Top 10 galleries in the Twin Cities

Categories: Art
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Kolman & Pryor artist Kate Casanova's delightful Mushroom Chair
Kolman & Pryor Gallery
(Northrup King Building, 1500 NE Jackson St., Minneapolis; 612.385.4239;

Is it enough of a reason to love a gallery just because you love one of the artists it represents? If so, then Kolman & Pryor (formerly Anita Sue Kolman Gallery) earns a place on this list for a number of reasons, but especially because Kate Casanova is the bees knees. The young, up-and-coming artist (City Pages 2012 Artist of the Year), whose visceral work draws as much from science as it does from the subconscious, is a regular at the gallery, along with a group of other really great talents, including the meticulous and inventive Karl Unnasch, and Patrick Kemal Pryor, who recently became a partner at the gallery. 
See also:
"Juicy Steak Moustache 2": Patrick Kemal Pryor enters partnership role at Kolman & Pryor with group show

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Artist Adama Sow exhibits at Obsidian
Obsidian Arts
(2948 Chicago Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.787.3644;

Is it a gallery or a community center? Obsidian Arts, housed at Pillsbury House + Theatre (PHT), is a little of both. The arts organization supports artists, curators, and art historians who examine black visual culture, and has hosted a number of gorgeous and engaging exhibitions recently. The gallery is one of the most accessible arts spaces in town as it's found in the PHT lobby, a lively center of activity for the neighborhood with several arts and service organizations residing in the building. Obsidian is more than just a gallery, though, as it has initiated various programming including traveling performance groups, hosting a black art history library, and more. However, its gallery exhibitions are noteworthy in their own right, featuring both local and international artists from African and African American communities. 
See also:
Obsidian Arts' 'African M+Pulse' exhibits at Pillsbury House

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Third Place Gallery
(3730 Chicago Ave. S. Minneapolis;

How can you go wrong with ping pong? Third Place Gallery, owned by award-winning photographer Wing Young Huie, is a social meeting space that fosters community not only in its surrounding neighborhood, but in the Twin Cities at large. Past events have included live knitting, music concerts, film screenings, and multimedia performances. At each reception, Third Place keeps it real by offering fun activities like karaoke, ping pong, and darts while encouraging people to meet new folks in the cities. The gallery supports its events by charging a modest door price (generally $5 or a suggested donation), which helps pay for snacks and gives the artists a stipend, and is a great way to support a diverse array of artists who come from different backgrounds.

See also:
Wing Young Huie, Selma Fernandez exhibit at Third Place Gallery

Yes!Lets Collective presents sensory isolating show at Third Place Gallery

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Franklin Art Works
(1021 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis; 612.872.7494;

The Franklin Art Works space opened in 1916 as a movie theater. Over the years, it went through several owners, and eventually became a porno house in the 1970s. The building still has a majestic facade, with arched stained-glass windows and a beautiful brick exterior. As for the art inside, the gallery features great diversity in the artists it presents, showcasing many out-of-town artists working in a variety of media. There's always something new and different to see. 

Shoebox Gallery
(2948 Chicago Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.825.3833)

You might miss Shoebox Gallery if you're not looking for it. The Twin Cities' smallest gallery is located in a storefront window next to Robert's Shoes on Chicago Avenue and Lake Street (although opening events and screenings occur in the studio space upstairs).  There's something very appealing about the little gallery, which has featured artists such as Frank Gaard, Daniel Kaniess, and Katelyn Farstad, to name a few. Because it faces a busy street, hundreds of people walk by it each day. No doubt some will miss it entirely, but for those who stop and experience it, the storefront gallery playfully manages to infiltrate the outside world. 
See also:
Mary Jane Mansfield talks about 'Dream'
Emily Lloyd discusses '6 Words Minneapolis'

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