One of the most interesting places for art happenings around town is the Soap Factory. Located near Downtown Minneapolis just on the other side of the riverbank, it's an industrial space with the ability to convert into whatever its current exhibit needs. The floors are wood-slats and concrete. The walls are brick and gallery-friendly white. I've seen paintings, sculpture, interactive installations and performance in this space, all well done shows that might not be done in another venue. Last month, I had the fortunate pleasure to be part of a craft show held there as part of the local Handmade Nation documentary screening. In a word, the Soap Factory is supercool.
Each year they have their annual fundraiser, the $99 Sale. Nearly 300 works will be on display, each one on a 5x7 sheet of heavy paper or cardstock, and each one for sale for $99. The works are done by anyone who wants to participate, and because of the stipulation that no signatures be on the front, the sale becomes more about the art than who made it. Neat, huh?
This year I decided to throw my own pieces of paper in. I did two, one pastel and one mixed media. The 5x7 rule is less limiting than a great challenge; what can be done in such a small space? It was fun to do, and whether my pieces sell or not (though of course I hope they do), it's a great feeling to participate in a community-centric exhibit.
So check it out: Soap99.com. Tonight is the pre-sale party from 7pm-10pm, and $20 gets you in for a first look and tasty food. Tomorrow is free to the public from 9am-12pm. The art can be taken off the wall as soon as it's purchased, and while coming early guarantees more selection, there's really no down side. Every piece sold goes to an organization that continuously brings new and interesting works to the foreground. And more importantly, there's no such thing as too much art.