Virtual Connections: Together From a Distance by Everyone

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. 

Now Playing in Art Experiences and Activities:

Storm Surge By Megan Vossler

Storm Surge, 2020. Watercolor, gouache and ink on paper. Each panel 22x30 inches, overall dimensions approximately 95x185 inches. FOLLOW THE LINK ABOVE TO SEE DETAILS OF THE COMPLETED PIECE.

In times of uncertainty and change, it can be difficult to analyze and process. You might not know exactly what to say or how to feel. 


I am an illustrator. I use illustration as a means for communication, so I draw when I have something to say. My illustrative work is more outward facing, something that is shared and meant to live in the world.


Quilting doesn’t occupy the same space for me. I still feel the need to make when I don’t have any words or explanations, and I can make an improv quilt thinking only about color and shape and balance. It becomes a meditative process for me, grounding me in my body and helping me to access what I’m really thinking and feeling.


As the world around me went into lockdown in early March 2020, I turned to quilting to keep my anxiety in check. I don’t tend to use quilt patterns, preferring to make it up as I go along, but I made several quilts at the beginning of my time in quarantine following quilt patterns. Having specific instructions to follow was really satisfying and calming when I didn’t have any control over what was happening outside my apartment. 


I was inspired by instruction art and quilter Heidi Parkes’ Scavenger Hunt Quilts. I wanted to write a pattern that acted as both a guided meditation and instructions for making a quilt. I hope to prompt makers to think more deeply about the mundane and to use making as a meditative process. -Alanna Stapleton

On Wednesday July 29th, Alanna will hold a Zoom event, part artist talk, part show and tell for her and participants, and a little quilting workshop sprinkled in. So if you want to show Alanna what you have made with her pattern/manual you can show her during the event.


Topic: Alanna Stapleton Quilting Event
Time: Jul 29, 2020 07:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 871 9698 4644

Alanna Stapleton is an illustrator, educator, and textile artist based in Madison, WI. Using bold colors and hand-lettering, her illustrations explore the humor found in everyday experiences and the connections between objects and memory. Her recent textile work has explored making as meditation. Alanna has taught illustration at Northern Michigan University and currently works as the Arts Programming Specialist for Wheelhouse Studios at University of Wisconsin-Madison. She earned an MFA in Visual Studies with a concentration in Illustration from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.

You can download the Meditative Quilt Manual HERE.

Coming Soon: Too Much of a Good Thing is Wonderful-New Works by Chase Barney

The Virtual Opening Reception with a conversation between Chase Barney and Pao Her will be on Sunday July 26th, from at 6pm-7pm (CST). To attend LIVE, please follow SooVAC on Instagram and Instagram will send you a notice when the live studio visit starts. If not, please go to the SooVAC page on Instagram at 6:00pm on July 26th. Follow the Link for More Information on Too Much of a Good Thing is Wonderful.

Previous Studio Visits

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

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.
Show More

Previous Art Activities and Experiences

Click on the images below for more information.

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.
Show More


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.
Show More


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 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 Until it is safe for our staff and community to return to a place of indoor gathering. We will update this with a specific date when we have one.

Soo Visual Arts Center

Join Our Mailing List