A lot has changed over the past 20 years. We've gone through three presidents. Macs became cool, then lame, then cool again. Alternative music became corporatized, then turned into emo. A lot has changed over the years for the Soap Factory as well. One of the oldest galleries in the Twin Cities for modern visual art, the Soap Factory began in 1988 as No Name Gallery, a smallish space in the Warehouse District of Minneapolis. After a name change and a move to the former National Purity Soap Company, the gallery has continued to thrive, supporting the local arts community during the months of April to November, when the space is open, as well as sponsoring other events and shows around the city. Some of the more interesting side projects hosted by the Soap Factory include the Art Shanty Projects on Medicine Lake, and the haunted basement, a Halloween event so creepy they make you sign a waver before entering. For this retrospective exhibit, curator Andy Sturdevant has pored over thousands of flyers, documents, and photos, many taken from slides that haven't seen the light of day in decades. Artists from the past have also been asked back to share their work and experiences with the gallery, including Mark Nielsen and Ilene Krug Mojsilov, who were the first artists to exhibit in the space two decades ago. Featured artists rotate each month, and the show promises to be an interesting exploration of how the Twin Cities' art community has expanded, developed, and matured over time. Opening reception 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, April 19.
April 19-Oct. 26, 2008