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MNfusion: Uptown Art Fair Celebrates 53 Years

August has arrived.

And while that may mean the beginning of the end of summer, there are still several events to look forward to. Among them the Uptown Art Festival, which takes place this week.

From painting to photography to jewelry to glass blowing to even cooking, the festival encompasses a myriad of artistic endeavors. So, it's fitting that in its 53rd year the Uptown Art Fair is celebrating art in its many forms.

This year the festival is adding film and music to its ever-growing list of features.

On Friday, the Uptown Art Fair will partner with the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul to feature a screening of "The Wizard of Oz."

It will be shown at the outdoor parking lot at Girard Avenue and Lake Street behind Calhoun Square, and will begin at 8:45 p.m.

Friday will also feature a performance by Twin Cities reggae band Dred I Dread. The band will play at 6 p.m. at the performance stage in Salsa a la Salsa's parking lot along Hennepin Avenue. Beer will be for sale at the Summit Beer Garden.

The Unlikely Candidates will take the stage Saturday night, while several other local groups will perform throughout the weekend.

This theme of celebrating art in its many forms can even be found in the choice of this year's commemorative artist, Robinson Scott.

A celebrated local glass artist, Scott is a 30-year veteran of the art fair. He first exhibited his work in 1986, and received several accolades in the years following. In 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002 and 2013 he received the award for "Best in Glass," and in 2002 he won the "Best of the Best" award.

"We're thrilled to have Robinson Scott serve as our 2016 commemorative artist," Uptown Art Fair Executive Director Maude Lovelle said. "He's a great representation of the quality of art and artists the Uptown Art Fair has become known for over the last 53 years."

Scott's commemorative piece is art within art – a print of one of his hand-crafted glass vessels called "Detail of a Banded Glass Vessel."

"This vessel features many colors of glass coming together to make one whole piece. I think it is a great representation of the art fair and Uptown itself – lots of people and ideas coming together to create a top-tier art fair and a vibrant community," Scott said.

The print will be available at the Uptown Art Fair merchandise tent for $15 and $25.

As with previous years, guests can of course peruse booths of everything from oil paintings to chalk drawings to beaded jewelry. This year over 350 artists will have their wares on display.

The Youth Art Fair, Kitchen Window Culinary Arts Competition and Family Imagination Station will also return, along with local food trucks and vendors.

The Uptown Art Fair is open 12 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5, 10 – 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6 and 10 a.m. 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 7.

For more information, or a schedule of events, visit the Uptown Art Fair online.

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