Hidden Minneapolis: Your Guide to the Vibrant Arts Scene

Hidden Minneapolis: Your Guide to the Vibrant Arts Scene

Photo of Le Meridien Minneapolis
An Arts & Culture map by

Known for its free thinkers and plethora of art and design schools (as well as its impressive skyscrapers and lakes), Minneapolis is home to a vibrant visual arts community, spread through its downtown area and the Warehouse and Lowertown art districts.

10 Places
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    Mpls Photo Center was founded by a community of talented people dedicated to photography. They aimed to create an art spot for photography exhibitions only. In a short time this art spot became a famous photography center with the mission of providing exhibitions with works made by local and regional photographers. They still focus on the works of local photographers along with providing support for beginners and amateurs. 
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    Bent Gallery is a modern art gallery founded by Michael Birawer. His works are distinguished by their unique style. In his paintings, he managed to combine illustrations, cartoon, graffiti and other textures. Art critics usually describe his works as the perfect example of contemporary urban art. Bent Gallery hosts his best works. Be sure to stop in and visit this gallery; you may even wish to come back for a second visit later in your trip. 
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    Rogue Buddha Gallery is an exhibit space with a hip, contemporary vibe. The gallery features everything from large sculptures to wall art.
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    Gallery 13’s industrial-chic interior and blue, neon sign hints at its eccentricity and hip status in Minneapolis. It hosts groundbreaking sculpture and visual art exhibitions as well as live music and events – a recent Scott Seekins exhibition examined visual representations of unlikely icons, like Disney’s Snow White and comic book characters.
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    The Soo Center (or SooVAC, as it’s known to locals) is a community arts centre in Minneapolis’ residential Lowry Hill East neighbourhood, complete with an outdoor library and an easy, friendly atmosphere. Most artists are local and work is often sculptural, incorporating found objects or scraps of detritus: Objects For Consideration, a recent exhibition, featured decorative objects from the studios of over 20 artists on a series of shelves.
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    The soap factory building dates back to 1882, and has gone through many incarnations since. It became a gallery in the 1980s, but retains an air of the historical through its factory-style metal girders and exposed brick walls. On show are a variety of modern artists, including many who examine the intersect between art and technology, and the gallery also hosts performance art, artists’ talks, readings and tastings.
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    This Native American gallery is located in the heart of Native American Minneapolis. It’s housed in the Native American Community Development Institute, located on Franklin Street, part of the recently named ‘American Indian Cultural Corridor’. Behind its butter-yellow storefront facade are thought-provoking exhibits by a range of local and nationally renowned Native American artists, which have included Jim Denomie, Tom Jones, and Carolyn Lee Anderson.
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    Rosalux Gallery hosts around 20 artists at any one time, and is dedicated to promoting Minnesotan artists. The space is through an unassuming door at the side of the Van Buren building in Minneapolis’ Northeast Arts District, and is only open at weekends. It’s small, but influential – its in-house artists are regularly shown all over the world and are pioneers of new ideas.
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    The Walker Center is a heavyweight on the national modern art scene, often ranked among the top five spaces in the US. It was established in 1927, the first large contemporary art museum in the Midwest, and has hosted major first shows by artists including Joseph Cornell and Frank Gehry. Today, it’s housed in a striking glass and aluminum mesh structure and is just across the street from the Minneapolis sculpture garden, which is filled with striking, modern pieces.
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    Midway’s stark, white walls have exhibited some of the most challenging modern art of the past ten years. Its mission is to redefine what we think of as ‘art’, challenging artists to produce more experimental works. For them, the art is just one part of their work – they also fund educational programmes, host an art library and support emerging and underrepresented artists. 
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