Virtual Connections: Together From a Distance by Everyone

Exhibition Runs: Now – ?

SooVAC is currently not inhabiting our physical space but that doesn’t mean we’ll stop sharing what artists are up to, this is a new landscape for all of us but we’re still creating and thinking about ways to tell the story of our times. So with that in mind we will continue to show work on a virtual platform, our goal is to post a new interview, story or video every Wed-Sun as though we were open. Stay tuned for studio visits, artist led projects you can do at home, images of work in progress, and maybe a recipe or two. Have some ideas of what we could share, we want to hear about them…send your thoughts to Carolyn Payne at We will be commissioning additional online artist run projects. 

Art Activities Now!

Wednesday March 25th: Amy Rice has provided step by step instructions for all to make flowers with things you find around the house and in your yard. You can share them with others who are confined, like nursing homes, neighbors or in your yard in an instant public art project


Rice is a minneapolis-based mixed media artist  that has exhibited her work extensively at galleries in the US and beyond. She has received multiple grants and commissions, including a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant, a Metropolitan Regional Arts Board Next Step Grant, and most recently in 2017, a completed commission for Augsburg University in Minneapolis.


Follow this link for a downloadable PDF of instructions for Amy's Project!

A Visual Poem by Peng Wu


Greeting from China to my dear friends in the U.S.! Thanks to SooVAC for commissioning this online piece! As the world has been watching, China has experienced the most difficult time since I was born. I feel grateful that I have been in China together with my family, my country and people since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. It is a unique history for me to witness closely and learn from. The best and worst part of humanity is demonstrated in the crisis of this scale. While most of my family members survived, my father didn’t due to the late stage cancer.


After the long and dark time of self quarantine lives for 1.3 billion people, the new confirmed cases in my city has been zero for more than two weeks. And spring has finally come to my city. People walked out of their shelter to the streets. Small children and dogs were making joyful noises outside my window. The city came back to life. I started to take photos of flowers with my phone like everyone else. I noticed that just outside my apartment building there are three plants that are also commonly seen in the spring at my Minnesota home. Due to the travel ban I can not return to my MN home. So I videographed these shared plants blooming and thriving in the spring wind. I’d like to give homage to the ancient japanese poem: “Mountains and valleys are apart, Wind and moon share one sky”. ”山川异域,风月同天。“ Two month ago these two sentences of the poem appeared on the shipping boxes of face masks. They are donated by Japanese people to China hospitals that are in great shortage of medical consumables. The story of the poem can be traced to more than a thousand years ago in Tang Dynasty. The poem was emborioried on one thousand monk robes as gifts from Japan to ancient China. The Buddhism master Jianzhen 鉴真 was so touched by the poem that he was determined to make the life risking journey to bring Buddhism to Japan. His Buddhism teachings are still remembered and appreciated by Japanese people today after more than a thousand years later. And now a billion of Chinese people read the story from the news and are so grateful to the kindness of Japanese. The last two sentences in the poem are less known: To the followers of Buddha, karma will connect us one day. 寄诸佛子,共结来缘。

Peng Wu is a design activist and an interdisciplinary artist dedicated to creating socially engaged art in public space. His work combines the power of design thinking with contemporary art strategies to address various urgent social issues including immigration, modern medicine and health, environmental sustainability. 2019-2020, he is involved in designing the Second National Symposium of Habitability to investigate what makes a place feel like home - in a different country or on a different planet. He holds two master’s degrees in product design and sculpture and bachelor's degree in physics. He co-founded CarryOn Homes - the artists collective investigating the experience of global migration. Since 2017, CarryOn Homes has created large public art commission through Creative City Challenge program, and in close collaboration with Minneapolis Institute of Art, Walker Art Center, Weisman Art Museum for various projects. 


Art Activities coming SOON!

Laurie Van Wieren will present instructions for making a three minute solo performance in six steps for everyone. Laurie Van Wieren is a dance maker, curator and teacher. Her solo and ensemble choreography has been shown in the Twin Cities, nationally, Germany, and Russia. Van Wieren has curated performance for the Southern Theater, Ritz Theater, Bryant Lake Bowl Theater, and Soo Visual Art Center. Van Wieren's future work includes exploring the poetics of the human body within the architecture of large parks, mega gyms, art galleries and small theaters.


Roshan Ganu will be share an online project to be announced soon. Ganu's most recent exhibition, Perceiving Places: Through Our Tenderness, just closed at SooVAC. Roshan Ganu is a storyteller who chooses 2D and 3D illustration to address the mundane lives we lead. She is an MFA candidate at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (expected 2020) where she was awarded the MFA Trustees Scholarship.

Past and Ongoing Art Activities, Conversations, and Studio Visits

MN ART MARTArtists who rely on income from contract labor, traveling gigs, and sales of work, have been adversely affected by the events of COVID-19. As we reinvent how we live and work during this unprecedented time, online platforms for supporting each other are more important than ever. Teréz Iacovino brought us this idea in conjunction with Virtual Connections: Together From a Distance, SooVAC is organizing Art Mart — a directory of MN artists selling work online in support of their livelihood. 



On Tuesday, March 24th, Syed Hosain kindly lead us through his studio for our first virtual studio visit of Virtual Connections. This studio visit was held on Instagram Live, click on the image to the right and follow the link to the video archive of this visit.


Syed Hosain is a working artist, stay at home father, and political activist that lives in Minneapolis. Hosain received his bachelor of fine arts degree at the University of Karachi, Pakistan. He has exhibited in the Twin Cities, New York and Pakistan. He is currently painting figurative, impressionistic work, and he often sees his life through the filter of his artistic practice. He recently received the Minnesota State Arts Board’s Artist Initiative Grant, and will soon commence a series of paintings relating to Muslim immigrants in Minnesota. Hosain had a solo exhibition at Soo Visual Arts Center in 2018 and the University of Minnesota Morris.



We also want to compile information for the arts community as we all look to the future and the work that is ahead. This list was started by Public Art Saint Paul and we want to continue to expand this valuable resource, so if you have any opportunities for funding or other things you would like to share please contact Alison Hiltner at and we will add it to this page.




If you would like to become a member or make a donation please visit the SUPPORT page. We can build a stronger future together. 

Tell others about this show.

Next Exhibition

Keep up to date with the latest news and shows at the SOO Visual Arts Center.

You can always unsubscribe and we will not give your email address to any third party.

2909 Bryant Avenue South

Suite 101

Minneapolis, MN 55408



Gallery Hours:

SooVAC will be closed starting March 13 until April 25. April 25 three new exhibitions will open 6-9PM.

Soo Visual Arts Center

Join Our Mailing List