St. Clement, St. Boniface host Christian artists for Art-A-Whirl

| May 9, 2018 | 0 Comments

Signs like this one can be found along Broadway Avenue in northeast Minneapolis. Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

What started as a hobby for Renee Hickman will help make St. Clement in northeast Minneapolis an Art-A-Whirl stop May 18-20.

A parishioner of Holy Name of Jesus in Medina, Hickman has been creating stained-glass style art on paper since 2013. She will be among Christian artists displaying work at St. Clement, which is joining Art-A-Whirl for the first time.

“I really like the opportunity at Art-A-Whirl because it’s really focused on the artist,” Hickman said.

The event offers the “largest open art studio tour in the country,” according to the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association, which organizes the annual event. It draws around 100,000 people to various art studios and exhibitions in northeast Minneapolis.

“It seemed obvious to me to connect one of our churches with Art-A-Whirl,” said Father Spencer Howe, parochial administrator of Holy Cross in Minneapolis, which, in addition to Holy Cross, includes campuses at St. Clement, St. Hedwig and St. Anthony of Padua. “We wanted to involve local artists, but also bring intentionally Christian artists together to have a forum to participate within the broader Art-A-Whirl scene.”

Catholic musician Luke Spehar will perform May 19.

If you go

  • St. Boniface — Art exhibit 5–10 p.m. May 18, noon–8 p.m. May 19, noon–5 p.m. May 20. Chris Strouth and his band will perform 10:15 p.m. May 19. The parish also hosts the Northeast Farmers Market 9 a.m.–1 p.m. May 19 followed by its MaiFest event, which begins with the 4:30 p.m. Mass. 629 Second St. NE, Minneapolis.
  • St. Clement — FaithFul Art exhibition 5–10 p.m. May 18, noon–8 p.m. May 19, noon–5 p.m. May 20. Luke Spehar will perform 7–8 p.m. May 19. 901 24th Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

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Father Howe knew Hickman and her husband, Jon, from his previous assignment at Holy Name of Jesus. Father Howe leveraged that contact to gather a group of artists for St. Clement.

“The Church has always been in the business of beauty and art and music and visual arts,” Father Howe said. “One of the things we’re doing is reminding the world -— and the neighborhood around us — that the Church has always been interested in this.”

Nearby St. Boniface has participated in Art-A-Whirl for the past three years, and will be on the map again this year. It is featuring neoclassical musician Chris Strouth and his band May 19, and visual artists May 18-20.

“I do believe that the awareness of the neighborhood is definitely at a higher level than it was before,” said Patty Griffin, 65, a parish council member who organizes the Art-A-Whirl events at St. Boniface. “The idea is kind of like, get somebody in the door for something like Art-A-Whirl, and they may say, ‘Well, I’m going to come back for Mass.’”

“It’s a time where a lot of people are on their feet, willing to check places out,” Father Howe said of Art-A-Whirl. “It just seems like the Church can have a place in that whole event, and I think it’s great that we’re looking forward to offering hospitality to people from throughout the neighborhood and beyond.”

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