NE Arts Buildings, Part 1: Northrup King Bldg


The Northrup King Building (NKB) in Northeast Minneapolis is currently the largest arts complex in Minnesota, with over 300 artists located on four floors. Since 1996, it has become home to various art studios, art galleries, and nonprofit organizations. The building itself originally served as the former headquarters of the Northrup King Seed Company, which was based here from 1917 until it moved to Golden Valley, Minnesota in 1986. The location was originally chosen since it was ideally situated for its seed distribution, being at the intersection of the Great Northern and Northern Pacific Railroads.

Its free monthly “First Thursdays” studio tours serve as a great educational opportunity in which to visit with the artists and discuss their work, from their inspiration to their art-making processes. The building’s annual “Art-a-Whirl” and “Art Attack!” gallery events (each May and November, respectively) also offer art demonstrations and interactive art-making experiences. Types of art offering include: painting (both oil on canvas and watercolor on paper), drawing, printmaking, papermaking, photography, weaving, textiles, jewelry, sculpture, pottery, woodturning, glassblowing, waxwork, collage, mixed-media, lighting, and kinetic art.

There are usually free music performances and various food offerings as well, from food trucks to occasional free offerings, such as root beer floats.

  • Visited: regularly since 2010 (monthly First Thursdays and annual Art Attack! and Art-a-Whirl events)

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