A good year for Northern Spark

This past weekend approximately 45,000 people attended Northern Spark in Lowertown Saint Paul.

That’s a record year for the nuit blanche – or all-night – arts  festival.

Attendees thronged despite a forecast that called for thunderstorms; however the night only suffered from a spot of rain in the wee morning hours.

According to the event planners, the festival included 76 projects put on by 137 artists and 156 collaborators.

One of the highlights was the burning of a replica of a Marcel Breuer house created by artist Chris Larson.

Chris Larson on the site outside the St Paul Union Depot where his recreation of a Marcel Breuer house burned  as part of Northern Spark.

On social media, reviews of the night have been positive, especially from parents of teenagers.

Erik Riese writes on Facebook:

I could not go due to being a paperboy. But, when I came home from my route at 7:00 AM my son was just arriving home. At 18, this was one of the first such events he attended without parental intervention and he was JUICED! He talked and talked about his experience, how much fun it was, the people he met, the things he saw, the music he made, all very out of character for this normally quiet unassuming young man. It must have been good!

Janet Bisbee shared:

I told my 18 year old she had to go spend the night out on the town, and she did. She had a blast and I liked knowing where she was. Of course the next night I had to say she couldn’t repeat the all nighter just anywheres…

Paul Landskroener was one of the collaborators at Northern Spark; he sang all night with the Sacred Harp shape note singers:

As a participant it was a blast. I never could have lasted all night as a mere observer, but on my breaks I enjoyed watching the people, if not the art.

Organizers say the next Northern Spark is scheduled for June 14, 2014; no word yet on whether it will take place in St. Paul, Minneapolis, or both.