MIA Artoberfest

So the Minneapolis Institute of Art (known to the locals simply as MIA) is one of the many really awesome “donation suggested but if you’re a broke college kid ok fine it can be free” attractions around the Twin Cities! (Another I frequent include the Como Zoo and Conservatory.) Sam and I became members at the beginning of the summer, not being 100% sure what that would get us. The most notable freebie we found to be free admission to the current exhibition(s) on every Third Thursday or other predetermined member days. We took full advantage of this, going to “Seeing Nature” a landscape exhibition on our last Third Thursday.

Now that I’ve introduced “Third Thursdays at MIA” I need to take the explanation one step further. Associated with these particular member days, in an effort to get the younger demographic like myself involved, are evening festivals! Usually sponsored and filled with music by The Current (Sam’s favorite local radio station that I’ll be sick if I have to talk about one more time). This time they brought The World’s Most Dangerous Polka Band.

I’m not sure all of these festivals have themes, but this one was aptly named Artoberfest. This meant a combination of art and beer. My favorite things!! We started the evening off checking out the craft section while waiting for our tour. Hand embroidered beer coozies!


In progress shot of the MIA coaster craft.

We didn’t get very far (the above picture was taken much later) with a “drinking vessels tour through the ages,” which was led by an incredibly enthusiastic volunteer who got me beyond excited about some 4000 AD ceramics! This was followed by a trip through the Impressionists section of the museum where she conveniently left us. Impressionism is by far my favorite style of painting. Sam and I then ventured around to check out a few art pieces that apparently inspired beers. Local brewers brought said beers to the lobby of the museum, where after picking my favorite art piece, I promptly chose a completely different beer because said art had been inspiration for a beer I did NOT think I’d like.


He is the best at taking pictures… Featuring the plastic beer stein Sam won playing Hammerschlagen!


Now that’s a better picture! Featuring the plastic beer stein Sam won playing Hammerschlagen!

Beers in hand we went over to play some Hammerschlagen to try and win Sam a beer stein he’d had his eye on since we’d walked in. It was an extremely enjoyable game; my slow-and-steady-wins-the-race tactic almost gave me victory, but Sam pulled through and won it (beating out even the other couple we were playing with!). We took a quick photobooth picture and headed  back to the craft section.

Sam has a thing for Halloween and grabbed an orange coozie to make a pumpkin out of. I grabbed my always favorite shade of green (see M logo for my site as well coozie below). I had been using the evening as a little bit of inspiration for my arting and decided to try and make the logo on my coozie! Because I’m stubborn and wouldn’t just pull up the website, I go the curls at the bottom of the M backwards… but I’m ok with it. It was a bit easier to embroider this way. All in all I’d call this a successful night out at MIA!


I tried to make the M logo of this website from memory. Got the curls backwards. Maybe I’ll just try to make an M logo with swirls going the other way to match it!


I tried to make the M logo of this website from memory. Got the curls backwards. Maybe I’ll just try to make an M logo with swirls going the other way to match it!


Finished product and myself at the end of MIA’s Artoberfest!

St. Paul Art Crawl

As the name suggests, today Sam (the boyfriend) and I went to the St. Paul Art Crawl. A lovely event where tons of artists’ galleries, workspaces and live/work in apartments are opened up to the public to try and get some exposure to their art! We had a busy weekend building up to this event, and even with constant pushing from Sam we only got to attend a few hours at the very end of the three day art extravaganza. (He was right… We should have gone WAY earlier…) Anyway. Near the start of our time there, we came across a whole basement of “galleries” which were pretty much tiny rooms artists rented out to have somewhere that they don’t live to do their art in piece. Most notably we came across a room with the older artist herself just resting in her comfy chair. She had a lot of watercolors propped up on floating shelves mounted on the walls (we didn’t take any pictures out of respect for her craft). I had at this point worked up the nerve to ask a real question of the artist:

“Do you draw the pen lines before or after you do the watercolors?” which I sheepishly followed up with “We’ve been arguing about this all day…” as though I needed a reason to be asking…

She responded with a great explanation about how it could be done either way and sometimes at both ends. She then said the question sounded like it came from experience (which I’ve definitely never thought of myself having ANY of) and I explained a short version of my story:

“Just graduated and finally have time to try and be creative… but not sure how to start…”

She then gave me some great instruction about trying watercolor as an on-the-go art form, showing me her small palette of watercolors (it had a ring on it!) and explaining how she uses a small towel to keep her brushes from fraying but, again keeping them easy to transport. She has no idea how much her little explanations helped me out!! I hope to be showing some new art projects soon. Probably with a little watercolor involved!

If I got you to read this entire BOOK, then you deserve an explanation for the picture that probably brought you here. Later on in our explorations we found a painting/stool set up with the words “you here”, “social media excuse!”, “#ShareArt”, or something along those lines at least. It allowed Sam and I to get these lovely photos!


Sam is amazingly photogenic when he tries not to be.


I should have worn better coordinating colors. If only I’d known!