Opening Reception


Gallery Hours


Exhibition Runs

Jun 1 - Dec 31

Buy Tickets



The building that The Soap Factory occupies has been used for many things; the railroad, armory storage, the production of soap, and for the past 21 years, an art gallery. In 1995 a group of artists (No Name Exhibitions) moved into an industrial, utilitarian space and transformed it into one of Minneapolis’ most well known cultural hubs. The building brings unique challenges and benefits for exhibitions, by existing not as a traditional clean white-walled gallery but as a raw industrial space with history and grit. Because The Soap Factory owns its’ own building, we have a unique and powerful opportunity to leverage our location and history in the community for artists. In 2017, The Soap Factory is taking the time and care to renovate it’s building, activating currently underused spaces to better serve artists by providing more opportunities to exhibit, reside, and experiment.



In 2017 The Soap Factory is taking in some fresh air, stepping outside the Factory and rethinking spaces both Here andThere. We’re making new connections with new public spaces throughout Minnesota and new cities around the world; asking you to pack your bags and join us on the trip.


The Residency exchange is a 1-2 month placement program, providing emerging and mid-career Minnesota artists support to research, produce, exhibit new works, and explore the artistic, social and cultural context offered by a host city. Upon their return, residency artists will share their experiences and any new work through an artist talk and studio visit with one of The Soap Factory’s established curatorial advisors.

In 2018, artists from each of these partner programs will be offered a 1-3 month residency opportunity at The Soap Factory, supported by our staff in documentation, installation, critique and presentation.

Each international exchange will be unique and aim to provide programming and networking opportunities in addition to travel and material support. For all residency artists, becoming part of a distinct network of cultural establishments, conversations, and communities will enhance the experience of making work in a new city, supported by a valued partnership organization.

We are interested in conversations, experimentation, and long-running relationships; Residency artists are welcome to re-apply to future residencies at The Soap Factory to explore their projects further, with possible opportunities to exhibit in our galleries.

2017/2018 Residency organization cities: Tranås, Sweden / Mexico City, Mexico / New York City, NY / Glasgow, Scotland / Minneapolis-St Paul, MN

Currently accepting applications for Minnesota + Sweden Residency exchange, more information here.



The Soap Factory’s public space program invites artists to submit proposals for projects outside of The Soap Factory that re-think public spaces, and/or utilize spaces that are often neglected or overlooked. In addition to staff, installation support, and documentation support; The Soap Factory will provide five artists/artist groups with a stipend of $5,000, and two artists/artist groups with a stipend of $10,000 to complete their projects. Projects TBA 



The Soap Factory invited artists to propose projects outside of our Factory during construction that will activate the building’s exterior and surrounding property. In addition to staff, installation support, and documentation support; The Soap Factory will provide these four artists/artist groups with a stipend of $5,000 to complete their projects. More information and dates of programs TBA.


Monica Edwards Larson

Monica Edwards Larson / Sister Black (Bike) Press’s project “Poetry of Resistance” consists of two parts; a temporary installation of letterpress printed poetry cards and to host a collaborative one-time event: Poetry reading and DIY printing event, using the mobile bicycle press, at the Soap Factory. The installation will consist of hundreds of letterpress printed poetry cards that will be temporarily inserted within the construction fence on the property. The cards will feature the work of local poets whose work bears witness to the many challenges facing our democracy, the health of our planet, and all aspects of human rights, that inspire action.

Monica Edwards Larson is the proprietress of Sister Black Press – a private Letterpress and Book Arts studio, established in 2000 in Minneapolis, MN. She received a Masters in Fine Art in printmaking from Arizona State University. She has taught Printmaking, Graphic Design and Book Arts to students of all ages in the Twin Cities area, including the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, College of Visual Art, University of Northwestern and Minneapolis College of Art & Design. She is a 2017 recipient of the MN State Arts Board – Artist Initiative Grant, and recently started a new venture called Sister Black (Bike) Press – a mobile printing press that she pedals on the Twin Cities’ bike trails and streets, stopping to print at local bike shops, bookstores and libraries.


