Twin City Model Railroad Museum carries visitors through time with meticulously detailed model panoramas of Twin Cities railroads from the 1930s, '40s, and '50s. The museum itself dates back to 1934, when a group of modelers formed the St. Paul Craftsman Club. Today, thanks to countless volunteer hours, the museum has grown into a world-class facility that chugs along with stunning displays and special exhibits. Inside, visitors marvel as the Empire Builder zips above St. Anthony Falls on the Stony Arch Bridge and as freight trains haul cargo to and from industries. The O-Scale exhibit begins in a reproduction of the St. Anthony Falls milling district and ends in the Minnesota Transfer Railways switching yard. The Toy Train Division includes classic models from Lionel, American Flyer, and Marx as well as other scales from Z to G.
At the Minnesota Transportation Museum, the history of rail and transit comes to life. Guests can explore the Jackson Street Roundhouse, a former engine maintenance facility that now features in-depth exhibits on railway history, restored vintage steam engines and railway equipment, and one of the last operating roundhouse turntables in the country. After seeing the history on the page, visit the Osceola & St. Croix Valley Railway to feel the power of the rail underfoot as you take a scenic ride on a vintage coach.
Artist Mai O'Brion often greets visitors to her gallery with a mug of tea—and then immediately engages them in conversation. Over intermittent sips, she tells them that she and a few fellow artists once dreamed of a different, welcoming kind of gallery and artist collective. They soon banded together to found Chaos Art Gallery & Studio, reaffirming their commitment to showcasing accessible exhibits from local and international artists and mentoring members and students alike.
Inside the studio, Mai and other artists teach several painting classes for groups and individuals. Their most popular offerings are the two-hour BYOB Creative Painting Classes, which invite groups of students to paint one of several chosen subjects, or inspire them to create their own works. Over BYOB classes, students soak in direction as instructors share tips to the group and give one-on-one attention to individuals. Instructors also lead a five-week Art Intensive course, which starts students off with a black-and-white composition drawing and builds their technique until they can complete a painting from a live model.
Epic Vow Wedding Photography owner Nicole Daniels carefully pairs members of her shutter squad with engaged couples for wedding shoots befitting each client’s personal style. Photographers snap an average of 100 high-quality digital images during four-hour nuptials and anywhere from 200 to 400 pictures at ceremonies exceeding five hours. Nicole digitally edits the strongest shots herself, ensuring that any facial blemishes, lipstick smudges, or ghostly apparitions are eradicated from final prints. Along with a trio of packages, Nicole preserves colorized and black and white photographs by mounting images on hardboard masonite or canvas, assembling shots in a softbound or wave-accordion album, or creating metallic prints.