What is the Minneapolis Print and Drawing Fair?
For one weekend each year, a dozen top dealers and print publishers from far and wide set up mini-galleries in Mia’s Reception Hall (Target Wing, 3rd floor). They bring an amazing array of fine prints and drawings, all of which are for sale. Mia staff members organize the event, and proceeds benefit the museum’s Department of Prints and Drawings.
Who can come to the Fair?
One and all! At the Friday night Preview Party, visitors get to see the art first while enjoying refreshments and live music. Again, proceeds benefit Mia’s Department of Print and Drawings.
Fair admission is free on Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Reserve Preview Party tickets at tickets.artsmia.org.
Can I just come to look?
Of course! There will be hundreds and hundreds of works on paper to see and enjoy. Browsing the works and chatting with the expert dealers make for a fascinating and fun time.
Will I look silly if I ask questions?
Not at all—our experts welcome questions. Our exhibitors are handpicked both for the quality of their works and their approachability. They are happy to share their knowledge and love of art. Dealers (national and international), print publishers, artists, printers, and several Mia curators will be on hand to guide you.
Will there be something for me?
Undoubtedly. Exhibitors bring everything from newly minted contemporary works, to art by geniuses like Picasso and Rauschenberg, to works by the Old Masters. The Fair’s emphasis is on American and European artists, but you’ll find works from Japan and other parts of the world, too.
I’m just getting my toes wet. What might I see?
Art forms include drawing, color woodcut, etching, drypoint, engraving, lithograph, and screenprint. For a primer on any of these techniques, just grab the nearest curator or exhibitor. Or check out these Mia videos.
Whether you like traditional landscapes or new trends, are a collector or someone hoping to fill a spot on the wall, the Fair is a must-see art experience.
What price range can I expect?
Just as our selection of works by artists, periods, places, and techniques range widely, there’s an array of price points. Great prints and drawings can be more expensive than a BMW or cheaper than a Schwinn. You’ll find a broad range!
Is it OK to bargain?
It never hurts to ask, especially if you’re interested in buying more than one piece or something expensive. Don’t expect huge discounts, but sometimes there’s wiggle room.
Does my purchase help Mia?
Yes. A portion of all sales goes to support Mia’s Department of Prints and Drawings. Fair proceeds have enabled us to acquire many works of fine art to be shared with the community for all time.
How do I pay?
Some exhibitors take credit cards; others prefer checks. Cash works, too.
Can I take my purchase home with me, or will it be sent?
Many buyers take home their purchases straight from the Fair. You’ll receive a package permit that enables you to leave the museum with your artwork. (Mia guards will inspect your package and permit at the museum’s exit.) Contemporary prints are often sent by the dealers and print publishers after the Fair. Shipping arrangements will be made at the time of purchase.
Any tips on framing?
Most prints and drawings are sold without frames. The curatorial staff and exhibitors are happy to discuss matting and framing ideas with you.
Will Mia help me with advice?
Mia curators will be on hand all weekend to answer your questions and talk about prints and drawings. It’s one of their favorite things to do!
Just how good are the exhibitors?
Very. We are quite selective, inviting only well-regarded dealers and print publishers known to us. Mia has purchased art from most of them already—and has worked with some for many years. When choosing exhibitors, we look for high-quality offerings, knowledge, friendliness, honesty, and fairness.
What is the difference between a print publisher and a dealer?
Printmaking is often a collaborative process. Publishers work with artists to produce and disseminate their prints. Sometimes they do the printing directly with the artists, and sometimes they bring other printers and artists together to form a collaboration. Dealers buy and sell drawings and prints that usually come out of private collections. Some publishers also act as dealers.
I’ve been to the Fair before. Will I see anything new?
Absolutely. This year two new exhibitors will join past favorites. The new additions include a specialist in African-American art and a publisher who works with many of today’s leading artists. Our returning dealers always surprise us with their new finds. It’s amazing to see what turns up.
Are there other activities at the Fair?
Yes! Activities include: two artist’s talks, a curator-led tour, a hands-on printmaking demonstration, and a photo booth where you can celebrate the new additions to your collection.