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Eye-popping change downtown

The word “ART” in glittering letters alerts people to what’s inside 417 Main St. Red Wing Downtown Main Street has opened a temporary regional arts pop-up gallery in the former Riverbend Co-op.

A new attraction has popped up downtown, offering regional artists a showcase and a vacant historic building a chance to turn heads.

The Pop-Up Regional Arts Gallery is designed to attract visitors to 417 Main St. and downtown throughout the next three months. An open reception is set for 5 to 8 p.m. Friday Oct. 17.

Red Wing Downtown Main Street Executive Director Wendy Ward said that the space fills the need “for both residents and visitors to more fully engage and experience art.”

In fact, a sign gracing the storefront tells the purpose of the short-term gallery: “The problem: a vacant store front; the need: more places to see and experience art; the solution: this space … welcome.”

The gallery offers artistic gifts and viewing opportunities for regional crafts, large-scale work as well as “pieces that will leave a lasting impression on viewers,” according to Ward.

Pop-Up Regional Arts Gallery participants include Dan Weimer, David Culver, Dan Lager, Art Kenyon, Cynthia Weitzel, Lauren Stringer, Al Wadzinski, Richard Spiller, Chap Achen, J. Nathaniel Dicke, Pat Kraemer, Matthew Krousey, Ingrid Rogers, Richard Stephens, Mark Abrahamson and Maurice Stenerson.

Featured area pieces include felt wool mittens, rug, quilts, Red Wing pottery and Lark Toys’ items.

Previously, the space was described as “closed, dark and non-productive” but is now full of interest.

“As important as the making of more space for art is the filling of an empty store with business … the idea to fill one of Red Wing’s vacant spaces revolves around the Pop-Up’s ironic but perfect definition of art being the ‘Replacement of Vacancy with Attention,’” Ward said.

Regular hours are 3 to 7 p.m. Fridays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays now through Oct. 12 and also Nov. 28-Dec. 21.

From Oct. 18 through Nov. 22, the gallery will be open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.

Visits by appointment are also available. For more information call 651-385-7850.

For more information, email or visit the Facebook page for a link to the gallery’s site.