Soo Visual Arts Center, founded in 2001, is a non-profit 501 (c)3 arts organization. Mission: Soo Visual Arts Center is a nonprofit art space that connects our community with fresh, under-represented and provocative art. Vision: Soo Visual Arts Center envisions a dynamic community in which artists and audiences challenge each other in an environment where art is integral to everyday life.
Founded by visual artist Suzy Greenberg in 2001, our non-profit 501 (c)3 art space is based on the founder's relationship with art—one that views the artistic as vital to personal and community health and vision.
We have exhibited over 2000 under-represented artists since opening our doors in 2001. As a leader in discovering new talent and with a strong focus on emerging artists from the state of Minnesota, SooVAC offers year-round exhibition, community and performance programming.
The following is our Access Policy Approved by the board in May 2011:
Soo Visual Arts Center provides equal opportunity and access to its facilities and programs to all individuals regardless of race, national origin, gender, age, beliefs, sexual orientation or disability in admission, access or employment. Upon request, accommodation will be provided to allow individuals with disabilities to participate in SooVAC services, programs and activities.
- Carolyn Payne - Executive Director
- Alison Hiltner - Associate Director
- Britt Omann - Gallery Assistant
Board of Directors
- Marc Davis
- Kathleen Day-Coen
- Birdie Freitag
- Frank Grazzini II
- Jason Howard
- John C. Levy
- Benjamin Meents
- Jackie Moes
- Chet Ritchie
- Robyne Robinson
- Nicole Soukup
- Mark Spencer
- Bryan Wilkinson
- Heather Wulfsberg- - Board Chair
- Andrea Carlson
- Lars Mason
- Herman Milligan, Jr., Ph.D.
- Michael Sammler-Jones
- Craig Seacotte
- Cherie Shoquist
Submissions to Curatorial Panel For the 2016/17 Exhibition Season are now closed.
Current Panel Members:
We are welcoming two new curatorial panel members for this round, Betsy Carpenter and Pao Her, and wishing a fond farewell to Andrea Carlson and Tamatha Perlman. It was a pleasure working with them to select SooVAC exhibitions for the past four years.
Betsy Carpenter is an independent curator, writer, and art advisor. She worked as a Curator of Visual Arts at the Walker Art Center from 2001-2013, and as Adjunct Curator from 2013-2015. In conjunction with the 2005 opening of the new Walker, she co-curated the museum-wide debut and co-edited Bits & Pieces Put Together to Present a Semblance of a Whole (2005) for which she wrote extensively. Other highlights from her years at the Walker include Absentee Landlord (2011), a show she curated with notorious filmmaker John Waters; Frank Gaard: Poison & Candy (2012), and Danceworks II: Merce Cunningham / Rei Kawakubo (2012).
Pao Her is the subject, maker, and gatherer of her photographic work. Employing different vernaculars of photography, she investigates the idea of desire within the Hmong community from both her personal and cultural consciousness. Her’s work has been exhibited in both solo and group shows on both coasts and in Minnesota. The recipient of two Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grants, she has a BFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and a MFA from Yale University.
Carolyn Payne is the Executive Director of Soo Visual Arts Center. She manages day to day operations, exhibition and community programming. She and founder Suzy Greenberg created the curatorial panel in 2010 and she has administrated the panel since its inception. She has been a member of the Made Here Arts Advisory Panel at Hennepin Theater Trust since its creation and is a strong advocate and supporter of Minnesota artists.
Bruce Tapola received his BFA from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, and his MFA degree from Montana State University in Bozeman. Tapola currently is a Professor of Art at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota. He has exhibited extensively throughout the United States and received the McKnight Fellowship for Visual Art twice.
Megan Vossler received her BA from Brown University, and her MFA from Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She has received numerous grants and fellowships for her work, including a McKnight Foundation Fellowship, a Jerome Foundation Fellowship, and two Artist Initiative Grants from the MN State Arts Board. Megan is the drawing professor at Macalester College in St. Paul.