North Minneapolis is about to explode with artistic energy.
Apparently, it already is, but the aim of the FLOW Northside Arts Crawl, running Friday and Saturday, is to somehow showcase it all.
And there’s a lot to take in.
On 25 sites, nearly 300 artists, in almost every medium, will bring West Broadway from the Mississippi River to Penn Avenue alive with everything from hip-hop to visual media.
Part community celebration, part non-juried public art forum, FLOW offers visitors the chance to take a self-guided tour of studios, galleries, theaters, and art installations, including a mini-festival celebrating our relationship to water, Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ) scholars in a performance showcasing their personal growth, national hip-hop headliners Black Sheep and Brand Nubian heating up the night, and local visual arts educators highlighting their work through their own students’ artwork.
There’s a living, breathing canvas, a spoken word performance installation by E. G. Bailey, and, curiously, one event (known as “Off the Top: Chop Shop at C&J Barbers”) billed as, “snacks, chats, cyphers, song, dance, interviews. You sitting in a barber chair to talk out what’s most important in life.”
It’s a collision of art, music, freestyle dance, painting, you name it. And, there are likely a few things on offer you haven’t thought to name.
A key FLOW component has always been the artistic transformation of a public space (last year, it was an amazing vinyl wrap-around at 1001 W. Broadway), which this time around will be the Broadway Fremont Gas Station. Painter Chris Williams will use the building as a large canvas, covering it with his bold, colorful strokes.
If it all sounds like too much to take in, don’t worry. Like any great arts crawl, it’s meant to be experienced at your leisure. And so many artists and businesses have joined in, there’s literally something for everyone.
The only thing to worry about is that you won’t be there to go with the FLOW.