Northern Spark 2021: Alchemy

Sarah Peters

Northern Spark 2021: Alchemy
June 12 – 27, 2021

This summer the Northern Spark festival returns and takes new forms: in the mail, online, and in person, focused on two neighborhoods in St. Paul for a two week span of time. 

In past years during Northern Spark, tens of thousands of people have gathered throughout the cities from dusk to 2am on two nights. In 2021 the festival supports artist projects that encourage our communities to safely connect and still inspire the kind of experimental, surprising experiences we love at Northern Spark.  

The theme for this year is Alchemy:

  1. A seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, or combination. 
  2. An ancient practice from around the globe wherein sorcerers of science attempt to transform base metals into gold. 
  3. A search for a universal elixir. 

Artists are the modern-day alchemists. We mix form, materials, and ideas to transform the collective emotional matter of this world into new shapes. If art were a universal elixir for healing, how do we hold space for grief and loss as well as concoct recipes to honor our hunger for joy? How do we transform isolation into intimacy? Orbits into intersections? What community wisdom might we mix together for recovery?

This year’s distributed Northern Spark takes on new forms. For a span of two weeks, you can engage with the festival’s artist projects online, at home, and if you are a resident of St. Paul’s Eastside and Rondo/Frogtown neighborhoods, through the mail. Bring your grief, your joy, your self and be part of the elixir of magical transformation. 

The theme was created by the Artist Council with Northern

The festival’s first Open Call is now live! Click here to read about the Open Call for Mail Art Projects.