Join us for an opening reception on December 6th, 2014 from 7-11pm. Here We Are Nice is curated by and features the work of Soap Factory volunteers.
A handwritten sign on the side of the road proved an unlikely impetus for The Soap Factory's 2014 Volunteer Biennial. Spotted in its haphazard black scrawl, the sign read "ARE YOU EVEN NICE?". This anonymous inquiry challenged not only the ubiquitous core of our Minnesota Nice aspirations, but brought us face to face with one of the most overused four-letter words of our common vocabulary. As we toss that one syllable designation back and forth, it's not impossible to dispense with its pure meaning with each use of the word. What is it to be nice? Is it enough to be nice? ARE WE EVEN NICE?
We believe art is nice. Certainly, the spaces in which art can be shared are nice. Enjoying art in these spaces is nicer for all involved, and the dedicated individuals who volunteer their time, energy and talent toward the continued success of local art spaces are the nicest of all. As curators of this exhibition, Shelby Thomason and Christopher Barton hope that this showcase of appreciation to the dedicated volunteers of The Soap Factory - an exhibit which represents nearly every area of artistic endeavor - radiates as much inspiration and good will for the viewer as it does for us in our efforts to share it.
And to answer that inquisitive piece of graffiti, we may not be able to vouch for the beneficence beyond our walls, but within the galleries of this local art space, given the many years of hard work and tireless volunteer efforts witnessed within The Soap Factory, it's safe for us to at least offer this title as a kind of manifesto: HERE WE ARE NICE.
Twenty-five of The Soap Factory’s volunteers are presenting their own work in this collaborative biennial show. Created and planned by artists who know The Soap Factory best, HERE WE ARE NICE showcases both the talents of The Soap Factory’s volunteer force and the creative potential of its historic industrial space.
Participating artists: Nina Allen, Brandon Alvarado, Leslie Barlow, Michael Belloti, Carolina Borja, Tim Carrol, Kendall Erickson, Robert Fagerhaugh, Paul Fosaaen, Sam Isham-Schopf, Emily Janisch, Anna Johnson, Judd Kilgrore, Liam Lando, Will Lakey, Joe Lerro, Jessica McKenzie, Donna Meyer, Paul Miller, Jason Quick, Julia Sisson, Sarah Stone, Rosa Strandemo, Joni Van Bockel, Caroline Woodruff.