We are accustomed to following rules and procedures, and these provide us with the solace of a programmatic rhythm. What we tend to notice are the inevitable jags in our routine. Suddenly, we are forced to engage with our bodies and environments, the visceral reality of our being. A disruption. An alteration to the routine.

For the volunteers at the Soap Factory, engaging with our building becomes an interruption in their lives. To celebrate these engagements, The Soap Factory Presents ‘Disruption,’ our 2017 Volunteer Biennial, curated by Soap Factory interns, Mackenzie Catton and Jessi Goodell.

This exhibition features the work of 14 of the Soap Factory’s hardworking volunteers who dedicate their time to a gallery that is often an incongruous presence in the neighborhood. The artists of this exhibition enact contemporary disruptions in tandem with the historic structure that they have come to know.

Exhibition takes place in galleries 1,2, and 3

Artist, Paige Carlson will be performing her piece for the public during the following dates and times:

January 14th 5-8pm (opening reception)

January 28th, 10am-12pm

February 12th, 11pm-1pm

Participating artists:
BrandonAlvaradoCaitlin Brutger, Paige Carlson, Paul Fosaaen, Emily HillRachel JenningsLisha KirpalaniJeremy KleiderOlivia NovotnyReid OyenSamantha RussellSamantha SangNicole L. Thomas, Hillary White



Talking Image Connection, TIC, establishes free events which bring together writers, contemporary art, and new audiences in art galleries around the Twin Cities.

Authors, D. Allen, William Bearheart, Sarah Fox, Opal McCarthy and Anh-Hoa Thi Nguyen  invent stories, poems, and other souvenirs in response to The Soap Factory’s current exhibitions: ‘Working Forces’ and ‘Mathew Zefeldt: Desktop’ this TIC reading is curated by Lucas Pingel.

D. Allen is a queer poet and interdisciplinary artist living in Minneapolis, where they are an MFA candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Minnesota. Their work has recently appeared in pnk prl,Rogue Agent, Black Warrior Review, Connotation Press, QDA: A Queer Disability Anthology, and elsewhere. D. is the artist and designer of “Restored Mural for Orlando,” a chapbook written by poet Roy G. Guzmán created in response to the Pulse nightclub massacre. D. is currently at work on a hybrid manuscript about connective tissue.

Sarah Fox lives in NE Minneapolis. Coffee House Press published her books Because Why and The First Flag; she’s currently at work finishing a collection of poetry, Invisible Wife, and starting a collection of nonfiction, Pain Management. She is a grandmother, teacher, placenta encapsulator, and therapeutic astrologer. Spread love.

Opal McCarthy is a poet, teacher, bodyworker, and performer who lives in the Powderhorn Park neighborhood of Minneapolis. Opal’s first book of poems, SURGE, a book of wild girls & fierce tenderness, is now available from Tinderbox Editions. Opal is passionate about calling forth the splendor, the shadows, the secrets, the wild & free beings within herself and others, through embodied creative presence. Opal’s poetry has appeared in La Petite Zine, alice blue review, Midway Journal, Invoke Magazine, and elsewhere. Opal is a practitioner of Heartworks Lomi Lomi bodywork and also leads writing workshops and community healing events focused on feminine power, pleasure, vulnerability, and beauty-making.

Anh-Hoa Thi Nguyen is a poet, community artist, activist and educator. She was born in Saigon, Vietnam and grew up in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College in Oakland, California where she was awarded the Mary Merrit Henry Prize in Poetry and the Ardella Mills Literary Composition Prize in Creative Non-Fiction. Some of her publications include “CAYLX Journal,” “Asian Pacific American Journal,” the Vietnamese Artists Collective anthology “AS IS: A Collection of Visual and Literary Works by Vietnamese American Artists” and the Asian American Women Artists Association (AAWAA) anthology “Cheers to Muses: Contemporary Works by Asian American Women.” She has performed her work at numerous venues in the Bay Area and Twin Cities. Anh-Hoa is the founder of Pomelo Press, and creates self-published and hand bound artists books. Anh-Hoa has also completed a residency at Hedgebrook, a Writers-in-Residence Program for women, and has received a writing fellowship from the Elizabeth George Foundation and a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant.

Working Forces


The Soap Factory presents our 2016 submissions show, a group exhibition featuring the work of 13 emerging artists from across North America. Selected from The Soap Factory’s annual open call for submissions juried by our Program Committee and curated by Jehra Patrick.

