Housed inside a Spanish Colonial–style former church, The Museum of Russian Art exudes an aura of hushed reverence—sunlight streams through Romanesque windows, and arches frame the museum’s collection of paintings and sculptures. The lofty setting is ideal for an art collection that spans eons, from unearthed Byzantine-era golden urns to paintings depicting a turbulent post-Stalin Soviet Union.
The Museum of Russian Art bills itself as the only museum on the continent dedicated to preserving Russian art. It continues to do so by collaborating with museums in Russia and the United States, recruiting artifacts, accumulating artwork, and reassembling hopelessly jumbled Matryoshka dolls for its ever-rotating collection. In tandem with the museum’s collection, curators strive to illuminate Russian culture by hosting lectures from scholars of Russian culture and leading free one-hour tours each weekend.
Specializing in custom framing of fine art, mirrors, memorable keepsakes, and artistically positioned banana peels, Nielsen Framing adds an aesthetically pleasing pizzazz to valuables. Experienced craftsmen draw on a wide selection of finely wrought frames to lasso, break in, saddle, and preserve striking paintings and grandma-impressing graduation certificates. Prices vary according to materials and size, but customers can opt for offerings such as a 8”x10” plain black frame with glass and 2” matting ($147), or an 11”x14” olive-veneer black frame with glass and 2” matting ($327). Best of all, this deal makes for a thoughtful Mother’s Day present by ensuring handsome housing for noteworthy digital daguerrotypes or impressive report cards.
The Edina Art Center is a wellspring of creativity. A combination studio space, gallery, and art academy, the center provides opportunities for community members to create and view art. Internationally recognized artists exhibit their art in the Margaret Foss Gallery, and the Clark Gift Shop sells cards, jewelry, and art supplies. For a more hands-on approach to art, classes branch out into every artistic media except the new abstract form of invisible paint. Lessons for all ages include jewelry making, advanced watercolors, and Create a Creature workshops, where students build a sculpture out of polymer clay. For students in grades 2-10 who show advanced aptitude, the Art Academy also offers individualized training with working artists.
The 14th annual MCAD Art Sale unveils collections of paint-strewn papyruses, photographs, and graphic prints by students and recent graduates. Held every year the weekend before Thanksgiving, the art sale has generated more than $1,000,000 to support emerging artists and underprivileged smocks. The frenzy of opening-night festivities begin with complimentary beer, wine, and hors d'oeuvres at 6 p.m., followed by remarks and interpretive shadow puppets by MCAD President Jay Coogan. At the strike of 6:45 p.m., visitors nab up to one wall adornment every 12 seconds, while brushing eyes over landscapes of original opuses and opening their wallets faster than their neighboring collector. All attendees retrieve their tickets through will call only. Proceeds directly benefit individual artists or the MCAD's Art Sale Scholarship fund, and guests can purchase masterpieces with cash, check, credit card, and miniature portraits of President Andrew Jackson.
When the Minneapolis Institute of Arts first opened its doors in 1915, it was the product of several decades of arts advocacy. A group of 25 citizens formed the Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts in 1883 with the goal of giving their community access to creative arts. More than a century later, this commitment to the community has taken the permanent collections from 800 works to close to 80,000 objects and has made the museum Minnesota's largest art educator.
The collections, divided into seven curatorial areas, encompass a period of 5,000 years and hail from every corner of the world. The Asian Art collection represents 17 different Asian cultures, and Arts of Africa and the Americas holds more than 3,000 pieces of sculpture, basketry, painting, and beadwork. Temporary exhibitions bring collections of artwork from other institutions. The museum's interactive learning stations supplement understanding of topics such as modernism or 17th-century European painting with animation, video, and audio recordings.