Twin Cities Winter Art Ideas

three sketchbooks with sketches from a cemetery, a raptor foot, and flowersIt's winter in Minnesota and a lot of us are holed up in our homes and don't get to see much of other humans. Maybe you're like me and around February you start to get a little cabin fever. If you're looking for something art-y to do here are a few things I've found.


An urban sketch group organized by local artists Tim Jennen and Liz Carlson. They meet once a month at different locations. Sometimes it's a location with a minimal entry fee, sometimes it's a free public place. It's a great group of people who enjoy sketching and geeking out on art materials or sketch tools. My experience with them has always been positive because I've found there to be a real vibe of inclusion, encouragement, and excitement to draw. The meetups usually take place on a weekend.

Check them out on their Facebook page

Here's a link to their January event

MCBA Visual Journal Collective

A sketch group that is held at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA). I made it to a few of these meetups last year. Each time there was a theme or a special guest speaker. Some past topics included social media for artists, sketching "out" when you can't leave your home, and Spring flowers.  Suzanne Hughes does a great job of organizing this group. It's a very welcoming environment. Also, if you like geeking out on paper or sketchbooks you likely will enjoy this group. There is a parking lot but it was often full (and I think I remember there were some spots that you can't park in) so I usually parked on the street at a metered spot.

Meetings are once a month. Check them out on the Facebook page

Here's a link to a page about the group on Suzanne's blog (please note the schedule is only for 2013 so you probably want to check out the Facebook group page for more recent information.

Sketch Night at the Bell Museum

This sketch night is also once a month. There is an admission fee to get into the museum and if you drive your best bet for parking is in one of the nearby ramps. Or you can try your luck in finding a spot to park in Dinky Town and walk several blocks. It's 6:30 - 8:30 PM and each night has a different theme. There's usually a guest artist/presenter and the coordinator pulls a variety of themed specimens that are often not on view for the general public.

You can check the dates on this page of the Bell Museum's website

If you can't make a sketch night the Bell is open other days and is a great place to sketch animal specimens