Working Forces assembles 10 projects from 13 artists which employ a range of ideologies from production and consumption, the professionalization of the artist, corporate identities, manual functions, languages of management, objects of labor, support structures, and art as industry. The 1960s heralded the notion that art work, in addition to the acts of making, also describes the occupation of the artist-as-producer, and yielded the term ‘art worker.’ Currently, artists continue to assert their voice not only as a working class, but as agents of social change amidst a new boom of increased entrepreneurship, professionalization, and artistic cooption. Conceived for the Soap Factory, in Minneapolis’s post-industrial zone and home to Midwestern work ethic, the exhibition considers ‘art as a place for work,’ the workplace, and art’s role in the making – and unmaking – of economic status, class, labor, gender, race, and social dynamics.

Participating artists:

Jack Pavlik
J. Myszka Lewis
Anna Campbell
Adam Caillier and Michael Mott
Katayoun Amjadi
The Shaft
Heather R. Buechler
Lindsay Foster & Mimi Cabell 
Jordan Weber
Kameelah Janan Rasheed

 Located in our upstairs Galleries – One, Two, and Three

Buy the catalogue for this exhibition here.


Haunting Image Connection

A T.I.C. reading


Talking Image Connection, TIC, establishes free events which bring together writers, contemporary art, and new audiences in art galleries around the Twin Cities.

Authors Paula Cisewski, Katie F-S, Poet Dobby Gibson, Kao Kalia Yang and Ka Vang invent stories, poems, and other souvenirs in response to The Soap Factory’s infamous Haunted Basement. October’s TIC reading is curated by Lucas Pingel.

Paula Cisewski‘s third poetry collection, The Threatened Everything, will be released any minute through Burnside Review Books, and her first book of lyric prose, Misplaced Sinister, appeared in 2015 through Red Bird Chapbooks.  She is also the author of Ghost Fargo(selected by Franz Wright for the Nightboat Poetry Prize),  Upon Arrival (Black Ocean), and several poetry chapbooks. She has been awarded fellowships from the Banfill-Locke Center for the arts, the Jerome Foundation, and the Minnesota State Arts Board. She teaches, both academically and privately, and curates artful literary events in the Twin Cities, frequently in a tiny fort.

Katie F-S holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University – Los Angeles. Katie has performed her works across this great land, from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe to Austin’s Paramount Theatre to LA’s Electric Lodge to Cafe Deux Soleil. The next titles on her reading list include Daniel José Older’s Shadowshaper and Roxane Gay and Ta-Nehisi Coates’ World of Wakanda!

Poet Dobby Gibson is the author of Polar, which won the Alice James Award, Skirmish (Graywolf), and It Becomes You (Graywolf), which was shortlisted for the Believer Poetry Award. A new collection of poems, Little Glass Planet, is forthcoming from Graywolf. He lives in St. Paul.

Kao Kalia Yang is the author of the award-winning The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir and the newly released, The Song Poet. She is a teacher and public speaker. Kalia works from St. Paul, Minnesota.

Ka Vang is a Hmong American writer, born on a CIA military base in Laos, at the end of the Vietnam War. She immigrated to America in 1980. A fiction writer, poet, playwright, and former journalist, Vang has devoted much of her professional life to capturing Hmong folktales on paper. She is a recipient of the Archibald Bush Artist Fellowship and several other artistic and leadership awards. She is the author of the children’s book, Shoua and the Northern Lights Dragon, a finalist for the 23rd Annual Midwest Book Awards in 2012. Her short story Meet Mr. Krenshaw, was published in “Haunted Hearths and Sapphic Shades: Lesbian Ghost Stories” with Lethe Press. The story explored a same sex, mixed-race couple being haunted by a racist and homophobic ghost.

The Soap Factory’s Haunted Basement

presents, The Paranormal Art Project

a solo exhibition with artist, Brandon Kuehn



What is the difference between what we know and what we believe?

In 2015-2016, Brandon Kuehn received a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant. The Paranormal Art Project was born. Kuehn has been traveling across the state of Minnesota, researching eye-witness accounts, folktales, native myths, paranormal happenings and mysterious encounters. From meetings with native tribal members to document unknown legends to hunting for ghosts and UFO’s, to traversing the northern wilds for signs of Sasquatch, Kuehn worked with paranormal researchers to document and create original artwork about the supernatural phenomenon they uncovered. A blog and documentation about this project can also be found at http://www.paranormalartproject.com./

Because the idea of the paranormal covers a vast array of subjects, this art exhibit displays an array of mediums that are uniquely suited to their correlating subjects. Wakinyan is the Lakota word for Thunder Spirit which is often portrayed as a large bird with up to a 20ft. wingspan. The painting from this legend and eye-witness account is a quadriptych that is approximately 12 feet across. Project Bluebook contains printed copies of over 150 UFO case files with sightings from Minnesota that the Air Force investigated from the 1940’s through the 1960’s. Visitors will be allowed to page through and reach each case file which have recently been declassified. Warnings is a series of found wood sculptures re-created in a style that Bigfoot researches claim actual creatures in the wild construct to warn each other of human danger. There are many other works as well, including the 10ft. tall mixed media piece The Three Sisters, which sailors on Lake Superior are a series of rogue waves that doomed the infamous Edmund Fitzgerald.

