MINNEAPOLIS, July 11, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2011 Uptown Art Fair is celebrating its 48th annual fair with the theme "Art Meets Life", and an exciting lineup of nationally recognized artists, special performances, youth artists, a celebrity art sale, Minnesota Creative Arts and Aging Expo, and much more. The Uptown Art Fair will take place August 5-7 at the intersection of Hennepin Avenue and Lake Street in Uptown, Minneapolis.
"This year's 'Art Meets Life' theme is all-encompassing because art can be found in practically everything we do," said Maude Lovelle, Executive Director of the Uptown Art Fair. "Uptown blends the sophisticated, the scenic and the stylish into a decidedly urban environment, a perfect potpourri of places to go and people to see, creating the ideal environment in which to showcase some of the most talented artists in the country."
This year's Commemorative Artist is former Minnesota Vikings linebacker Matt Blair, now a full-time wildlife and landscape photographer. Blair's 2011 Uptown Art Fair Commemorative Print, "Calhoun Sails," depicts docked sailboats along the still waters of Lake Calhoun at dawn, beautifully illustrating that art meets life everywhere we go.
"I am honored to be the 2011 Commemorative Artist for one of the best art fairs in the United States," Blair said. "Photography and football have always been my passions. I carry my camera everywhere I go to capture different viewpoints and perspectives we might not notice with our own eyes."
Blair bought his first camera his rookie year with the Vikings and honed his eye by taking photos of his teammates. For him, photography was a way to stay on track during football season down-time.
Pursuing photography has brought Blair incredible satisfaction, as well as success. He was the co-writer and photographer of the book Homeless Dreams: Dream Portraits of Minnesota Celebrities to Aid the Homeless, and is the author of To Be a Viking, and Time Never Stops, which was his first photo book that he published. Blair is currently working on his second photo book, which will debut at the Uptown Art Fair.
In addition to Blair's work, fairgoers can browse through original art by more than 350 artists chosen by a five-member jury. The Uptown Art Fair features prints, drawing, glass, painting, jewelry, wood, ceramics, photography, mixed media and more.
In addition to the artist booths, the Uptown Art Fair features a variety of special events and activities. Some of this year's highlights include:
Family Imagination Station
Fairgoers can tap their inner artiste by using clay to create their own "Art Meets Life" project at the Family Imagination Station located in the Walker Library Courtyard. Presented by the Northern Clay Center, all ages and abilities are welcome to participate. Projects will be fired at the Northern Clay Center, and will be available for pick-up at the center after August 25.
Tomorrow's Stars Youth Art Fair
For the seventh year in a row, "Tomorrow's Stars Youth Art Fair" will give young talent a chance to shine at the Art Fair. Presented by The Ackerberg Group and Mozaic, the event brings together more than 40 promising young artists between the ages of 8 and 18, and provides them with an opportunity to display, discuss and sell their artwork inside Calhoun Square. Works include everything from sculptures and paintings to photography and jewelry.
Performance Stage and Wine Garden
Guests can take in daytime performances that include belly dancing, Irish dancing, a variety of bands, drum and jazz ensembles, while enjoying a relaxed atmosphere sampling wine under the tent in the Old Chicago parking lot. The Performance Stage is presented by Ultimate Events and the Wine Garden is presented by Barefoot Wine and Bubbly.
Minnesota Creative Arts and Aging Expo, and Celebrity Art Sale
This year's Uptown Art Fair charitable partner is the Minnesota Creative Artists and Aging Network (MnCAAN), which is a network of Minnesotans seeking to expand creative opportunities for older adults. MnCAAN's mission comes to life through its educational programming and artist showcases. The Expo will feature exhibits, interactive demonstrations by professional artists, and raffles for classes, artwork and more, and aims to teach older adults about arts education opportunities in their community.
MnCAAN will also display a "Tree of Life," a giant tree that will be on display throughout the event. Fairgoers are encouraged to share a turning point in their own lives on leaves that will be affixed to the tree. The booth will also host a celebrity art sale featuring one-of-a-kind "art hats" decorated by local celebrities, including TV and radio personalities, sports figures and other local notables.
Uptown Information Booth
The Uptown Art Fair is a great way to explore one of Minneapolis' hippest neighborhoods. The concierge-style info booth will be on-site to answer any Uptown-related question, from where to get the best local pad thai to in-the-know recommendations on where to frame new prints. Plus, the booth, presented by Groupon, will feature special coupons, discounts and possibly some giveaways to support and promote Uptown area businesses. The Apple Store will also be on hand to get the pulse of fairgoers using the latest technology. The booth is hosted by the Uptown Association, producers of the Uptown Art Fair, and located at the corner of Lagoon and Hennepin.
Serious About Green
In addition to bottle and can recycling, which is sponsored by the Sons of Norway, Nice Ride Minnesota, a new non-profit organization that operates a bike sharing system in Minneapolis, will again offer complimentary bike valet parking near the intersection of Humboldt Avenue and The Mall. Nice Ride also presents "Park and Pedal," which lets drivers park their vehicles in centralized locations for free, and then bike to the fair using their own wheels or Nice Ride cycles. This service is only available Saturday, August 6 and Sunday, August 7.
Metro Transit is also offering free rides through its ArtPass. Attendees can ride free on Saturday and Sunday between the Uptown Art Fair, Loring Park Art Festival and the Powderhorn Art Fair. The Metro Transit ArtPass is valid on all Metro transit bus lines, including the Hiawatha light rail line. For more information, visit www.metrotransit.org/artpass.
About the Uptown Art Fair
Produced by the Uptown Association, the Uptown Art Fair will take place August 5-7 and will feature more than 350 professional artists, over 40 youth artists, 25 performers and a variety of food vendors. Ranked the No.1 art fair in Minnesota by the Harris Guide, the three-day event has grown into a nationally recognized fine arts festival attracting more than 375,000 people throughout the weekend. More information about the Uptown Art Fair can be found at www.uptownartfair.com.
SOURCE Uptown Art Fair