Exhibitions / Background
The Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program (MAEP) is a curatorial department of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) dedicated to exhibiting and supporting artists living and working in the state of Minnesota. Begun in 1975 as a creative partnership with the MIA, the MAEP was founded by a group of regional artists interested in creating an innovative exhibition and programming space. What began as a year-long agreement has been extended into an ongoing relationship between the Minnesota artist community and the MIA.
The MAEP is a unique program in which an elected artist panel representing the Minnesota artist community selects fellow artists to exhibit their work at the MIA. The MAEP presents contemporary art within the context of an encyclopedic art museum, actively inserting the state’s artists into a broader discourse about history, art, and culture. The MAEP plays a key role in the museum’s efforts to enrich the community through art and, in doing so, provides a forum for contemporary art and ideas.
The MAEP’s strength lies in the participation of the artist community and the continued support of the MIA. This unique and successful program is recognized nationally as a model for artists to showcase their work with the assistance of a professional museum staff. Artists living and working in Minnesota are encouraged to submit proposals.
Over the past 35 years, the MIA has presented more than 180 MAEP exhibitions of contemporary art, exploring a wide range of topics, political viewpoints, and artistic styles. The program has featured solo and group shows, site-specific installations, retrospectives, and the once-every-decade “Foot in the Door” exhibitions. Since it began, the program has supported exceptional art exhibitions, while encouraging and developing a diverse artist community. It has often provided the first and earliest opportunity to artists who have gone on to critical and commercial success. All artists who live and work in Minnesota are welcome to participate in the MAEP by attending the program’s annual meeting, nominating and electing artist panelists, and submitting exhibition proposals for panel review.
MAEP artists who exhibit at the MIA benefit from the museum’s diverse audience and access to the museum’s professional support services. Exhibiting artists are provided with honoraria for their involvement in MAEP, and they participate at every level of exhibition planning, publication design and installation.
Generous support for MAEP is provided by The McKnight Foundation and Jerome Foundation.