When you purchase a home decor piece at an art fair, you’re doing three great things:
- You’re supporting an artist (whether emerging or established) and their artistic vision
- You’re supporting your local community
- You’re getting a truly unique piece–something that you can’t just pick off the shelf at Target or IKEA
If you’re in the market for new home decor, we encourage you to hit up nearby art fairs, craft shows, and galleries. It’s fun to browse, but we recommend you consider a few basics before blindly plunging in among hundreds of booths:
- What kind of space are you trying to fill (wall? entryway? floor?)
- How big is the space that you’ll be decorating (take some measurements before you go to the art fair)
- What kind of media are you interested in? Painting? Sculpture? Woodwork? Photography?
- Do you have a specific color scheme you’d like to match? Or patterns that you’d like to emphasize (floral, geometric, etc.)?
With these basics in mind, you’ll have an easier time navigating your local art fair. If you live in the Twin Cities area, we recommend attending the upcoming Uptown Art Fair (Aug. 7-9). Among the hundreds of artists who will be displaying their work, we selected our top 7 local favorites and featured them below.* Enjoy! And happy decorating.
Ginny Herzog has been creating architectural collages since 1994. Her paintings give the impression of aerial perspectives or floor plans. To fuse additional perspectives–frontal, interior, and 3D–she rotates her composition many times and incorporates selected images in it, like a collage. Detail work with watercolor crayons or pencils enhances shapes, features, and lines.
Daniel Lager studied at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and has displayed his art nationally as a full-time artist for the past 30 years. He is a conceptual artist who paints on the backside of clear acrylic glass. Foregrounds are painted first with backgrounds painted last. He defines each concept with an eye for simplicity and the use of rich, vibrant colors.
Magnolia Place Woodworks
A small shop located in Stillwater, MN, Magnolia Place Woodworks is a true family business. Nick Henton designs and crafts each piece by hand, often teaming with his father, Nick Sr. Photography and marketing is handled by Nick’s wife, Teresa, and Nick’s mother assists at art fairs. Magnolia Place products stand apart from other woodworking companies with their unique, eye-catching designs, superb raw materials, and exquisite detail work. The hardwoods the shop uses are locally sourced and only the finest wood, glues, and finishes are used in order to create a long-lasting, quality product. All purchases come with a wood care kit to ensure the piece’s longevity. Custom orders are welcome.
Bowls By Blahnik
After spending 41 years as a band instructor, Tom Blahnik turned his attention to turning bowls. He uses a lathe to create hundreds of artisan bowls that can be used for practical purposes or for decoration. Blahnik’s work is characterized by emphasizing the unique qualities of each piece of wood. He highlights interesting features of his “blanks” (wood that has not yet been turned on the lathe) by often leaving natural ridges or burls embedded in his bowls.
Steve Wewerka Photography
Steven Wewerka considers his photography a form of storytelling, leading viewers through images in a narrative process. He creates visual metaphors that shape the emotional experience, opening up a dialogue between his images and the viewer. The result is entirely original work that represents a synthesis of creative minds. Steve’s early inspiration came from the colorful culture and the natural beauty of Northern New Mexico. After attending college and graduating with a degree in Fine Art Photography, he became a successful freelance photographer, with his work appearing worldwide in publications such as Life Magazine (cover image), Newsweek, Time, Sports Illustrated, and the New York Times.
Photographer Erik Saulitis dedicates every photo he snaps to his late wife. Saulitis’ portraits feature dancers and are characterized by a tremendous amount of energy and movement. His work can best be summarized in his own words:
I do what I do for a woman I love.
Light becomes dark, dark plays off light.
Shape chases form;
simplicity is beautiful, enjoy it.
Steven Showalter’s work is characterized by fluid movement and skillfully melded colors. He creates a myriad of forms, from vases and tea pots to serving platters and bowls. Showalter studied art at Luther College (initially focusing on furniture-building and relief sculpture) and began working as a high school art teacher immediately after graduation (he had the momentous task of building the high school pottery program from the ground up). Showalter’s depth of understanding of all things pottery shines through in his meticulously detailed works.
*For a complete directory of artists, please visit the Uptown Art Fair website.
Have fun picking out your new home decor at a local art fair or gallery! For more home decorating tips, please subscribe to the Perfect Place Blog.
Samantha Grose is both Associate AIA and Allied ASID. She is the lead designer for Optima Homes and JP&CO. She takes a unique approach to design creating spaces that are casually sophisticated and timeless in design, where you and your family can live comfortably. She has worked extensively throughout the TWIN CITIES area having completed many new homes and large scale whole house remodels.
Samantha received her BS from the University of Minnesota majoring in both ARCHITECTURE and ART. She is deeply committed to a creative approach giving you highly functional spaces with an aesthetic appeal for everyday living.