Minneapolis' Top 10 Contemporary Art Galleries You Should Visit

Barbara Speed

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. We’ve chosen 10 of Minneapolis’ best contemporary art spaces, showing everything from performance installations to exhibitions exploring the history of the state’s Native American population.

Midway Contemporary Art

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. Plaisance, a recent show featuring a range of modern artists, focused on ethnography and the ‘amnesiac gaps’ in cultural history and combined film screenings with contributions by visual artists. The galleryis located near the river, the historic mill district and the downtown area. Midway Contemporary Art, 527 SE 2nd Ave, Minneapolis, MN, United States, +1 612 605 4504

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, Frank Gehry and Mario Merz. Today, it’s housed in a striking glass and aluminium mesh structure and is just across the street from the Minneapolis sculpture garden, which is filled with striking, modern pieces (a giant bent spoon cupping a cherry, for example). Recent shows at the Walker have included an exhibition of Hopper drawings and a collection of Mexican artist Abraham Cruzvillegas’ sculptures commenting on life in Latin America. Walker Art Centre, 1750 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN, United States, +1 612 375 7600

Rosalux Gallery

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. Shawn McNulty, an abstract painter, produces acrylic paintings shaped by a knife attached to his shoe, while Laura Stack’s mixed media work combines romantic clouds of paint and ink with angular, bolted structures. Rosalux Gallery, 1400 Van Buren St NE, Minneapolis, MN, United States

Bockley Gallery

The glass front of Todd Bockley’s gallery offers a glimpse at the plethora of native and folk art within. Tucked in a corner of Minneapolis’ residential Kenwood district, Bockley Gallery represents an impressively diverse roster of artists, including Jim Proctor, who works with plants in his 3D, wall-mounted pieces (his breakthrough moment came, he says, when he ‘literally stapled a gooseberry to a painting’) and Native American artists Frank Big Bear and Francis Yellow. The works here play into the state’s past and its large Native American community — as in Francis Yellow’s images Native Americans on horseback, painted onto copies of official colonial documents. Bockley Gallery, 2123 W 21st St, Minneapolis, MN, United States, +1 612-3 77-4669

Image Courtesy of All My Relations Gallery
Image Courtesy of All My Relations Gallery

1. All My Relations Arts

All My Relations Arts

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. The gallery was founded by Shirlee Stone in 1999 with a mission is to raise the visibility and value of Native American art in the arts community and represent the diversity of the group’s experience. All My Relations, 1414 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis, MN, United States, +1 612-235-4970

Soap Factory

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. There’s even a haunted basement downstairs, open throughout October. The Factory calls itself a ‘laboratory’ for artists’ ideas, and its does seem to encourage artists’ interactions and inspirations, while acting as a local arts and social hub. Soap Factory, 514 SE 2nd St, Minneapolis, MN, United States, +1 612-623-9176

Soo Visual Arts Center

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. SooVAC is a storefront gallery, and its one large hall looks out directly onto the street, encouraging passersby to come in to browse and drawing large crowds on opening nights. Soo Visual Arts Center, 2638 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN, United States, +1 612-871-2263

2. Gallery 13

Gallery 13

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. The gallery’s curators are keen to encourage new talents from diverse backgrounds, meaning you never know what you’ll find when you enter the gallery’s two exhibition spaces, and its location near some of Minneapolis’ best restaurants and nightspots makes it the perfect space for an early evening visit. Gallery 13, 811 Lasalle Ave, Minneapolis, MN, United States, +1 651 592 5503

kolman & pryor galleryKolman & Pryor Gallery interior | Courtesy the gallery

3. Kolman & Pryor Gallery

Art Gallery

Kolman & Pryor is a collaboration between patron Anita Sue Colman and Patrick Kemal Pryor, artist and curator. Its exhibits encourage inderdisciplinary interplay between visual arts and fashion, music, writing and performance. It represents well-known artists as well as new, emerging talents. For Guess Ready Review, a 2014 exhibition, the gallery sent ten artists, musicians and writers to Mallard island, Minnesota, for a week-long residency, and the exhibit was the result of their time there. The gallery itself is in the northern Logan Park neighbourhood, in a cluster of galleries and art spaces including the Solar arts building and artist Susan Fryer Voigt’s studio gallery.

4. Obsidian Arts


This arts centre and group, with its gallery in the lobby of the Pillsbury House and Theatre, works with mainly African American art and artists to examine black American identity. For example, Margaret Rose Vendryes’ recent exhibition, ‘The African Diva Project’, played with traditional representations by depicting African-American women wearing cocktail dresses and ceremonial masks traditionally worn by African men. The group started as a small meet-up at the Walker centre, but fifteen years later is a large, wide-ranging organisation. Today, it goes beyond visual arts, running literacy programmes, a black art history library and awareness-raising events. Obsidian Arts, 2948 Chicago Ave. S, Minneapolis, MN, United States, By Barbara Speed

See more of our United States Gallery Guides:

Texas | Austin’s 10 Best Contemporary Art Galleries Oregon | Portland’s Best Contemporary Art Galleries Washington | Seattle’s 10 Best Contemporary Art Galleries California | Ten Art Galleries in San Francisco Kentucky | Lexington’s 10 Best Galleries

landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article