‘We need art’: artists and organizers lament cancellation of Uptown art fair – WCCO

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – As unrest continues in Uptown Minneapolis, the area’s largest festival is officially canceled for the second year in a row.

The Uptown Art Fair, which typically spans four blocks of Hennepin Avenue, attracts 350,000 people each summer.

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Meanwhile, protesters remain gathered at the parking lot where Winston Smith was killed by federal agents last month.

Uptown is full of new arts these days. Some are healing portraits, others are symbols of rage.

It turns out that the art the region is traditionally known for won’t return for some time, a decision made on Tuesday.

Joseph Davis works as a manager for We Push For Peace in Uptown Minneapolis.

“There is a dark cloud over the whole community because of everything that has happened, and these are the things that raise the vibration within our community, that keep hope alive,” he said. he declares.

Jill Osiecki runs the Uptown Art Fair, which employs 350 artists from 36 states and has been in existence for 57 years.

“It was scary,” she said of the decision to call off. “It really was.”

Last year they canceled due to COVID. This year, she attributes the rise in crime, the lack of police officers and the lack of planning time.

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“We knew it wasn’t just a decision that would impact our organization, but so much, and I think that’s why we felt that weight on our shoulders, and it was very difficult to make that decision. “said Osiecki.

Brian Geihl is an artist for Dogfish Media.

“I was just over there doing a silkscreen yesterday and got the email and I was just kinda – I must have read it twice, I was just in shock” , did he declare.

Geihl is an artist who combines graphic arts, screen printing and photography. The father of four says the Uptown Art Fair was his biggest event of the year.

“The treatment took a while and I’m still dealing with it, the impact it will have on my business and my family,” Geihl said.

Like artists affected by COVID, and now that, he will be selling his works online, as he and art fair organizers continue to get creative.

“We need art. Even, probably, art is more important than ever right now, ”Osiecki said.

In the meantime, there is street art in Uptown almost everywhere you turn. Organizers say they plan to have a smaller-scale fair in the fall.

The Uptown Art Fair will have an online gallery this year. Check their website for updates.

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The Loring Park Art Fair is still scheduled for July 31.

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