Founded in the mid '90s by a group of textile artists and patrons, the Textile Center's goal is to honor, foster, and support fiber artists and increase the tradition of textile art's visibility and accessibility. The center is home to four fiber art galleries, a library, and a professionally equipped dye lab. Currently celebrating its 20th anniversary, in addition to its vast array of supplies, the center sells local and international artists' works of art in its shop such as accessories, home d?cor, and seasonal gifts . These include wearable pieces for patrons, such as embroidered pendants, and wearable pieces for tables, such as coasters, runners, and woven place mats. Curious newbies and seasoned artists alike can enroll in classes, which range in focus from basic dyeing to crocheting to sustainable fashion design.
Since 1995, the dexterous framers at Hang It Inc. have been embellishing artwork and other displayables with more than 1,000 first-rate frame varieties culled from around the world. Enclose a photograph or a napkin from a particularly delicious barbecue dinner with a 16”x20" black wood frame ($64), equipped with glass and a mount. Drab dorm rooms are illuminated with a poster encased in a 24”x36" black metal frame ($69), and gold, silver, and ornate borders enable customized constructions. Other combinations may be seen here. Hang It’s unique plasma-TV-framing service adorns wall-hung television sets with a quality picture frame and liner, transforming T.J. Hooker reruns into art. After shopping, customers can peruse the studio's art gallery, Gallery 122, which features a variety of mediums from local artists.
The experienced, professional piercers at the artist-owned piercerie stand ready to punctuate your preferred part with a splash of shine. Leviticus offers facial, ear, oral, torso, and surface piercings, so stop in for a pair of earlobe pokes ($25), a navel piercing ($25), or a brow piercing ($25). The quick and precise hands of the professional Leviticus artists ensure a straight shot through your skin, and the wide selection of jewelry (not included in the Groupon) promises the perfect piece of piercing art for your ear, nose, or surface.
When Layl McDill's daughters were little, she would carry small bricks of polymer clay in her purse for them to play with. Over the years, the pastime evolved into a serious profession for her. Forming ropes of the colorful, malleable material into millefiore canes, McDill honed her skills, creating patterns, pictures, and delicious pies from the carefully sliced clay logs. With the help and support of her husband and fellow artist, Josh Blanc, Layl founded Clay Squared to Infinity in 1996, where today she not only creates and displays her own artwork, but also leads classes for clay-curious artists of all ages.
Who would build a castle in Minneapolis? In 1908, the Turnblads did just that on Park Avenue. The Swedish immigrant family constructed a mansion complete with detailed woodcarvings done by hand-selected artists and a barn/carriage house where the family housed some early automobiles and one horse that was starting to get really insecure about his job security. But the king and queen of this castle were benevolent. Just 21 years after the mansion's construction, the Turnblads gave over the house keys to the community for the organization that would become American Swedish Institute.
Today, the mansion and its grounds still stand as a tribute to Swedish and Nordic culture?both past and present. Guides lead tours into the historic home as well as through the more contemporary Nelson Cultural Center. Its 34,000 square feet includes a modern art gallery featuring rotating exhibits that showcase photographs, paintings, and other works of art from Sweden and her Nordic neighbors.
The American Swedish Institute also regularly hosts performing-arts presentations and educational programs, including Swedish language classes for all levels. But to truly get a taste of authentic Swedish culture, all one really needs to do is take a bite of the seasonal Nordic-inspired cuisine at Fika, the onsite cafe praised by such publications as the New York Times.
Other places to explore include a Museum shop with Nordic goods as well as a reading room filled with books from Swedish and Swedish American authors.
Seasoned artist Malcom Potek calls upon more than two decades of glass-manipulating experience while crafting intricate, multicolored tiles and custom sconces that suit the unique architecture of their intended edifices. Within his shop and gallery, a glossy collection of already made glass portraits, beads, and tiles entices eyes to ogle one-of-a-kind designs instead of Betty Boop?shaped clouds. Visitors inspired by Potek's work can learn the tricks of the trade during a variety of glass-blowing classes that set participants on the path to glass-blowing certification.