Exterior view of The Soap Factory, Minneapolis, 2009. Photo: Greg Benz
Located in the former National Purity Soap Company building—a historic, 48,000-square-foot warehouse built in 1884 on the riverfront, near the birthplace of Minneapolis—The Soap Factory is one of the largest art spaces devoted to emergent practice in the United States. Founded as No Name Gallery in 1989, we acquired the building in 1995, becoming The Soap Factory in 2005.
We are a laboratory, studio, and gallery space, committed to experimentation and risk-taking, and we provide local, national, and international artists with a unique showcase for sculpture, installation, painting, performance, photography, film, and video. Our unique, raw, and textured galleries are a safe space for artistic endeavor, away from the dictates of the market. With no permanent curatorial staff, we program through an open submission process for both artists and curators. In turn, we offer audiences a real and immediate experience of the arts, encouraging a wider understanding of and appreciation for artists and their work. While we primarily program on our 12,000-square-foot first floor, we have aimed to fully rehabilitate the entire building as gallery, studio, and residency space over four floors. The Soap Factory is a 501©(3) nonprofit.