LOLA Art Crawl 2013


The Annual Celebration of Art and Community Offers an End-of-Summer Ritual for Local Art Lovers Greater Longfellow, Minneapolis — Each year since 2009, the League of Longfellow Artists (LoLa) invites the public into artists’ home studios as well as independent neighborhood businesses to celebrate the treasures of artistic expression in our community.

Always on the last weekend of August, and beginning to rival the State Fair as an end-of-summer ritual—at least for our corner of the city—this year’s LoLa Art Crawl takes place on August 24 and 25, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. “It’s a bold art show that willingly competes against the first weekend of the Great Minnesota Get-Together. But the LoLa Art Crawl … is nothing if not bold,” wrote Gail Rosenblum in the Star Tribune last year. The LoLa Art Crawl has grown each year, and this year’s roster of participants now stands at 155 artists, up from 120 in 2012, who will be exhibiting at more than 70 sites. Even as it has grown in numbers, LoLa still offers visitors an intimate, neighborhood-focused tour dubbed “the biggest little neighborhood art crawl in Minnesota.”

Mosaic artist Chris Miller, who attended as a visitor for the first two years, will be returning for his third time as a LoLa artist. “LoLa weekend is without question my favorite weekend of the year,” he says. “It is a lot of fun to see complete strangers come through my yard and look through my hobby.” Miller is currently working on a glass mosaic map of the world on a large storm window.

Sculptor Richard Parnell is busy constructing a kinetic sculpture of a “not-so-Little Free Library” out of bike parts. He participated in the second year of LoLa and is back again this year, looking forward to the social interaction, both “folks coming by during the art crawl,” and the informal gathering of artists after the event. “I love the neighborhood aspect of LoLa,” says first-year participant Sarah Simpson. “It’s fun to have people gathering together in the community setting.” Simpson is a potter who takes pride in combining form and function. “Some of my pottery is simple and plain, while some has a more involved form.  My favorite technique to make my pottery unique is putting my hand grip in my mugs and pitchers,” she says.

Each artist brings a unique vision and voice to this annual event, while also embracing and delighting in the larger community of artists all around them. That balance of individualism and mutualism makes the LoLa art crawl a joy for artists and visitors alike. The League of Longfellow Artists is an artist-organized, all-volunteer association dedicated to raising the visibility of local artists and to building community through art in greater Longfellow, which is the area defined by Cedar Avenue to the Mississippi River and East 28th Street to the Crosstown. More information at this website.