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Past Exhibits

Young Gordon Parks

Please join The Gordon Parks Gallery for the annual

Legacy Lecture

Featuring a presentation by Shannon Gibney entitled - Gordon Parks' 21st Century Legacy:
Using Interdisciplinary Art for Social Change in the Academy and Beyond


Location: Saint Paul Campus, Library 306

Show dates/times: Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, 3-4 p.m.

This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Hearts for Fashion


Hearts for Fashion
featuring the student designs of MCTC’s Apparel Technologies program

Reception: Thursday, Jan. 30, 4:30 – 7 pm

Show dates: Jan. 24 – Feb. 28, 2014

This exhibition spotlights the student designs from the Minneapolis Community and Technical College’s (MCTC) Apparel Technologies program, who have participated in the American Heart Association’s annual “Go Red” fashion show at the Mall of America over the last four years. The event connects fashion, women’s heart health, educating the community about heart disease and embracing a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Regarding the show, exhibition coordinator and MCTC faculty member Vicki Johnson has said, “The students provide original designs created from concept to completed garment for the fashion show that meets specific criteria provided by the “Go Red” campaign. The students’ designs are an interpretation of how the issue of heart disease has affected their lives. With each design a personal story emerges on how heart disease has touched their lives, someone they know or how their designs will make a difference helping to promote a healthy lifestyle. The students express themselves in a variety of ways and continue to inspire us with their creativity.”

A Fine Line

A Fine Line
featuring the sculptural work of Cecilia Ramόn

Reception: Thursday, Nov. 14, 4:30–7pm

Artist Talk: Thursday, Nov. 14,
7-8pm, Library 302

Show dates: Nov. 15 – Dec. 13, 2013


This exhibition spotlights the sculptural work of Argentina-born artist Cecilia Ramόn. Ramón’s newest work defies any attempt of an easy interpretation. Her sculptural installation Intersticio is an imaginative and careful interplay of not forcing things, while not letting them go. Two notions are proposed; matter as consciousness and the delicate equilibrium of life. The results are captivating wooden sculptures suspended across the walls, with the projected shadows as a reminder of life. A short film addressing Ramόn and her work, will be screened as well.

Regarding the show, guest curator William G. Franklin has said, “There is A Fine Line between materiality and immateriality in Ramón's work. Wood and shadows represent the strength and fragility of life. The artist’s work evokes fear but to alert us, awake us, hence becoming a resourceful emotion. 'Life is defended by knowing how to deal with fear', professes Ramón.”

View Gordon Parks Exhibition Proposal Guidelines.

This Really is My Thing: Sculpted Books by Lynn Sures

Reception: Thursday, Oct. 10, 4:30 – 7 pm Sculpted Books by Lynn Sures

Show dates: Oct. 11  – Nov. 8, 2013

This exhibition features the nontraditional book forms of multi-media artist Lynn Sures. From wood-block printed accordion books made of abaca and hemp to vertically suspended multi-leafed cast paper editions and forged steel covers, this show includes a survey of book related works executed over the last 14 years of the artist’s career.
Reflecting on her inspiration, Sures said, “My subject matter often focuses on the visceral recollections associated with a place or an experience. I conjure narratives of a site and investigate the inexactitudes of memory.”

Regarding the show, gallery director Erica Rasmussen said, “It is an honor to show the work of this prolific and innovative East coast artist. In this exhibit Sures’s books take center stage; not acting as traditional receptacles of knowledge, but rather as tangible objects in which to explore human existence within the natural world."



Dulce Maria and Other Stories,
featuring the photographic work of Xavier Tavera

Show dates: Sept.13 – Oct. 4, 2013

Opening reception: Thursday, Sept. 12, 4:30 – 7 p.m.

Panel Discussion: Thursday, Sept. 12, 7 - 8 p.m.

