St. Paul Art Crawl includes new art spaces on Payne

courtesy of St. Paul Art Crawl The St. Paul Art Crawl takes place April 26 to 28 and will include a number of new art spaces that will be opening soon on Payne Avenue.

The St. Paul Art Crawl returns April 26 to 28, and this year will feature a number of new art spaces along Payne Avenue in addition to long-time participants.


From the top

Starting at the top of the Payne Avenue hill, Twin Cities artist and business owner Jon Oulman will be hosting two artists at a future gallery space and cafe/wine bar he will be opening at 1106/1108 Payne Avenue.

During the art crawl, Oulman said artist Holly Streekstra will be projecting her infrared-film piece, “Spectral Response,” in the burned-out building at 1106 Payne Ave. Small holes will be cut into the boarded up windows to view the work.

In the building next door, which Oulman said will soon be opening as a cafe and wine bar, artist Erica Terwilliger will have a variety of ceramics and prints available. 

Oulman — who owns the 331 Club in Minneapolis, the Amsterdam Bar and Hall in downtown St. Paul, Como Dockside and the Sheridan — said he was attracted to Payne Avenue because of its unique sense of identity and diversity. 

“It has a real sense of place,” he said, adding that it doesn’t feel like any other street or area in the Twin Cities. He noted the variety of businesses — Latino-owned grocery stores and restaurants, Hmong shops and others, which add to the avenue’s unique identity.

Oulman said his initial intention was to just open a cafe and wine bar at 1108 Payne, and that he hadn’t intended to include an art space. 

However, he said he was inspired by friend and fellow artist Chris Larson, who will be opening his own art spot down the street at 1128 Payne.


Collaborative spaces

Larson — a fourth-generation East Sider — and his wife, Kriss Zulkosky, are working to open a collaborative art space and nonprofit called Second Shift Studio. Its concept is “art market stalls,” meaning that the front of the building will be a sort of art mercantile, with collaborative studio space in the back.

Second Shift will offer its studio space through a residency program, which just closed its application period. The residency program will offer studio space free for a year to four artists who identify as women or non-binary.

Zulkosky said 97 artists applied for the studio’s first residency. “There’s a lot of barriers to people in the art world.”

“I think too, one reason we jumped into this, was post [the 2016 election], there was backlash toward women and minorities specifically, and this is our reaction to that,” Zulkosky said. “We saw the need for putting people on a pedestal.”

Because the studio space is not quite ready to open, Larson and Zulkosky will be organizing artists to exhibit their work during the art crawl in the third floor of the Old Swedish Bank building at 965 Payne Ave. The third floor retains much of the original architecture of the bank and Larson said the art, made by nearly 30 women and non-binary artists, will be set up in a sort of maze.

Use of the space was donated by Dimitri Hatzigeorgiou, the new owner of the Old Swedish Bank building. 

Hatzigeorgiou also owns the former furniture store at 967 Payne, which will have on display a mix of work from 12 artists during the crawl.

Some of those artists will include Ed Brodie, a sculptor; Kao Lee Thao, an abstract painter; Milo Mietzner, a miniature landscape artist; photographer Stephan Kistler; and Yudong Shen and Zixi Feng, who make Chinese ink paintings.

There will also be a variety of family-friendly activities taking place all day at 965 and 967 Payne.

Hatzigeorgiou said the crawl will serve as a way to highlight the former furniture store, which he hopes to open as a collaborative art space or an art store with rentable work spaces and an area for artists to sell their work. 

He said he’d also like to attract nonprofits and partnerships to the Old Swedish Bank building, which will benefit the East Side and “fill the spaces with people to lift up the neighborhood.”


Lots of stops

Besides the new galleries along Payne Avenue, many art crawl veterans will have their studios and galleries open during the event. 

At Flat Earth Brewing, 688 Minnehaha Ave. E., a variety of mediums will be on display during the weekend, including paper art by Damian Schaab and historical photography by Ben Greilanger.

The Indigenous Roots Cultural Arts Center, 788 East Seventh St., will have a variety of items on display, including original works by Tomás Araya. 

At the J.A. Geiger Studio, 1647 Beech St., there will be stained glass artworks by Josephine Geiger; artisan soaps and herbal products by Becky’s Wild Remedies; garden art by Sharon Miller-Thompson, and woodcut/collagraph/drypoint printmaking by Emily Gray Koehler. 

For more information about the artists, the art crawl and locations across the city, go to


–Marjorie Otto can be reached at 651-748-7816 or at

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