At Edina's Galleria, Art Opens Doors for Big Brothers Big Sisters

The logo for the Edina Galleria's Art Opens Doors project.
Edina’s Galleria partners with Big Brothers Big Sisters Twin Cities.

By: Hailey Almsted

Galleria shoppers will have to keep in mind that ‘big things start small.’ This summer, shoppers, diners and guests will be on the hunt for unexpected artwork throughout the shopping center—unique “little doors” created by local Twin Cities artists.

The Galleria has partnered with Art of Edina, sponsored by Tradition Companies of Edina, to launch “Art Opens Doors,” an idea first brought up by Galleria’s marketing director Rachel Oelke, who was inspired by other cities fulfilling the concept. For every photo posted on Instagram using the hashtag #ArtOpensDoors and tagged with @GalleriaEdina and @BigsTwinCities, the Galleria will donate $1 to Big Brothers Big Sisters Twin Cities—a non-profit mentoring and youth development program that matches mentors with youth in need.

“The Galleria is a great fit for this quirky art project,” says Jill Emmer, who helped create the project. “The doors are placed all over the Galleria, so it will be like a little scavenger hunt.”

With 11 custom “little doors” guests will most certainly have to be on the lookout for the unexpected artwork. Chris Pennington, the founder of Can Can Wonderland, “Mows,” an elusive street artist, and Hayley Kolar, a proclaimed local artist, are just a few of the Minnesota artists creating doors for this exhibition.

The goal for the campaign is to ultimately help the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. But also, to give local artists exposure, bring a community feel to the Galleria and give shoppers something to smile about.

“The goal of this campaign is to remind us all that a little art can go a long way in opening important, life-changing doors for youth in our communities,” says Oelke. “We know our shoppers will enjoy the art, and the opportunity to make a difference.”

Artists have just about complete control over what their doors will look like, and Emmer describes the preliminary ideas as “mind-blowing.”

The “little doors” will be displayed throughout the Galleria from July 1 until August 31. Up to $5,000 will be donated before the campaign ends.