Artist Talk: October 24th, 7pm

Located in Gallery Three


A summer series of tours by Andy Sturdevant and Sergio Vucci, now in it’s eighth season.

Common Room began as a month-long series of interactive art events, out of a refurbished art deco office at The Soap Factory. Since 2011, Vucci and Sturdevant have taken the Common Room concept outside the four walls of The Soap Factory and into the city, activating public spaces and redefining our relationship with our surroundings.

Scroll down to take a look at this summer’s tour descriptions!


August 10, 6:00PM

Starting Location: 3600 Nicollet Ave South in the Hoyo Childcare Center lot

Cats have a rich life outside the confines of YouTube, and an especially rich life outside the confines of a household. The Cat Tour trails these cuddly killers through the streets, alleys and backyards of the Twin Cities, giving a cat’s eye view of the city, with the interpretive assistance of several veterinarians, animal behavioralists, scientists and pet owners. Walking tour.

In loving memory of Bucket the cat. 


August 17

Starting Location: The Soap Factory

The Hack Tour will explore those modifications and personalizations we bring to our surrounding structures to “help” them better server our needs. We’ll hear from guest presenters on public data sourcing, public space hacking, materials hacks, and even how to hack your own mind. Bicycle Tour, because bikes. There is a Nice Ride station located at The Soap Factory if needed.


August 24

Starting Location: Aurora Ave., at the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol, St. Paul

Any time we’re in a public space, there is an invisible (and sometimes highly visible) framework of laws dictating what we can and can’t do. Loitering laws, noise ordnances, assembly permits, building heights, pedestrian and public safety laws — all of these, and many more, affect how we experience public spaces. Join us and a few attorneys working in a number of fields to explore how the law overlaps with the physical environment. Walking tour.


August 31

Outside Nicollet Ace Hardware, 3805 Nicollet Ave S., Minneapolis

Kitchens link our domestic and public lives in a way few other spaces do, whether we’re cooking for our family or friends, or visiting a restaurant with them. Once relegated to hidden rooms in the back of houses and restaurants, kitchens often now feature centrally in these places. The Kitchen Tour peers into private, commercial, community and historic kitchens, all within a few blocks of one another in south Minneapolis. Walking tour.

Three galleries Five months

Three by Five is a new opportunity consisting of five one month-long residencies that take place from May until September this year. Each month, three different Artist Coordinators, selected from Soap Factory alumni or other highly-regarded artist leads, host one or more emerging artists of their own choosing in one of our first floor galleries. These emerging artists will be allowed to make new work directly in the space, responding to the gallery environment and to one another. Towards the end of their residency, they will be presenting their work to the public with an open house event.

This program is happening at an exciting time at The Soap Factory, and we are honored to make new relationships and re-engage with a large group of emerging artists and audiences. Our goal is to give artists-in-residence support in the areas they need most support in; space to create, freedom to experiment, networking opportunities, exposure for and critical reviews of their work. This is a great opportunity for audiences to view new work by some of the Twin Cities’ most innovative, up and coming artists.

To respect the artists’ time during the residency there will be no regular gallery hours, please join us during the public openings to view the work. You can stay up to date on their progress by following the artists on our 3×5 blog.

Public Openings:  

First Month Residency: Saturday, May 21, 6-10pm

Second Month Residency: Saturday, June 18th, 6-10pm

Third Month Residency: Saturday, July 23rd, 6-10pm

Fourth Month Residency: Saturday, August 20th, 6-10pm

Fifth Month Residency: Saturday, September 17th, 6-10pm

Three by Five participating artists and their coordinators:


Andrea Carlson (artist coordinator) – Aza Erdrich

Rosemary Williams (artist coordinator) – Brittany Omann, Maria Thompson, Natalie Stoppel, Tiffany Mueller, Essma Imady, Stephanie Gustafson

Emily Gastineau (artist coordinator) – Eric Larson, Magnolia Yang Sao Yia, Lazer Goese, Leila Awadallah