This exhibition features the photography of Mexican-born artist Xavier Tavera, Minneapolis. Best known for his considerations of the complexity of the Mexican diaspora in urban Minnesota, Tavera focuses his work on issues of identity and race, culture and subculture, and poverty and its ramifications. He has photographed local Latino transvestites, gang members, rodeo participants, passion play actors, artists, circus performers, wrestlers and immigrant families he finds on the streets of South Minneapolis. Periodically, he creates dramas using painted scrims and costumes and entices his subjects to animate those dramas, thus showing another side of their being, a side often hidden beneath the surface of their everyday lives. In recent years, he has branched out into discussions of place and of inhabitants of those particular places.

Regarding the show, guest curator Douglas Padilla said, "As an artist, Xavier Tavera understands that there is magic alive in the world today. As a photographer, he knows that there are doorways to that magic. As a Mexican, he knows that those doorways are nearby and available to us every day. The portrait photography in “Dulce Maria and Other Stories” quietly transports the viewer into smallish, captivating stories from daily life in contemporary Mexico and Minnesota.”

Following the reception, poet Ted King, Minneapolis, cinema critic and linguist Ron Chastain, Minneapolis, and professor of literature Olga Herrera, Minneapolis, will discuss Xavier Tavera's photographic portraits in Library 302 (adjacent to the gallery) through a panel discussion. This discussion will be moderated by guest curator Padilla.


Realism Reconsidered

Show dates: April 26 – July 26, 2013

Opening reception: Thursday, April 25, from 4:30 – 7 p.m.

Realism in art has traditionally been thought of as a rejection to the romanticized image. In a contemporary world that includes virtual environments, there are new challenges posed to artists: What is real? What is surreal?

This exhibition features Minneapolis-based artists Raina Belleau and Howard Quednau who turn to folklore and the narrative to explore a different sense of truth. Belleau's manipulated animal sculptures and Quednau's skillful tiny model dioramas become playful, and sometimes dark, representations of altered realities and fictitious spaces. Childhood imaginings combine with adult sinister situations that question aspects of our daily lives.

Totem II by Adam Bucher
Totem II by Adam Bucher

Student Salon 2013

Show dates: March 29 - April 19, 2013

Opening reception: Thursday, March 28, 4:30 - 7 p.m.

This exhibit pulls together a range of artworks by the students studying art at Metropolitan State University. The exhibit includes art minors, individualized study students as well as students that have taken multiple art courses during their program and nearing completion of their degree.

Some of the work shown here is representative of work created directly in the classroom such as Joy Faherty, Julie Haupert, Bryan Pyle and Tong Vang's work, while other artists such as Adam Bucher, Chad Clabo and Wesley Applequist have completed independent study courses to explore a wider range of media. The work exhibited exemplifies the vibrant and diverse talent at Metropolitan State University — from graphic screen prints, to mixed-media paintings, drawings, ceramics and digital photography.

Black and White images

Black and White, featuring the artwork of Ta-coumba Aiken, Joseph Norman and Gordon Parks

Show Dates: Jan. 24 – March 1, 2013

Reception: Thursday, February 7, 2013, 4:30 – 7 p.m.
A slide talk with Aiken and Norman will follow in Library 302 from 7 – 8 p.m.

Black and white can refer to a state of thought or reference the visual appearance of an object. In art, black and white is used formally to suggest space, contrast and/or a key in creating tonal gradations, or chiaroscuro.

In this exhibit, artists Ta-coumba Aiken, Joseph Norman and the late Gordon Parks have used black and white formally in three distinct different ways: Aiken with his playfully expressive marks in his large-scale acrylic painting—designating an ambiguous use of positive and negative space; Norman with his thoughtful approach to form through his use of light and shadow in his lithographic portfolio baseball series, Out at Home; and Parks with his documentation approach to a variety of his black and white portrait and landscape photographs, designating a place in time. Along with the formal qualities, each of these artists have also used black and white to suggest yet another element, the topic of race.

Like the visually engaging black and white tessellations of MC Escher, negative and positive imagery melt together to create cohesive wholes. In a similar manner, we see the potential to address meaningful content through the yin and the yang of these three artists' artworks.

Co-curated by Amy Sands and Erica Rasmussen

Brooklyn Park - Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Education Center Minneapolis Campus Midway Center Saint Paul Campus Saint Paul Campus