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About the Space

SooVAC offers FREE year-round exhibition and community programming. We exhibit an average of 150 artists a year and our community programming includes our senior arts programming, workshops, artists talks, events and partnerships with other organizations.

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, accommodations will be provided to allow individuals with barriers to participate in SooVAC services, programs and activities.


Soo Visual Arts Center is a nonprofit art space that connects our community with fresh, under-represented and provocative art.


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.

Land Acknowledgement

We respectfully acknowledge the sacred land upon which the events and activities of Soo Visual Arts Center take place in Minneapolis. This is the traditional homeland of the Dakhóta Oyáte (Dakota People), unfairly ceded in the Treaties of 1837 & 1851, who stewarded it for millennia. The Ojibwe and other Indigenous nations have cared for this land as well. Minnesota comes from the Dakota name for the area, Mni Sota Makoce — "the land where the waters reflect the skies." We invite you to learn more about the true history of this land, and to search out the wisdom and stories of the Dakota, Ojibwe, and other Native people still here.

Honor Native Land: A Guide

Native Land Maps

Bdote Memory Map

Native Governance Center

Soo Visual Arts Center is a non-profit 501 c3 arts organization that has shown a diverse cross section of over 2800 under-represented artists since opening in June 2001, with approximately 10,000 visitors a year. As a leader in discovering new talent and with a strong focus on emerging artists from Minnesota, SooVAC offers free year-round exhibition programming coupled with educational support, artist talks, workshops, events, printed publications and online programming. Our curatorial focus promotes contemporary artists whose work challenges and expands conventional notions of aesthetics and ideology, never emphasizing “salability” over the content. SooVAC prides itself on the service and support it offers to exhibiting artists, acting as an advocate for career development and growth.


Curatorial Practice

Since 2011, a panel of rotating Minnesota artists/arts professionals has curated our exhibitions. We believe that the engagement of Minnesota’s experienced arts community members in the presentation of exhibitions at SooVAC adds diversification to our programming, enhances our relevance to expanded audiences, and gives voice to a broader spectrum of Minnesota artists. Our current panel consists of Betsy Carpenter, Pao Her, Carolyn Payne, Gregory Rose and Megan Vossler.  SooVAC’s free and open call for exhibitions invites artists working in any medium and at any stage in their career to apply. Annually we receive approximately 300 submissions and select artists for solo and group exhibitions from the applicant pool.


Programming  Along with year-round exhibitions curated through our panel, we have several ongoing programs including:

The Untitled Exhibition Series is our renowned juried exhibition series, 16 installments and counting, that brings in national/international figures in the arts to be guest jurors.


The Arts and Aging Program is a partnership with Walker Methodist Health Center bringing art experiences and activities to seniors in long term care. SooVAC staff trains and hires local artists for this ongoing program, now in its 6th year.


The SooVAC/MCAD MFA Exhibition Series, started by our founder Suzy Greenberg, this 19-year partnership provides MFA candidates with exhibition opportunities outside of school.

Collect Call, a biennial exhibition series partnering with Minnesota collectors to exhibit artworks from their private collections and offer the public the opportunity to view works signifying a lifelong commitment to the arts.


Outside Exhibition Program where SooVAC curates rotating exhibitions at local businesses, introducing new audiences to the artists and SooVAC, and paying the artists to exhibit their work.

Carolyn Payne

Executive Director


Alison Hiltner 

Associate Director


Tiffany Lange

Gallery and Development Coordinator


Trina Fernandez

Outreach Coordinator

Marc Davis

Liza Ferrari - Treasurer

Gretchen Gasterland-Gustafsson- Chair

Alicia Gibson

Michael Kleber-Diggs

Yijia Li

John C. Levy

Robyne Robinson - Secretary

Cherie Shoquist

Mark Spencer

Andrea Carlson

Debra deNoyelles

Frank Grazzini II

Jason Howard

Herman Milligan, Jr., Ph.D

Jim Rustad

Michael Sammler-Jones

Nicole Soukup

Betsy Carpenter

Pao Her

Carolyn Payne

Gregory J. Rose

Megan Vossler

Board of Directors


Advisory Board

Curatorial Panel


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Gallery Hours:

​SooVAC is currently closed preparing for Untitled 17. Please Join us on February 18th to celebrate these artists.​

Wednesday 11am-6pm

Thursday  11am-6pm

Friday  11am-6pm

Saturday  11am-5pm

Sunday 11am-5pm


2909 Bryant Avenue South #101

Minneapolis, MN 55408

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