A guest at Jazz Fest on September 10, 2022. Credit: Joel Carlson

Explore the Twin Cities’ outdoor art scene this weekend before the onset of Minnesota’s chilly autumn weather.

Minneapolis and St. Paul are hosting a block party featuring local artwork and live cultural performances, a street gallery showcasing the works of over 60 artists, and a jazz festival featuring local and national musicians. 

Art Drop & Shop 

Visit Lake Street will host a family-friendly Art Drop & Shop block party, displaying the talents of local artists and businesses. The event offers a diverse lineup of live performances, ranging from poetry readings by Sun Yung Shin, LM Brimmer, and Michael Kleber-Diggs to traditional dances performed by the Somali Museum Dance Troupe, representing various regions of Somalia. 

The artist market vendors will exhibit an array of creations, including wearable art shoes, colorful quilts, ceramics, paintings by Jigzart and Angela Davis, and more. Arts activities will include sewing and weaving, button making, live painting demonstrations, face painting, and more. 

The event will feature three food and drink vendors—Arbeiter Brewing, Peppers & Fries, and Waffle Bar. 

Date: Friday, September 8

Time: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

Location: Between Moon Palace books and The Hub Bike Co-Op, 3026 Minnehaha Ave. S., Minneapolis, Minnesota

Cost: Free 

For more information: Visit https://www.visitlakestreet.com/ or call 612-822-0232.

Uniquely Eastside Festival

Uniquely East Side, in collaboration with Solidarity Street Gallery, will host their annual Uniquely Eastside arts festival spotlighting over 60 artists interpreting this year’s theme, “Faces of our Communities.” 

Artwork will grace 25 storefronts, transforming the area into an immersive street gallery. The event also offers live music, dance performances, a local vendor marketplace, interactive activities for youth and the community, and exclusive dining specials. 

Minnesota Chicano artist Jimmy Longoria will contribute an 80-square-foot painting to the festival portraying four women of color.  His work represents diversity within the BIPOC community, drawing from Latin American, Mayan, and Egyptian cultures, and infused with vibrant colors from the Native American medicine wheel. 

While Longoria’s work portrays various cultures, his Chicano heritage remains at the core of his expression as he seeks to establish “Chicano aesthetic legitimacy,” the recognition and acceptance of Chicano artistic expressions. However, Longoria’s work transcends cultural boundaries, offering a personal connection to viewers. 

“We do not experience paintings collectively.” he said. “You will relate to the painting uniquely and recognize yourself in it. My role as an artist is to provide enough in the painting so that you can have multiple interpretations.” 

Longoria plans to complete this painting during the exclusive artist party on Friday, held a day before the festival starts.  Longoria embraces tight deadlines, drawing from his five decades of experience, including mural work undertaken in adverse weather conditions. 

“I’ll start while everybody’s mingling and doing art business,” Longoria said. “I’ll put them on notice that, you know, this old man is here, and then work through to the end of the party and then come back the next morning, paint furiously, and try to get it done. 

“A lot of older artists right now are getting worried they didn’t make it. The introduction I get into communities is the ‘legendary Longoria,’ and I have to remind people I’m not dead yet. So, you gotta keep going until the end and remember why you did this in the first place.” 

Date: Saturday, September 9 

Time: 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. 

Location: Storefronts from 901 Payne Avenue to 967 Payne Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota 55130 

Cost: Free

For more information: Visit https://www.paynearcade.com/

Selby Avenue Jazz Fest 

The Selby Avenue Jazz Fest will feature local and national musicians, including saxophonist and flutist Najee, Pippi & Daniel Music, Urban Legends of Jazz led by trumpetist Solomon J. Parham, Brio Brass, Walker West Music Academy, and Selby Avenue Brass Band

A village marketplace will feature more than 60 artist booths showcasing sculptures, ceramics, paintings, textiles, art prints, and jewelry. Family-friendly activities include arts and crafts, a fish pond, face painting, balloons, and more. Nine food vendors, including Caribbean and soul food, will also be available at the festival.

Date: Saturday, September 9

Time: 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. 

Location: Intersection of Selby and Milton Avenues in St. Paul’s Summit-University neighborhood. 

Cost: Free 

For more information: Visit https://selbyavejazzfest.com/

Myah Goff is an intern at Sahan Journal, currently pursuing a journalism degree at the University of Minnesota.