Hennepin Gallery exhibits

Hennepin Gallery exhibits are part of the county’s commitment to serving the community with a variety of fine arts and educational displays. Use of the space is limited to exhibits sponsored by Hennepin County or other government agencies, arts organizations, nonprofit organizations, and groups receiving approval from the County Board of Commissioners.

The Hennepin Gallery is free and open to the public, The exhibit is sponsored by, and a project of, Hennepin County Communications.

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Current exhibit

"Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder: Celebrating 85 Years" in Hennepin Gallery through February 28

Hennepin Gallery joins in celebrating the 85th anniversary of the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder (MSR) with a month-long exhibit. MSR is the oldest Black-owned newspaper in Minnesota and one of the longest running, family-owned newspapers in the country.

The Hennepin Gallery exhibit features items of historical significance from the paper’s long and storied past. This includes a large collection of photographs that evoke a rich and vivid display of Black life in the Twin Cities that spans decades.

Many of the photos feature unknown individuals; members of the community may share any information about people they might recognize.

About the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder

Established in 1934 by local civil rights icon and business leader Cecil Newman, the MSR has long been revered as a trusted news source and voice of the African American community. Years later, the paper and its staff remain committed to the credo that can be found on the wall of their historic office building in South Minneapolis:

“The Negro Press believes that America can best lead the world away from racial and national antagonisms when it accords to every man, regardless of race, color, or creed, his human and legal rights. Hating no man, fearing no man, the Negro Press strives to help every man in the firm belief that all are hurt as long as anyone is held back.”

Now under the direction of Newman’s granddaughter Tracey Williams-Dillard, the MSR continues to thrive, championing perspectives and stories that may otherwise go unheard.

The exhibit is part of a series of events coordinated by the Minneapolis Black Employee Network in celebration of Black History Month.

The Hennepin Gallery is free and open to the public Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Hennepin County Government Center, A-Level, 300 S. Sixth St., Minneapolis.

Previous exhibits

Dates Exhibit Exhibitor
October – December 30, 2019 Kulture Klub Presents looked at the strengths and contributions of homeless youth, rather than their vulnerabilities, through artistic practice. Kulture Klub Collaborative (KKC)
August – September 26 Celebrate Summer showed historical highlights of our local summer fairs and festivals. Hennepin History Museum
May – June 19 Hennepin County Employee Art showcased employee abilities in painting, sculpture, photography, drawing, textiles and more. Hennepin County Communications

March 2 – 28

Real People, Real Conversations, Real Solutions showcased the mission of Community Mediation & Restorative Services, Inc. (CMRS): helping people move from conflict to resolution and from harm to healing through respectful and confidential mediation and restorative processes. Community Mediation & Restorative Services, Inc.

January 30 – February 26

Black Twin Cities: The 1940s Photographs of John F. Glanton provided a rare look into the personal, professional and social lives of what was then a very small community in postwar, pre-civil rights era Twin Cities.

Hennepin County Library Digital Collections: John F. Glanton Collection

December 3, 2018 – January 29, 2019

Sib Pauv Zog: a Hmong Cultural Harvest included the work and stories of Hmong artists and farmers, reimagining Hmong existence and making way for new cultural tradition.


October 3 – November 28, 2018

Getting to the Heart of the Matter: a History of Cardiac Care illustrated the history of cardiac care and special contributions and innovations by our medical pioneers past and present and our local medical device companies.

Hennepin Medical History Center

September 10 – 26, 2018

NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center (Pilot City): 50 Years of Community Care exhibit reflected on the organization’s accomplishments and opportunities for growth as NorthPoint marked its 50th anniversary. NorthPoint is a multi-specialty medical, dental and mental health center and human service agency located along Penn Avenue in North Minneapolis.

NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center

June 8 – August 16, 2018

Hennepin History Museum: Celebrating 80 Years showcased photos, artifacts, and archival items from the Hennepin History Museum’s collection, highlighting the diverse history of Hennepin County.

Hennepin History Museum

April – May 30, 2018

Meet Minneapolis for the Sister City featured historic photographs and documents marking the arrival of the Americans in Tours, France, as well as their lives and work. This exhibit marked the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

Hennepin County Communications

January 22 – March 28, 2018

Minnesota Black History 101 featured artifacts, memorabilia and narratives offering a unique glimpse into the lives of Minnesota's pioneering African Americans.

University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center

December 1, 2017 – January 17, 2018

Water Connects Us All featured sculptures and puppets, connected with a simple narrative, designed to draw the viewer into deeper considerations of their own relationship to water and our own best humanity in protecting our water.

In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre

November 1 – 29, 2017

Minneapolis Water Works Celebrating 150 Years: 1867–2017 showed consumers how water is taken from the Mississippi River, treated and delivered to their tap, and provided a rare opportunity for the public to see water infrastructure that is normally hidden.

Minneapolis Public Works Water Treatment & Distribution Services

September 1 – October 29, 2017

Green Card Voices: Youth and Adults Exhibits used digital storytelling to share personal narratives of America's immigrants, fostering tolerance and understanding between immigrant and non-immigrant peoples.

Green Card Voices

August 1 – 29, 2017

Hennepin County Employee Art showcased employee abilities in painting, sculpture, photography, drawing, textiles and more. Hennepin County Communications

June 2 – July 28, 2017

Hats Off to Hennepin County showcased hats from the Hennepin History Museum's collection, including department store and uniform hats, from the 1840s to the 1950s. Hennepin History Museum

April 5 – May 26, 2017

Hennepin County: A better way. Lived here was an exhibit featuring the people and places that make Hennepin County a great place to live, work and play. Hennepin County Communications

March 2017

Real People, Real Conversations, Real Solutions highlighted the different service areas handled through mediation or restorative services. Since 1983, CMRS has helped Hennepin County residents move from conflict to resolution and from harm to healing through mediation and restorative services. Community Mediation and Restorative Services, Inc. (CMRS)

February 3 – 27, 2017

Celebrating the Voting Rights Act in Minnesota featured a series of panels focusing on local advocacy on behalf of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, supplemented by an assortment of archival materials related to African American life in Minnesota and Hennepin County in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. Hennepin History Museum

December 5, 2016 – January 27, 2017

Treasures of the Diaspora examined the cultural roots that Somalis in Minnesota share, and used traditional arts as a platform for all Minnesotans to experience the richness of Somali culture and glimpse their Somali neighbors' history and traditions.

For older exhibits, see our gallery on Flickr.

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