The corner of Nicollet Ave and 35th Street just got a new store—after a fashion.
Once an pop-up holiday art shop for the 2012 Christmas season, the Soo Visual Arts Center's SooLOCAL is set to become a permanent fixture on the corner, according to the center's director, Carolyn Payne.
"It's a storefront on a very busy street, with a lot of foot traffic. It's very good fit for SooVAC," Payne explained, using the Whittier-based gallery's acronym.
"It's nice to see it be a gallery again" following a stint as a record store, she added.
Payne said retail won't be a big part of SooLOCAL, although the popular holiday pop-up shop may well return next holiday season.
"We book shows (in the main gallery) a year and a half out," she explained, saying the additional space would let the gallery stage more spontaneous projects and partnerships with local artists.
"I think it's an exciting opportunity for artists to have a smaller space to take on," said SooVAC's assistant director, Allison Hiltner. "They can be more experimental"
Payne said the gallery is also exploring how to turn the large patio/sidewalk area in front of SooLOCAL into an exhibition space, perhaps for temporary sculpture installations.
Southwest Minneapolis residents will be able to a taste of the new, more permanent SooLOCAL on Feb. 28, at the opening reception for Game Face, a collaboration between acclaimed local photographer Wing Young Huie, Free Arts Minnesota.