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Go where you want at the Art Crawl, but here's where you ought to start

Art for sale on the Tilsner's walls
Photo by Nigel Parry
Art for sale on the Tilsner's walls.

It would be unpatriotic of me to suggest an art tour that wasn't the Art Crawl — a tour you make yourself of 250 artists' studios and galleries in more than two-dozen buildings.

What I can offer is a starting point: The Tilsner Artists' Cooperative in Lowertown.

The renovated red-brick 19th-century warehouse has 66 studio apartment units, and come Art Crawl time the doors are opened and living spaces become galleries. The building is stunning, and the art diverse. And at most historical moments, it is affordable. This year is different. Very different. But it ain't art's fault.

If you enter the Tilsner with empty pockets, you'll still have a good time. Nearly every living space I stepped into at the last crawl was stunning. There's nothing Home & Garden TV will give you that the Tilsner won't give you with more class and fewer commercials. I don't know why, but multiple apartments have swings made to bear adult weight. In one studio I found a very intelligent bird of African descent. My toddler fed it popcorn, and judging from his reaction, it may well have changed the little man's life. It may well change yours too. I don't know.

Here's a tiny sampling of what the Tilsner artists do:

The mixed media work of Carly Beseman
mnartists.org
The mixed media work of Carly Beseman
The Lake Superior photos of Jeffrey Hansen
Courtesy of Composition Nature
The Lake Superior photos of Jeffrey Hansen
The paintings of Kevan Willington
Courtesy of Cross Links Design
The paintings of Kevan Willington

But let me be clear: the Tilsner is your starting point. You can walk this crawl until you bleed art. And here's how.

Good luck, and don't be shy about reporting what you find. The comments section at the bottom of this page does not merely exist to make us look official.

The Art Crawl hours of operation are Friday evening, 6-10 p.m., Saturday 2-10 p.m., and Sunday noon-5 p.m. Happy hunting.

Jeff Severns Guntzel writes about the arts and other topics for MinnPost.

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