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Archive for April 11th, 2011

Shopping for Art

Monday, April 11th, 2011

It’s going to be a big weekend for art buyers in the Twin Cities with two major events happening in town:

American Craft Council Show: More than 240 new and established artists, local and national, present their latest handcrafted jewelry, clothing, furniture, home decor and more in the 25th annual show. New this year, find an entire area devoted to items $100 or less, plus live demos and more eco-friendly art. Friday, April 15 to Sunday, April 17. $12 per person; $20 for a three-day pass – or $5 after 5 p.m. on Friday. St. Paul RiverCentre, 175 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, 800-836-3470

Minneapolis Institute of Arts Print and Drawing Fair: MIA welcomes a dozen art dealers from around the world for this 18th annual event, with a wide range of art for sale, from contemporary to centuries-old, starting at $200 up to six digits. Free. MIA, 2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-870-3000

Don’t be intimidated – you need not be a serious art collector to attend either event. In fact, sales like these can be a great way to learn a thing or two about art, from artists and collectors themselves. Artists are only too happy to discuss how they made a piece, and that may help you understand the price. At least at the Crafts Council show, you can try to negotiate, but don’t be surprised if the answer is no. Best chance, if any, of course, is on the last day.

When it comes to prints, prices vary  according to an artist’s reputation, the rarity of the object, and the condition of it, particularly with older works of art, says  Rachel McGarry, MIA’s associate curator of prints and drawings. “I think a good rule to live by is never spend more money on the frame for the object than the object itself. I buy standard size, inexpensive frames myself, and have framers glaze them with UV-filtering plexi. This gives me a bigger budget for art.

“For someone new to collecting prints, or any art,” McGarry says, “I think the most important thing to do is spend time looking at lot and lots of works to find out what you like exactly. Don’t let the arcane language of printmaking–states, editions, pochoir, sugarlift–turn you off.”

I couldn’t bring myself to tell her that I wasn’t even familiar enough with a pochoir to be turned off, and the only sugarlift I’ve encountered is the one that happens when I’m trolling the kitchen around 10 p.m. But she did reassure me of this: “Dealers love to share their knowledge or expertise with people showing an interest in their field.”

Planning Your MNfashion Week

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Strap on some stilettos for a lively week on the Twin Cities runways. It’s MNfashion Week and that means more than two dozen shows and events to see (and be seen). Some nights have no fewer than nine events going on around town. It’s a great dilemma to face, but here are my top picks:

Tuesday, April 12: Glam Slam Week at Smart and Chic Beauty Lounge Pretty yourself for fashion week. Enjoy 10 percent off all services and products. Call 612-227-9363 for appointments.

Wednesday, April 13: The Voltage kids have grown up and gone on to produce serious fashion shows. The first of the MNfashion Shows will feature new collections from promising local designer George Moskal and forward thinking upcycling brand CounterCouture. Tickets are $20 to $30 and include two drinks. Doors at 7 p.m.; Show starts at 8 p.m. 79 13th Ave. N.E., Minneapolis

Thursday, April 14: The second of two MNfashion Shows spotlights talented local designer Emma Berg, a favorite in the arts scene, and Kevin Kramp, whose men’s knitwear designs are internationally recognized. Tickets are $20 to $30 and include two drinks. Doors at 7 p.m.; Show starts at 8 p.m. 79 13th Ave. N.E., Minneapolis

If I could be two places at once, I’d hit the StevenBe Knitwear Runway Rockshow featuring knit creations by local designers curated by industry vet StevenBe, whose theatrical workshop has become a hangout for novices and skilled knitters alike. $30. 7 p.m. 3448 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis

Friday, April 15: Voltage: Fashion Amplified. The event that started it all, now in its seventh – and possibly final – installment. The show debuts spring lines of aspiring local designers, set to the sounds of local bands. $24. 7 p.m. First Avenue, 701 First Ave., Minneapolis

Saturday, April 16: Fashion Ball. Enter the fantabulous world of stylist Grant Whittaker, who mixes trend and fantasy, blends luxury fashion with thrift and vintage for an entertaining evening of fashion and dance to benefit Ballet of the Dolls. The show will feature fashion from Grethen House, Bluepeg and the new bridal collection from Joynoelle (also takes place Friday night, which could be more of a scene for those whose days of wearing earplugs to watch a show are behind them). $35 to $75. 7 p.m. Ritz Theater, 345 13th Ave. N.E., Minneapolis

Sunday, April 17: Styles for Smiles. A fashion show featuring spring looks from KOKOON Design Studio and Local Motion boutique. Buy the clothes straight off the runway, including jewelry from local lines SBG Designs and m.bridget designs. A portion of proceeds will benefit Project Healthy Smile, bringing oral health education and dental supplies to underprivileged children globally. Admission is free. Doors at 1 p.m.; Show at 2 p.m. 2508 24th Ave. S., Minneapolis

Information on these, and more events is at | Mpls.St.Paul Magazine © 2008 MSP Communications, Inc. All rights reserved