Roderic Southall (artist coordinator) – Luke Koski, Namir Fearce, Scott A. Holler, Albert N. BJerke, Leo Bovey, Denetrick Powers, Aqeel El-Amin, Ethan Arnold, Theoneste Munyemana, Hawona Sullivan Janzen

Alexa Horochowksi (artist coordinator) – Tom Wixo, Heather Sissala, Gudrun Lock, Lizzi Feldhege, Matthew Yaeger

Chris Larson (artist coordinator) – Yousif Del Valle, Jordan Rosenow, Forest Lewis


Piotr Szyhalski, Labor Camp (artist Coordinator) – The People’s Library; Clair King, Leonel Reyes, Sterling Edwards, Christopher Schuldt, Kestrel Hendrickson, Sarah Bell, Candice Davis, Zoja Chmielarczyk, Nancy Hicks, Jonathan Herrera

Jehra Patrick (artist coordinator) – Garrett Perry, Leslie Barlow, Kim Benson, Jonathan DeDecker, Clea Felien, David Bartley, Syed Hosain, Liza Dorsey, Oakley Tapola, Jesse Dale Peterson, and Bianca Pettis

Pramila Vasudevan (artist coordinator) – Chamindika Wanduragala and Lela Pierce


Mike Hoyt (artist coordinator) – Kelly Brazil

April Sellers (artist coordinator) – Blake Nellis, Jennifer Glaws, Halie Bahr, and Anat Shinar

TSF’s Kate Arford (artist coordinator) – Alison Hiltner


Andy DuCett (artist coordinator) – Preston Drum

Jovan Speller (artist coordinator) – José Dominguez and Kawika Asuncion

Tetsuya Yamada (artist coordinator) – Nick Wells, Dawn Schot Klotzbach, Schuyler Joseph Sellars, and Mara Duvra

Mathew Zefeldt: Desktop


A forthcoming exhibition of paintings and installations by University of Minnesota Professor Mathew Zefeldt. This exhibition features paintings that are completely analog in terms of process, but that reflect our contemporary reality of screen culture. Operating as Director, Zefeldt works with a specific cast of characters: bricks, two-by-fours, statue heads, gradients, dutch still life paintings, paint rags, junk food, patterns, video game characters, gestural marks, and emojis in compositions inspired by smartphone home screens, desktop arrangements from personal computers and the aesthetics of image editing software.

Located in our new basement exhibition space, Gallery Four


Sunday, November 13th

Saturday, November 19th

Thursday, November 24th

Friday, November 25th

Art(ists) On the Verge 7


This exhibition features new work from five Minnesota-based artists. Art(ists) On the Verge 7 (AOV7) is an intensive, yearlong, mentor-based fellowship program for emerging artists working experimentally at the intersection of art, technology, and digital culture.

One of the fundamental concepts defining the mission of the Art(ists) On the Verge Fellowship is the commitment to emerging artists whose practice often falls outside of and between the traditional notions of media or disciplines. The Art(ists) On the Verge fellows are no exception. Their work at The Soap Factory engages with a broad spectrum of ideas.

Please visit Northern.Lights.mn to learn more about their organization, AOV7, and their other programs.

AOV7 artists: Eric F. AveryTorre EdahlJessica HendersonJoshua McGarvey, and Liza Sylvestre


Check out our SoapCast interviews with the artists:

Artist interview with Jessica Henderson (mp3)

Artist interview with Eric F. Avery (mp3)

Artist interview with Liza Sylvestre (mp3)

Artist interview with Joshua McGarvey (mp3)


Artist Talks 

April 16th, 3–5 p.m.



History collides with the future in a new suite of projects from the Labor Camp. Three Factory Pieces presents a cohesive set of interventions that activates the Soap Factory, highlighting its unique features as a place of both industrial and art production. Working with materials ranging from asphalt paper, salt and insulation foam to prints, objects, video projections and generative sound structures, Szyhalski has constructed a complex network of ideas connecting poetics and politics.

Three Factory Pieces explores our notion of what it means to work, examining the multiplicity of ways in which we “produce.” What is “commodity” and “value”?

Who are you?
What is this place?
Why are you here?

Standing at the End of Time.

Special Events and Performances:

Sat, Nov 21 7-11pm
Opening Night Event: Live Presentation of Gates

Sun, Dec 6 12-5pm
Performance: Recitation of Litanies

Sun, Dec 13 12-5pm
Collaborative Banner Printing

Sun, Dec 20 3pm
Closing-Day Event: Erasing Litanies

Listen to an interview with the artist on our soapcast!

New gallery hours

Thursday – Friday, 2-8pm
Saturday-Sunday, 12-5pm