The FMVA Studio Crawl is back! Dozens of artists will invite art fans into 41 different studios all across the Red River Valley tomorrow and Sunday. It’s such a fun event and it’s responsible for more than half of the art in my house right now.
The atmosphere is casual and laid-back, with plenty of opportunities to see the work up close, ask the artists questions and connect with the other people who came out to look around. You’ll find live demonstrations, snacks and a chance to buy some of the pieces you’ve fallen in love with.
I think there’s something almost magical about creative spaces and I love seeing how every space is different. You can visit urban studios, garages, country homes and academic buildings on the tour and check out individual and group studio spaces.
You can plan your route or wander, and check out one studio or all of them, but I recommend at least glancing over a brochure so you can see what’s available. You can find full color brochures with artist descriptions and a map at various F-M locations and an online version is available here.
Here are some of the spots I’m excited about.
Jon Offutt’s Gourds
Glassblower Jon Offutt’s House of Mulciberis kind of magical. He stocks his shelves with complex shimmering vessels, sets up a garden of sweet little gourds in the yard and shows you how he makes it all in educational demonstrations. The demos are fun and the roaring fire is hypnotic — enjoy the show with a glass of cold root beer from Jon’s root beer keg.
Jon Offutt’s House of Mulciber
4824 12th Street South
It just doesn’t feel like Studio Crawl unless I pay a visit to screen printing god Matt Mastrud at Punchgut Studio. Even though my walls are full, I always seem to walk out with an armful of his gig posters, art prints and stickers. His work sometimes dark and sometimes goofy but always irreverent and interesting. If you’re new to the crawl or worry the idea might be a little pretentious, pay a visit to Punchgut. You’ll like what you see.
2922 Edgewood Drive
Susanne Williams makes amazing clothing, accessories and bags out of plastics, fabrics and leather at Willi Nilli in downtown Fargo. I visited her studio for the first time last year, but it’s stuck in my head ever since. I love that someone local is innovating at this level. And her sketches and mood boards made me nostalgic for the costume design classes I took in college. They’re almost as inspiring as the pieces themselves.
412 Broadway North
Mood Board at Willi Nilli
If You Only Have an Hour:
Honestly, these are some of my favorites too, but they’re also great if you’re pressed for time, so they get their own category. If you have more than an hour, walk to them all — with a stop for lunch or dinner — and you’ve got a great afternoon in downtown Fargo.
You get a lot in one stop when you drop by NDSU’s Renaissance Hall in downtown Fargo — PEARS (Printmaking Education and Research Studio) the NDSU student organization A.R.T., the NDSU Ceramics Guild, printmaker Eric A. Johnson of and faculty members Michael J. Strand and Kent Kapplinger.
NDSU’s Renaissance Hall
650 NP Avenue
The Spirit Room Studios house gallery and work spaces for 25 different artists. For a shared urban work space, the building is surprisingly sprawling and flooded with natural light.
Spirit Room Studios
109 1/2 Broadway
The Roberts Street Studio offers a warren of paintings, reassembled furniture, sculpture, drawings and mixed media by various artists. Don’t be afraid to linger, ask questions and take a second lap through to look everywhere but at eye level — you’ll get a real sense of the people who are working there. They’ll have pottery wheel demos this weekend too.
Roberts Street Studio
515 Roberts Street
Inside Roberts Street Studio
Outside the city limits:
Venture off the beaten path to see studios in inspiring settings.
Textile artist Kay Orberg is showing off her clothing line, fabrics and yarn and offering discounted prices. With the weather cooling off fast, you might even get a glimpse of some pretty fall colors on your drive.
The Gallery in the Granary and Studio
10637 280th Street South
Jon Offutt and assistant at work
Learn from the artists and even get in on the action with a few of the weekend’s demonstrations.
Jacqueline J. Anderson (who was named this year’s FMVA Member of the Year) is showing her painting and offering free caricatures as a cool souvenir.
Jacqueline J. Anderson
516 Queen’s Court
Ann Arbor Miller is a great photographer and an all-around cool girl, so I’m excited to see Arbor Photographic on the crawl this year. She’s offering collaborative portraits, which sound fun.
910 Main Avenue, Suite 100
Inside Punchgut Studio
FMVA Studio Crawl
Saturday, October 5 and Sunday, October 6
All studios are free of charge
All photos in this post are from the 2012 Studio Crawl.