The year's best Twin Cities art exhibitions were diverse and international
By Art Alicia Eler
December 20, 2019
The best art exhibits this year.
From the powerful and arresting Native women showcase "Hearts of Our People" to the radical lesbian world of "Strong Women, Full of Love": the best of 2019 arts and entertainment included these 10 art shows.
1. "Hearts of Our People" at Minneapolis Institute of Art: The first-ever major museum exhibition of art by Native women showcased the work of 115 artists from the United States and Canada, spanning more than 50 tribes, 65 languages and seven centuries.
2. "History Is Not Here: Art and the Arab Imaginary" at the Minnesota Museum of American Art: The 17 artists in this exhibition, still on view through Jan. 5, hail from 22 countries and explore the complexities of the "Arab" diaspora, questioning the colonial nature of geographic boundaries.
3. Nicholas Galanin, "Everything We've Ever Been, Everything We Are Right Now" at Macalester College: Galanin took on America's cultural amnesia, delivering critiques of colonialism and settler mentality, the imposition of "blood quantum" and the cultural appropriation of Native cultures.
4. "The Body Electric" at Walker Art Center: Nearly 50 artists or collectives addressed the body's relationship to technology in this boldly intergenerational exhibition.
5. "Queer Forms" at the University of Minnesota's Nash Gallery: More than 100 LGBTQ artists struck a pose in this exhibition coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riot.
6. "Swimming on Dry Land/ Nadar en Seco" at St. Olaf College: This modest solo exhibit by internationally acclaimed Cuban-American artist Coco Fusco explored the politics and poetics of her home country's revolution.
7. "I Know How Furiously Your Heart Is Beating" at Weinstein Hammons Gallery: Self-proclaimed "kind of 'emo' photographer" Alec Soth had a spiritual awakening in 2016, took a break from snapping pics, then returned with 70 intimate photos aimed at shifting the power dynamic between photographer and subject.
8. "Strong Women, Full of Love" at Mia: Photos by Carolyn "Meadow" Muska, documenting the radical lesbian world of 1970s Minnesota, emerged from the closet.
9. Cara Romero at Bockley Gallery: The Chemehuevi artist based in Santa Fe explored the supernatural in everyday life and contemporary Indigenous expression.
10. "The Builders: Shaping Minnesota's Architectural Landscape on the Color Line" at Mill City Museum: Three prominent black Minnesota architects leapt out of the history vault and into a show all their own.