you whip out your flash, so head out onto the streets and snap away to your heart’s content instead. Several examples of street art are in the downtown area, and you can reach them on foot. Find the black wall covered in Minneapolis-born stars, such as Chubby Checker, or see the pretty music notes along 10th Street. A favorite is the colorful portrait of mom and child on Lyndale Ave.

Contemporary Finds

Minneapolis is a treasure trove of upcoming talents and thought-provoking contemporary artwork. For instance, the Midway Gallery is one of the most innovative in the area, featuring everything from massive installations to video feeds. The Soap Factory is a place you may spot the artists themselves mingling among the pieces on display. The building dates back to the late 1800s but mostly highlights modern art that intersects technology. Bockley Gallery is another good choice, and it focuses on folk and native art. You can even peek from the street through the large glass window facade.

If you would rather see something a bit more unusual, try the House of Balls, which is a fun house of found art and participatory sculpture that Allen Christian has created for the past two decades. If the doors are unlocked, anyone can go in and interact with the installations.

Natural Art

Parks and green space definitely count as art in Minneapolis, and they are often ranked among the best in the whole country. There are so many green spaces here that nearly 97 percent of residents can walk to a park within 10 minutes. There are plenty of public spaces that have beautiful foliage as well as sculptures and works of art to be discovered. Minnehaha Park has a gorgeous waterfall to admire and is one of the oldest in the state. Demings Height Park is another gem, especially if you are lucky enough to spot the unusual Elf Door.

Have you been to Minneapolis before? What’s your favorite part of the city? If you haven’t been, what would you like to see there?

Eileen Cotter Wright

Author Eileen Cotter Wright

Eileen Cotter is a freelance travel writer, social media manager and owner of Pure Wander. She's been to more countries than your kindergartner can count, and she's our resident expat extraordinaire. Follow her on Twitter @Crooked_Flight

More posts by Eileen Cotter Wright

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