Posts Tagged ‘Minneapolis Institute of Arts’

Travel = Museums

IMG_4549When I was 16 I wanted to see the Mona Lisa, in person. Travel means art museums. At home, like many people, I forget what’s in my backyard. Thankfully the Minneapolis Institute of Arts just send me a few emails reminding me of their new exhibit, Italian Style:  Fashion Since 1945.

Fantastic marketers, the MIA employs direct marketing via email and social media, such as their Facebook page and videos, to remind art lovers to visit. Getting there is only part of the marketing journey; consider the brochures, catalogs, and signage one encounters at a museum, as well. In fact, I have rather large box of postcards from museums I’ve visited all over the world.

Art in Your Backyard

Yesterday, I took my marketing communications students to the Catherine G. Murphy Gallery yesterday to understand the role of artists statements as supplemental media. In preparation, they read two different perspectives on this type of writing:

And then wrote their own about Adé Bethune: The Power of One Person and the Great Mother of Islam.

The Catherine G. Murphy Gallery is free and open every day. Plan your visit, soon.

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When I moved to Chapel Hill, NC years ago, my neighbor and enduring friend gave us a list of all the fun activities for a family in the area. This year we’re sharing our Minneapolis-St.Paul knowledge with a family from Chapel Hill!

Here’s a list of just some of the fun things my family likes to do.

Target Family Day at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts
The museum is always free, but monthly they do a special family event: http://www.artsmia.org/index.php?section_id=44
Today is “Family Day and Peace Games: Inside/Out”

Walker Art Museum
The sculpture garden is always free (and really cool). The museum is free on Thursday nights (6-9) thanks to Target and the first Saturday of the month with special family events (http://www.walkerart.org/free-first-saturdays)

St Paul Public Library Museum Passes / Passport to Play
http://www.sppl.org/services/museum-passes // http://www.melsa.org/MuseumAdventurePass/index.cfm
Check out free passes to local museums, the zoo, etc.

Saint Paul Public Schools Community Education
After school programs require registration through Community Ed. Gymnastics, swimming and other youth/adult programs are offered too.

Parks & Recreation
Sports, art, fitness, crafts etc. Linwood Community Center, for instance, has lots of kids dance programs and adult yoga.

Music in Mears Park, Downtown St. Paul
Free on Thursday nights at 6 pm

MN History Center – Nine Nights of Music
Free music on Tuesday nights

Lowertown St. Paul Farmers’ Market
290 E 5th St, St. Paul, MN 55101
Saturday and Sundays 6/7 am – 1 pm
Fruit, veggies, meat, baked goods, Hmong crafts & prêt-à-manger food
Plus there’s a lovely coffee shop on the corner (The Black Dog http://blackdogstpaul.com/).

Como Zoo and Conservatory
Always free and the Conservatory is heavenly in the winter!

Parks and Rec, lots of soccer club programs (Blackhawks, Joy of the People etc.)
Low key programs available through HGRA (http://www.hgra.org/) including Sunday, fall baseball for 9+. It’s fun with lots of emphasis on sportsmanship and learning the game. HGRA also offers spring track and summer soccer and baseball. Hockey is huge, but we just play “pick up games” at the local parks, many kids start at age 4 and play very competitively. St Paul Community Ed has awesome gymnastics programs for all ages, too.

Don’t forget the Minnesota Children’s Museum, the Science Museum, and all the pools in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Today’s the last day of the Irish Fair until next year

Coming up….

MN State Fair
Aug 23 – Labor Day
Lots of Park and Ride bus lots, discount tickets at Cub Foods
From seed art to crazy food on a stick with the best people watching in the state

Lowertown Art Crawl http://stpaulartcrawl.org/
Fall 2012: Friday October 12, Saturday October 13, & Sunday October 14

Ice Skating Downtown St. Paul (http://www.wellsfargowinterskate.com/)
Of course there is skating at all the local parks, too!

St. Paul Winter Carnival (http://www.winter-carnival.com/)

MUSIC I’ll leave for another day!

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Do Museum Shops Count?

Frankly, I’m not sure. The Walker definitely isn’t small…

The TWO shops in the Walker Art Museum suggested today’s Daily Dozen theme. How about some Maple Leaf sticky notes or a MadPax kids backpack that even I’d like to wear?

The Museum of Russian Art is one of those places someone recommended and then you realize everyone is telling you about it. Where the Walker Shop is spare, the gifts in the Izba Gift Store are anything but. The painted mouse hugging its cheese would look delightful on my tree.

Also in Minneapolis is the venerable Institute of Arts. Birthdays in my family all seem to happen at the same:  spring, late summer, and Christmas-time.  I can shop for everyone here. The Museum Shop stock reflects current exhibits, but always the most amazing art book selection in the city. Edo Pop Trading Cards anyone?

It’s pretty obvious that I love books. Have you ever made one? Or wanted to? Then visit the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. Sign yourself (or you and friend) up for a workshop and visit their shop for book-binding supplies.

The Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota is a gift just to drive by. I haven’t visited their renovated shop yet, but I’m planning to attend the “Annual Shopping Celebration” December 7th. Gorgeous work by local artists.

A friend suggested the American Swedish Institute just to see their holiday decorations. The Museum Shop carries an amazing selection of Swedish handcrafts. I’m particularly fond of the felted wool balls and Klippan textiles.

I’m a big fan of Santa. His train comes through the Jackson Street Roundhouse every December in St. Paul. You can find classic train paraphernalia in their shop, but really, the visit is a gift in itself.

I found the American Association of Woodturners Gallery of Wood Art by accident last year. I was chaperoning a trip to the Winter Carnival and some of my charges needed a bathroom. We wandered around the Landmark Center for quite a while and discovered this treasure along the way. The Gallery Gift Store carries stunning turned wood bowls and kitchen implements for use and display.

The Minnesota History Center also has TWO shops. Or maybe two separate rooms of the same shop. Either way, if you are curious about St. Paul  — and who wouldn’t be, then you must buy The Street Where You Live which gives a the history of every street name in the city. Just so you know, Finn Street, just south of St. Thomas was named after distant relative of mine, once or twice removed.

For cool toys, the Minnesota Children’s Museum store, Kid Spark is a must-stop. I was sad to see Creative Kid Stuff leave, but the museum created a great resource for birthday gifts. My daughter loves the polished stones and ribbon wreaths.

For the bigger kids on your list, leave them at home and bop into Social Science at the Science Museum of Minnesota. For the 21+ crowd, Social Science is  a lot like the Walker After Hours when they debuted in ’97:  very cool, but still undiscovered. THEN visit the Explore Store Gift Shop. You can buy little bottles of precious metals and cool stuff relating to the featured exhibit.

The Goldstein Museum of Design at the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus makes me want to back to school. You can take home a piece of a previous show – just buy one of their super-cool banner bags, from $20.

Thirteen makes a baker’s dozen. A special shout-out to the Soap Factory, which hosted a $99 art sale in September. Let’s hope they repeat that event again soon! Don’t forget about them while they renovate through the winter.

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