May art events kick off Friday, May 4


Mark the first and third weekends in May for art exhibits, open studios, new galleries and bikes as art.

First weekend

May 4–5, Arts Off Raymond features dozens of artists’ open studios at 10 locations along University Avenue — including two in Prospect Park. The Textile Center of Minnesota, 3000 University Ave. SE, opens its Mexican shawl exhibit, while 14 artists will open their studios at the Art and Architecture Building, 3338 University Ave. SE. Hop the vintage bus — from the Minnesota Transportation Museum — and head east to the other eight locations, just across the St. Paul border.

Further west in Bridgeland, Gregg Rochester’s The Art of the Bicycle opens May 1 at Gallery 122 at Hang It, Inc., 122 SE Eighth St. Known best for his landscape paintings, Rochester also hand-paints on a stranger canvas: bicycles. Both media will be on exhibit through the end of May. Rochester will be on hand for an opening reception Friday, May 4.

Also on Friday, May 4, wheel over to 503 First Ave. NE for the opening of the exhibit Fine Fendered Friends. The reception at 6 p.m. marks the inauguration of Wheel Good Bicycles, the venture of Andy Kangas, featuring his collection of 200 restored classic bikes. The shop will function mainly online; the exhibit of painted bike fenders by a group of 16 artists is open May 4 until 11 p.m. and for Art-A-Whirl, May 18–20. Visit for more information.

Third weekend

With its hub in Northeast Minneapolis, the annual Art-A-Whirl festival’s spokes reach parts of Bridgeland, including the grand opening of 2010 ArtBlok at 2010 E. Hennepin Ave. The multi-building art complex at the former site of General Mills Research Laboratories is home to painters, sculptors, glass workers, musical performers, a coffee shop and Caribbean restaurant, and more. Three open galleries will show the work of 15 artists: Tea Leaf Gallery, with fortune telling and works in a variety of media; and Seventh Street and FOCI galleries with fused and blown glass works and demonstrations.

You can even get there on your bike as part of Art-A-Whirl’s Tour de Whirl. Art-A-Whirl takes place in various locations across Northeast Minneapolis on Friday, May 18, 5–10 p.m.; Saturday, May 19, noon–8 p.m.; and Sunday, may 20, noon–5 p.m. For more information, visit