It’s “art meets life”: Uptown Art Fair celebrates its 48th year, August 5-7

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The 2011 Uptown Art Fair is celebrating a lineup of nationally recognized artists, special performances, youth artists, a celebrity art sale and a Minnesota Creative Arts and Aging Expo, all from its location at the intersection of Hennepin Avenue and Lake Street.

“This year’s ‘Art Meets Life’ theme is all-encompassing because art can be found in practically everything we do,” said Maude Lovelle, Executive Director of the Uptown Art Fair. “Uptown blends the sophisticated, the scenic and the stylish into a decidedly urban environment, a perfect potpourri of places to go and people to see, creating the ideal environment in which to showcase some of the most talented artists in the country.”

This year’s Commemorative Artist is former Minnesota Vikings linebacker Matt Blair, now a full-time wildlife and landscape photographer. Blair’s 2011 Uptown Art Fair Commemorative Print, “Calhoun Sails”, depicts docked sailboats along the still waters of Lake Calhoun at dawn, beautifully illustrating that art meets life everywhere we go.

“I am honored to be the 2011 Commemorative Artist for one of the best art fairs in the United States,” Blair said. “Photography and football have always been my passions. I carry my camera everywhere I go to capture different viewpoints and perspectives we might not notice with our own eyes.”  

Blair bought his first camera his rookie year with the Vikings and honed his eye by taking photos of his teammates. For him, photography was a way to stay on track during football season down-time.
Pursuing photography has brought Blair incredible satisfaction, as well as success. He was the co-writer and photographer of the book Homeless Dreams: Dream Portraits of Minnesota Celebrities to Aid the Homeless, and is the author of To Be a Viking, and Time Never Stops, which was his first photo book that he published. Blair is currently working on his second photo book which will debut at the Uptown Art Fair.

In addition to Blair’s work, fairgoers can browse through original art by more than 350 artists chosen by a five-member jury. The Uptown Art Fair features prints, drawing, glass, painting, jewelry, wood, ceramics, photography, mixed media and more.  

In addition to the artist booths, the Uptown Art Fair features a variety of special events and activities.
Uptown Information Booth

The booth, presented by Groupon, will feature special coupons, discounts and possibly some giveaways to support and promote Uptown area businesses. The booth is located at the corner of Lagoon and Hennepin.

Seeing Green

In addition to bottle and can recycling which is sponsored by the Sons of Norway, Nice Ride Minnesota, a new non-profit organization that operates a bike sharing system in Minneapolis, will again offer complimentary bike valet parking near the intersection of Humboldt Avenue and The Mall. Nice Ride also presents “Park and Pedal,” which lets drivers park their vehicles in centralized locations for free, and then bike to the fair using their own wheels or Nice Ride cycles. This service is available Saturday, August 6 and Sunday, August 7 only. For more information see www.niceridemn.org

Metro Transit is also offering free rides through its ArtPass. Attendees can ride free on Saturday and Sunday between the Uptown Art Fair, Loring Park Art Festival and the Powderhorn Art Fair. The Metro Transit ArtPass is valid on all Metro transit bus lines, including the Hiawatha light rail line. For more information, visit www.metrotransit.org/artpass

Parking Alternatives

Some parking will be made available at 2828 Emerson Avenue. Park all day for only five dollars. All proceeds will go to support the Joyce Uptown Foodshelf to provide nutritionally balanced food for their clients which numbered more than 300,000 last year. Parking will be available for the following times: Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. to 7p.m. and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

More information about the Uptown Art Fair can be found at www.uptownartfair.com