St. Louis Park’s Inaugural Art Fair Kicks Off on September 22

Alysha Boie, center, with other participating artists Cheri C Meyer (left, bead weaver) and Alicia Mack (Schmack Designs) at the ROC.

After years of attending art fairs in neighboring cities, this month the citizens of St. Louis Park will be the hosts. The inaugural St. Louis Park Art Fair will be taking place at the Recreation Outdoor Center, or ROC as the covered outdoor space is more commonly known, and the fair will feature artists from in and around St. Louis Park.

Resident Alysha Boie is the driving force behind the daylong event. “I started having the idea last summer and heard wind of [an] Arts and Culture grant and thought, ‘This could be the match,’” says Boie. The grant, provided by a partnership between the city of St. Louis Park and St. Louis Park Friends of the Arts, has allowed Boie to fully immerse herself in planning for the event on September 22. St. Louis Park Friends of the Arts has been another force behind the fair, partnering with Boie and the city to bring the event to life.

“We have so many artists, who are living in our community, who otherwise might not be exhibiting,” says executive director of St. Louis Park Friends of the Arts Jamie Marshall. “Being so close to Minneapolis, there are lots of opportunities out there, but this is a great way to bring those artists all together in one space.”

Friends of the Arts has been bringing art to the St. Louis Park community since it was founded nearly 20 years ago by a group of parents and citizens.

“We all want an aesthetically beautiful community, it’s important to our well-being of life. It’s a reflection of the people living in the community,” Marshall says of the organization.

Boie says the art fair will have “a little bit of everything.” Attendees will see a spread of handmade jewelry, ceramics, paintings and handmade candles, among food and interactive touches.

Many of the artists represented will be from St. Louis Park, and Boie is planning to feature small signage on their booths to highlight and encourage the support of local art.

“St. Louis Park is so connected. There’s a lot of creativity happening here. We’re close to so many art fairs but haven’t had one,” says Boie. Local vendors like Parkway Pizza and Wat Thai will be serving food and local screen-printing business Chux will be lending their expertise by printing t-shirts for the event.

“All of a sudden it’s a small town feel.  A lot of people are coming together to make it a success,” says Boie.

Outside of her career, and amidst planning the fair, Boie spends her free time creating jewelry, Beautiful Impact, that will also be sold at the fair.

The jewelry began as a pastime for Boie and is made from upcycled and repurposed materials. Gaining momentum after receiving the grant for the art fair, Boie started to create an LLC and now sells her work at three Minn. boutiques including I Like You. In addition to using repurposed materials, Boie also donates a portion of her proceeds to a different nonprofit every month.

Boie’s hunch for the city’s love of art was proven correct. The art fair applicants doubled Boie’s original expectation, with about one fourth of the chosen artists from the St. Louis Park community.

“In my proposal [for the grant] I wrote, ‘I’m signing up for the first of many,’” says Boie.  

St. Louis Park Art Fair
Saturday, September 22
11 a.m.–6 p.m.
The ROC, 3700 Monterey Drive, St. Louis Park