Leyya Mona Tawil

In collaboration with local dancers and musicians, dance artist and composer Leyya Mona Tawil will bring her day long performance ‘Destroy// All Places’ to The Soap Factory. Destroy// All Places is a new ritual for new times. The performance is composed, but untethered. The artists attempt a score imbedded with mechanisms that make its execution increasingly impossible, forcing the material into stages of deterioration and evolution. Destroy// All Places began in San Francisco in 2012, and has since visited over 23 cities including Saint Petersburg, Rome, Cairo and Athens.  Over 100 artists have participated in the project internationally.

“My project for The Soap Factory, Destroy// Minneapolis, is a metaphor for renewal and resistance.  The health of a city is dependent on change; a change that requires destruction as part of the life cycle…  As well, it is a framework to support and present the talented dancers and musicians of Minneapolis/St. Paul.” – Leyya Mona Tawil

Leyya Mona Tawil, Artistic Director of DANCE ELIXIR, is an artist working with dance and music practices. Her performance scores have been presented in 16 countries; highlights include New York Live Arts/Live Ideas (NYC), After the Last Sky Festival (Berlin), TransDance15 (Cairo), Bimhuis (Amsterdam) and the Museum of Nonconformist Arts (Saint Petersburg). Tawil’s work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, American Theater Magazine, Movement Research’s Critical Correspondence and PAJ-Journal of Performance and Art.

Photo credit: Atsushi Iwai


Monica Sheets

Monica is installing a large-scale neon sign for the Soap Factory façade created in collaboration with Ne-Art Custom Neon in Northeast Minneapolis. The text – “collectively we support your autonomy” – is a reflection of and comment on participatory processes and relationships between artist, participant, artwork and audience.

“This lesson also applies to the Soap Factory’s role in the Twin Cities’ art community. It is the support provided by organizations such as the Soap that enables artists’ autonomy in exploring their varied interests and contributing their knowledge to the world. It is also our collective support of these organizations as artists, audience and volunteers that ensures their continued existence. It seems fitting to me to emphasize these reciprocal roles on the Soap’s exterior while its interior is closed in order to undertake renovations that ensure its own autonomy and continued existence.” – Monica Sheets

Monica Sheets creates platforms for communication as a means of civic engagement for herself and other participants. She was born in Toledo, Ohio and her experiences growing up in the Rust Belt were pivotal to her decision to work directly with participants, coming from a desire to reach audiences who might not normally visit galleries and museums. In addition to her artistic work, she has worked in different capacities at a variety of non-profit art organizations, including as founder and director of Das Fundbuero e.V., a cultural organization dedicated to creating spaces in which former East German citizens can discuss their experiences of the German Democratic Republic and the aftermath of German unification in 1989.


Laura Brown

Laura Brown will install screen printed faux construction signs around the perimeter of the Soap Factory during renovation. The signs will contain components of the visual language of construction signs, but they will ultimately not be helpful or useful in navigating around the construction site. Instead, their colors and patterns will serve the purpose of sustaining anticipation about the soon-to-be completed Soap Factory renovation. In addition to the installation, Laura will host a series of Open Air Studio Sessions, inviting the public to come print signs of solidarity, protest, or encouragement; in relation to their day-to-day experiences in a wider world that is in various states of literal and metaphorical “renovation”.

Laura Brown is a printmaker, book artist, collaborator and teacher. Her work examines human relationships and memory through the lenses of geography, movement, and time. She has held residencies at the Myren Graffikk in Kristiansand, Norway; the Kala Art Institute in Berkeley, California; Minnesota Center for Book Arts in Minneapolis, Minnesota; and the Women’s Studio Workshop in Rosendale, New York, and her work appears in collections at Yale University and the Library of Congress, among others. In May, she will receive an MFA in Studio Art from the University of Texas at Austin.


Join our email list:

514 Second Street SE Minneapolis MN 55414  | 
(612) 623–9176