MN Fall Art Studio Tours: Art Crawls Across the State
As the air cools, it’s fall art studio crawl time. Several MN fall studio tours are growing in popularity, allowing visitors to enjoy the beautiful fall colors in distinctive regions of the state. Enjoy one of these fall art tours, and make it a Weekend Away for dining, shopping and unique stays.
Art on the Prairie: Meander Upper Minnesota River Art Crawl
Out on the golden fall prairie; find art, organic and locally grown foods, and Minnesota-made wine during the Meander Upper Minnesota River Art Crawl. Held the first weekend of October, the self-guided art crawl features 45 artists showcasing sculpture and pottery, photography, Scandinavian basket making and rosemaling, painting, carving, jewelry and more.
“The Meander has become a big event in recent years,” said Audrey Arner of Moonstone Farm in Montevideo. “The event is organized by the artists, who screen new applicants. We try to keep the number of participants at the same number, so that means new artists enter when past artists drop out. That keeps it manageable but it’s not easy to choose!”
At Moonstone, see pottery hand made by Moonstone’s Richard Handeen. The traveling tour features artists around Montevideo, as well as nearby towns including Granite Falls, Ortonville, Clara City and other nearby towns.
The Prairie Waters region has earned its reputation for locally made art, but it’s also known for its organic and locally grown foods. Visit Laechelt Farms in Montevideo for produce and free-range chickens. In Milan, Dry Weather Creek offers stone ground whole wheat flour, cornmeal and steal-cut Irish oatmeal. At Moonstone Farm, look for grass-fed beef, pork, PastureLand cheese, wild rice and honey. Several co-ops and grocery stores in the area also sell locally grown foods.
A fall tour wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Hinterland Vineyards in Clara City for a tasting of the winery’s cold-hardy varieties, including Frontenac, Marquette, La Crescent, and its 45 dessert wine. Enjoy a glass along the vines at this working farm/vineyard.
If You Go: The Meander art crawl takes place the first weekend of October, showcasing artists throughout the Prairie Waters region. As you drive between art stops, don’t miss the shopping, dining, and wine tasting across the region. Be sure to pick up a tour guide and map at numerous stores in the region.
Getting There: The Meander takes place throughout the Prairie Waters weekend. Take Hwy 212 west from the Twin Cities about two and a half hours. From St. Cloud, it’s just two hours southwest.
While You’re There: Make it a Weekend Away in the Prairie Waters region. Hike the prairie in Upper Sioux Agency State Park, view the World’s Oldest Rock, and enjoy dining in downtown Granite Falls and Montevideo. Before the season’s over, enjoy camping in a real tipi at Upper Sioux Agency State Park.
North Shore Art: Crossing Borders Studio Tour
Along Hwy 61 on the North Shore, take a self-guided tour of artist studios featuring more than 20 local artists. See hand-forged iron work by Dale Burton, Dave Yungner pottery, glass jewelry and sculpture from Jody Freij-Tonder and Michel Tonder of Blue Skies Glassworks, copper pottery and hand weaving from Dick and Debbie Cooter and more.
“The Crossing Borders tour has become a popular way to enjoy the art of the North Shore, along with the beautiful fall colors,” said Dale Burton of Burton Forge & Gallery, as he walked across his gallery showing guests the hand forged iron railings, tables, chandeliers and artwork.
Galleries from Duluth to Grand Marais participate in the tour, which has been an annual North Shore favorite since 1996. Many of the original founding artists continue to participate in the tour, along with new artists from across the North Shore.
During the tour, plan a Weekend Away on the North Shore to enjoy shopping, dining, hiking, kayaking and much more among the beautiful fall leaves. The North Shore offers some of the best views of the mn fall leaves in the state, and spectacular dining and sights on a Hwy 61 road trip.
If You Go: Pick up maps at many of the local shops and galleries in the area, including in Duluth’s Canal Park, or in the visitor’s center just before you enter Duluth on Hwy 35. There’s plenty to see and do along the tour. Plan to see as much of the North Shore as you can in between stops to see spectacular local art.
Getting There: The North Shore is an easy drive about two and a half hours directly north of the Twin Cities on Hwy 35. Continue north on Hwy 61 to enjoy numerous galleries along the way that are participating in the studio tour.
While You’re There: Plan to make it a Highway 61 Road Trip, or a Weekend Away in Duluth or Grand Marais. Stay in a top resort or bed & breakfast in one of these 10 places to stay on the North Shore. Fall is also a great time to hike the Superior Hiking Trail and see the fall colors from atop one of the trail’s vistas, such as these five top SHT hikes.
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