My friend and I went to the Edina Art Fair today. Fabulous. I love local art. These are folks who are doing exactly what they love and hopefully making money at it. Plus, you will end up with pieces that no one else has in the country. Anyone can buy a Thomas Kincaid piece of shit, or a diamond engagement ring. But you need to be able to access the original artist if you want something like this or this. (ha! notice how I got the links right!)
I have two necklaces by the second link above, a ring from an artist community in New Hope, PA, and now a ring from here.
Even though I fully support the artists from the Dakotas, Iowa, WI, etc, the best part of MN artists is that a whole bunch of them have congregated in old NE Mpls warehouses (yes, they did use to be located in the Warehouse District downtown, but were pushed out by condo redevelopers and office spaces). The two main complexes are the Northrup King Building and Casket Arts. I try to go to their large open house events. (Nick and I went last fall and it changed the way I look at my city in so many ways.)
Why spend all this energy on so many beautiful things that I cannot afford? Because sometime I hope to have some disposable income, and I know I will eventually be able to buy nice things for a permanent collection. I have already started by buying three prints from Adam Turman of Minneapolis cityscapes. In the future I can hope for a rug from this fine lady (who is older and thus does not have an online presence). Jewelry is an easy thing to buy now, smaller and more flexible and not a hassle to move to a new apartment. So in the meantime I do that, and make sure to have a game plan for when I can finally decorate a little more.