'Food for the soul': Minnesota Art Truck defies convention, features local artists

You'll find dozens and dozens of small businesses at Holidazzle this year, many of which will be found inside the market tent.

One, however, you can only find outside.

At first glance, you may think it’s a food truck, but this truck sells food for your soul.

Inside Loring Park this month, you’ll find something you've probably never seen before: the Minnesota Art Truck.

“We’ve kind of got a funny tagline,” said Minnesota Food Truck Founder Matt Swenson. “We say it's food for the soul, as opposed to food for the gut.”

Swenson is a former businessman who grew tired of the corporate world and sought something new.

“My overall feeling was that art had become two things: museums and high-end galleries,” Swenson said. “And when that happens a lot of people end up buying reproduced art at Target, or Crate and Barrel, or Menards, and local artists don’t get their work out."

As an artist himself, Swenson had tried to blend business with pleasure for years.

“This is what I do, and some of my things, I dumpster dive,” he said. “People bring things over to me. I create different pieces.”

The Minnesota Art Truck was that perfect balance.

“Everybody’s got a right and a left brain. Everybody wants to separate it and say you’re one or the other, but really they're connected,” Swenson added. “You’re whole-brained and we need to have that creative outlet in our life."

All over Swenson’s truck you can find art by local artists that are unique to Minnesota.

“This is an artist. His name is Dave Sanco. His actual full-time job is auto mechanic, but on the nights and weekends he’ll go up to his cabin and he makes jewelry and yard art out of flat ware, and because he’s a mechanic it’s very well put together,” Swenson described.  

In each piece, each screen print and each figure, there is a story sitting in the Minnesota Art Truck. They are stories that Matt Swenson hopes will one day find their way into someone's home.

“A lot of people, you’ve got a living room, but nothing is alive in it,” he said. “It doesn’t give you memory of something, and this art can do it that way.”