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Virtual Connections: Together From a Distance by Everyone

Soo Visual Arts Center Online Programming Platform, started in March of 2020...

Upcoming and Recorded Live Events:

A conversation between Yijia Li and Pujan Gandhi recorded on January 21...

Join the Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87986459413

Meeting ID: 879 8645 9413


Yijia Li is a painter focusing on discovering how people connect with the world around them. She was born and grew up in Shanghai, China, attended Shanghai University and received a B.A. in Studio Art in 2012, and M.F.A. in Visual Studies (painting and drawing) from Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) in 2017. After she moved to Minneapolis in 2015, her paintings have been widely exhibited in the Twin Cities area and New York. 


Pujan Gandhi is the Jane Emison Assistant Curator of South & Southeast Asian Art at Minneapolis Institute of Art. He was previously based in his hometown of Atlanta, where he served as a consulting curator at the High Museum of Art while working independently on exhibitions in Midland, Texas, and Mumbai. Pujan completed his BA at Middlebury College, and his postgraduate diploma and MA in the History of Art and Archaeology at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. During his studies, he interned at several international art galleries and cataloged in the Asian Art Department at the British Museum. After graduate school, he ran his own art advisory business, focused on Indian miniature painting, classical South Asian sculpture, and global modern and contemporary art. He also guest lectured at SOAS. In 2015, he was shortlisted for Spear’s “Young Turk Art Advisor” of the year award. While his dissertation focused on early Jain art (c. 100 BCE to 300 CE) at a site in Mathura, India, Pujan considers himself an avid generalist. He looks forward to stewarding Mia’s South, Southeast Asian, and Islamic collections, while deepening the community’s engagement with the dynamic arts of these vast regions.

Recorded on Zoom Dec 16, 2020 - Finding the Patterns:

A Conversation Between Rachel Breen and Christina Schmid

Title: Finding the Patterns: A Conversation Between Rachel Breen and Christina Schmid


Topic: What is Art's role in social engagement? What do sewing, drawing and fabric scraps from Bangladesh have to do with the global garment industry? Join a conversation between writer Christina Schmid and Rachel Breen about these and other questions! 


Speaker Bios:

Rachel Breen is a visual artist who works at the intersection of drawing, installation and public engagement. She has exhibited her work locally and nationally and is the recipient of four Minnesota State Arts Board grants, the Walker Art Center’s Open Field fellowship, and the 2019–2020 Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship. Rachel holds an MFA from the University of Minnesota and an undergraduate degree from The Evergreen State College. She is a Professor of Art at Anoka Ramsey Community College. Her solo exhibition at SooVAC, The Shapes We Take will reopen in January 2021 for public viewing.


Christina Schmid is a writer, teacher, critic, and occasional curator whose essays and reviews have been published in Artforum, ArtPulse, Afterimage, Flash Art, Foam, and in a range of online venues. She is the recipient of a 2020 MSAB grant for creative prose and teaches contemporary art, critical thinking and theory at the Art Department of the University of Minnesota, where she gets to talk about art for a living. 

Can't join us in person take a video adventure inside our current exhibitions...

Previous Studio Visits

Click on the images below for more information and a link to the recorded studio visits.

Vitus Shell
Chris Heidman and Lauren Krukowski
Bobby Marines and Lael Martinez
Donté K. Hayes
Trina Fernandez
Maxwell McInnis
Alanna Stapleton
Chase Barney
Alex M Petersen Part 2
Christopher E. Harrison and Gregory J. Rose
They shared stories about their trip to Dakar, Senegal during their collaborative studio session at Galerie Sobo Bade during GAP (Global Arts Project) VII residency in January 2019, and how this experience influenced their practice. The video is recorded from a live Zoom conversation on June 10th.
Alex M Petersen
Visual artist and educator Alex M. Petersen is inspired by relationships of technology, gender and sexuality, and environments. With a research based, aesthetically engaged career, he currently balances being a full-time educator with a robust studio practice. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally with a recent solo exhibition at SooVAC in Minneapolis, MN in 2018. In 2019 he was commissioned to create a large-scale painting for Queer Forms at the University of Minnesota.
Alejandro Zhang
Drinking Water with Alejandro (Junyao) Zhang from Instagram LIVE, recorded May 6th.

