Walker Art Center | Contemporary Art Museum. Photo by Ryan Patchin
Minneapolis is home to several world-class art galleries. For months, the exhibitions have stood static—peripheral victims to a virus they cannot contract. Galleries throughout the city have started to reopen for guests and tours. Here’s our shortlist of what’s open and what’s showing:
Walker Art Center
725 Vineland Pl., Minneapolis
Mon-Wed – Closed
Thur – 11am–9pm
Fri-Sat – 11am-6pm
Sun – 11am-5pm
I paid a visit to the Walker in mid-February, my first gallery visit in nearly a year. The gallery’s familiar interior and warm lighting brought me right back—like an old friend, we picked up where we left off.
The Walker is showing a diverse selection of exhibits presently. The gallery is ready to impress; there’s something for everyone as you wind your way up and across the museum. Futuristic art juxtaposed with antique relics of the old world, pop art, experimental film—and all of the colours.
Highlights: Designs for Different Futures
A major exhibition organized by the Walker Art Center, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago—the exhibit highlights the role of designers in shaping how we think about possible futures.
“The exhibition is divided into 11 thematic sections—Labors, Cities, Intimacies, Bodies, Powers, Earths, Foods, Materials, Generations, Informations, and Resources—and features an international array of designers from all fields. Among the many forward-looking projects on view, visitors will encounter lab-grown food, textiles made of seaweed, a typeface that thwarts algorithmic surveillance, a series of books that will only be available 100 years from now, an affordable gene-editing toolbox, a shoe grown from sweat, a couture dress made with a 3D printer, and a system that learns from our sewers,” according to the Walker.
Five Ways in: Themes from the Collection
“With more than 100 works—painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, and video installations—the exhibition Five Ways In: Themes from the Collection invites us to become reacquainted with favorites from the collection and discover new pieces by artists who are reinventing genres we thought we knew.”
Minneapolis Institute of Art
2400 3rd Ave. S., Minneapolis
Mon-Wed – Closed
Thur-Sun – 10am-5pm
MIA recently reopened and implemented “firm new protocols to keep visitors, staff, and the collection safe.” As always, general admission is free, but you’ll need to make advanced reservations to visit.
Must See: In the Presence of Our Ancestors: Southern Perspectives in African American Art
“In the Presence of Our Ancestors: Southern Perspectives in African American Art” brings together methods of visual storytelling and ancestral memory through the individual practices of artists from the “Black Belt” region of the American South—a term that refers to the region’s black soil, as well as the legacies of African Americans who shaped its social and agrarian culture. Spanning from Louisiana to Florida, and the mid-20th century to the present, the artists highlighted in this exhibition document rural life and traditions of metalwork, funerary and yard art, and quilt making. Here, we witness an evolution of regional artistic practice, as raw materials and found objects related to time, place, and accessibility take center stage,” according to the gallery’s website.
Intimate Space: A Noblewoman’s Bedroom in Late Imperial China
“In the male-dominated society of imperial China, most women were physically restricted to domestic spaces. The center of a woman’s life was the bedroom, where she would sit alone or with others, working or pursuing leisurely activities. The furniture and artwork featured in this exhibition, all drawn from MIA’s outstanding collection of Chinese art, would have been found in a typical imperial Chinese woman’s bedroom. These objects reflected a woman’s educated and well-read social status, while also indicating her subordinate position as a woman in a man’s world.”
Rogue Buddha Gallery
357 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis
This award winning contemporary art gallery anchored in the heart of the Northeast Arts District was founded in 1999. Their website gives an eloquent explanation to the art that Rogue Buddha displays.
“Presenting thoughtful and memorable exhibitions in a unique and welcoming environment, the Rogue Buddha Gallery is passionate about presenting art that both challenges and inspires while broadening the discourse of what arts function is and can be in everyday life. It is our belief that art plays a vital role in daily life and that its function has the potential to transcend far beyond decoration and intellectualism.”
If you’re still apprehensive about visiting a gallery in-person, Rogue Buddha has put special attention into their online presence, with their online gallery “open 24 hours a day.”
The Minneapolis art scene offers a rich escape from winter—and a safe, culturally explorative experience where you can lose your troubles for a couple of hours at a time.