Uptown Art Fair Celebrates 50 Years

Updated: 08/01/2013 4:46 PM KSTP.com By: Maricella Miranda

Uptown Art Fair celebrates 50 years.
Uptown Art Fair celebrates 50 years.

Photo: Photo: KSTP/Maricella Miranda

The arts are an important part of culture in Minnesota.

It's never more apparent than the first weekend of August - which brings us the Uptown, Loring Park and Powderhorn art fairs.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Uptown Art Fair, which runs Friday through Sunday along Hennepin Avenue and Lake Street in Minneapolis. The fair draws on average 375,000 visitors a year - that's only second to the Minnesota State Fair.

Charles "Mel" Gray, professor of business economics at the University of St. Thomas, researched the art fair's economic impact in the '80s and '90s. He spoke with KSTP on Wednesday about the fair's current economic impacts.

Bill Deef, international relations vice president at Meet Minneapolis, also talked about the financial boost that the art fairs have on the city.

About 350 artists participate each year in the Uptown Art Fair, said Maude Lovelle, executive director of the Uptown Association, which organizes the event. In the beginning, the fair started with 75 artists. This year, artists are from 32 states and two countries.

In 2012, visitors spent an estimated $50 per trip to the Uptown Art Fair, resulting in an economic impact of about $19.8 million, according to the association.

New this year, the art fair will include an Instagram Contest, an Art Supply Drive, a Nice Ride Minnesota Bike Valet and a time capsule of Uptown's past, present and future.

2012 Uptown Art Fair