Alejandro (Junyao) Zhang is a Chinese interdisciplinary artist who builds the relationship between performance, electronic music, and videos.
Vitus Shell
Recorded From Instagram Live April 29th.

Vitus Shell is a mixed-media collage painter born in Monroe, LA, where he lives and works. He received a BFA from Memphis College of Art in Tennessee, 2000 and an MFA from University of Mississippi, 2008.
Alison Hiltner
Recorded from a Zoom studio visit on April 22nd.

Alison Hiltner views herself as a science fiction archeologist exploring the landscapes of video games, films and other related media, sourcing narratives to intertwine with tidbits of scientific reality.
Ta-coumba T. Aiken
Recorded from Instagram Live on April 15th.

Ta-coumba T. Aiken is a public artist and public arts activist. He creates art to help communities find their Visual Voice through collaborative community engagement and creative discovery.
Syed Hosain
Recorded from Instagram Live on March 24th.

Born in Pakistan, Hosain explores unfixed histories, traditions, and constructions of Middle-East geography and his own Muslim identity through painting. Process and material driven, Hosain builds up rich surfaces on canvas creating a tension between recognition and obliteration.
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Previous Art Activities and Experiences

Click on the images below for more information.

Megan Vossler
Storm Surge by Megan Vossler is about the literal and metaphorical power of water; specifically, ocean swells, and waves. Vossler explores the power and resilience of both nature and ourselves in this large scale multi panel watercolor.
Zoe Cinel
Zoe Cinel created Symphony for a Walk of 7 to connect to her family in Italy during the pandemic.

We all take walks around 7pm and we live 7 hours apart from each other. We walked everyday for 7 days discovering what our passage in space looks like from far away. A sequence of lines and drawing on a map. And then created a score from the lines created in the walks. View the final product at the link.
The Brown Paper Chair started from Today, we become, Prerna's exhibition at SooVAC in October-November 2019, starting with the remnants of that piece to begin anew. A cyclical process of repurposing the drywall used to create the walls in the exhibition, by printing it onto brown paper, and using that brown paper to mold onto plastic monobloc chairs. Success is in the process and the continuation of an idea, pushing past "failures" with even more resolve. The full piece at the link.
Alyssa Baguss
When was the last time you showed a little appreciation for the clouds? Sure, you have your problem clouds now and then but most of the time they mind their own business, go with the flow and accept change with grace. No matter who you are or where you live, clouds are usually there. You've got clouds? Me too! - Alyssa Baguss. Everything you need to know about cloud appreciation is at the link.
Amina Harper
Instagram LIVE conversation May 13th.

Amina Harper is an artist born in Minneapolis, MN where she currently works and resides. She began her career in 2010 and has been developing an extensive exhibition history in the process.
Roshan Ganu
Interview and Workshop

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.
Laurie Van Wieren
A 3-Minute Solo Performance in 6 Steps by Laurie Van Wieren

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.
Christi Furnas
Everything Cancer is Now Covid, A Comic by Christi Furnas

Christi Furnas is a multidisciplinary artist, living with mental illness. As a 2016 recipient of the Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, she began drawing comics related to her experience with schizophrenia.
Peng Wu
A Visual Poem by Peng Wu

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.
Amy Rice
Amy Rice's step by step instructions for all to make flowers with things you find around the house.

Rice is a minneapolis-based mixed media artist that has exhibited her work extensively at galleries in the US and beyond.
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Click on the images below for more information.

Yael Ben Simon
In 2018 Yael Ben Simon exhibited at SooVAC, Out of My Book. Two years later John Herbert has checked in with her to see what she is working on now. Yael Ben-Simon is an Israeli artist that works and lives in Brooklyn NY. Her works explore the relationship between propaganda, identity, magic and symbol making through painting.
Chris Heidman
Chris Heidman's exhibition Full Spectrum is postponed. In the meantime, Tiffany Lange sat down with him (from afar) to talk about his art, life and finding the brilliance through the mundane.
Lauren Krukowski
Lauren Krukowski's exhibition Full Spectrum is postponed, however you can learn more about her in this Q&A with Tiffany Lange. Lauren Krukowski lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Her work has been recently included in group exhibitions at the International Print Center, New York and Trestle Gallery.
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MN ART MART: Artists 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. 

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 alison@soovac.org 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.

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