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

Minneapolis Water Works celebrating 150 years

1867–2017 on display in Hennepin Gallery through November 29

In 1867, the Minneapolis City Council authorized the establishment of Minneapolis Water Works to supply water to the Minneapolis Fire Department. The City established its first drinking water pump station by 1872 on the Mississippi River above St. Anthony Falls and expanded its distribution to residents—making Minneapolis the first city in Minnesota with a public drinking water system. Today Minneapolis Public Works Water Treatment& Distribution Services has developed a complex system that pumps approximately 21 billion gallons of water each year from the Mississippi River. It produces an average of 57 million gallons of drinking water each day—a rate that could fill Lake of the Isles in about four days.

This exhibit shows consumers how water is taken from the Mississippi River, treated and delivered to their tap, and provides a rare opportunity for the public to see water infrastructure that is normally hidden. It also shows how some aspects of water treatment and distribution have changed over the years while others have remained constant over time. On display are photos of the treatment and distribution processes and infrastructure as well as equipment and pipe actually used in the water treatment and distribution system.

View the slideshow 

Read more on the water treatment and delivery process.

Previous exhibits

Dates Exhibit Exhibitor

September 1 - October 29

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

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

June 2 - July 28

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

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


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

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 - January 27

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. Somali Museum of Minnesota

September 20 - November 23

Fusing and Faces presented a collection of quilts by award-winning quilt artist Carol Hancuh, which were original in design, piecing and quilting.

Carol Hancuh official website

June 6 - August 26

Russian Soul focused on the Russian traditional clothing, showing costumes worn in different regions of Russia in the 18th and 19th centuries. The costumes were painstakingly reproduced by the members of the Russian Cultural Center from museum pieces or period photographs or paintings.

Russian Soul

March 7 - May 26

Hennepin Hospital Highlights spotlighted the history of the parent hospitals that make up the Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC): City Hospital, Minneapolis General Hospital, St. Andrew Hospital, St. Barnabas Hospital, The Swedish Hospital and Metropolitan Medical Center. Hennepin Medical History Center

February 1-26

Spirit of Roho exhibit featured the work of 13 local artists and reflected the various backgrounds of the artists.
Roho Collective
November 2 - December 24 Labor through the Ages: A visual celebration of collective bargaining exhibit by AFSCME Locals 34, 552, 1719, 2822, 2864, 2938 with Hennepin County, is a collection of historic images from the U.S. labor movement. The images date to 1895 and cover a wide range of issues addressed by the American labor movement, including civil rights, pay equity and workplace safety.
AFSCME Minnesota Council 5
September 4 -October 27 The "8030 Project" was created as a community participatory public art project to raise awareness of the estimated 22 U.S. veterans and soldiers who commit suicide every day. Forecast Public Art
July 8 -August 27 35 Years and Still Sewing Strong” celebrated changes in the home sewing industry. American Sewing Guild
June 1 - 29, 2015 “Mary Gale Hobbs – a retrospective” featured drawings, paintings and etchings by Hobbs, who was largely responsible for creating an art curriculum for Minneapolis Public Schools. Mary Gale Hobbs
May 4 -
May 27, 2015
"A Peace of My Mind” is a multimedia art project that fosters public dialogue about issues related to conflict resolution, civic responsibility and peace. More than 50 people describe what peace means to them, how they work toward it in their lives, and the obstacles they encounter along the way. John Noltner
March 2 — April 28, 2015
Since 1983, Community Mediation and Restorative Services, Inc. (CMRS) has helped Hennepin County residents through resolution and healing when faced with conflicts, as well as providing residents with high-quality mediation, resolution, and conflict skills. Running through April 28, this exhibit demonstrates how CMRS works to change the way the community views and moves through conflict and harm. Community Mediation and Restorative Services, Inc.
February 2 - February 25, 2015 Bibliophilia: Collecting Black Books. In honor of Black History Month, February's exhibit features books from the Givens Collection of African American Literature, including rare first editions and striking covers designed by iconic artists. University Of Minnesota Libraries 
December 8 - January 23, 2015 Through My Lens features photography by teens who've experienced poverty, abuse, homelessness or mental illness. The teens were given hands-on lessons by photographer Wing Young Huie. Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Free Arts Minnesota
September 10 -November 21, 2014 Perpetual Detail. Highlighting local fiber artists Ann Hall Richards and Ingrid Restemayer.
Textile Center
August 1-27 Employee art. From checking out books at one of Hennepin’s 41 libraries to guarding inmates at the jail; from managing key organization initiatives through IT resources and processes to developing and managing volunteer programs and gathering community donations, this exhibit offers county employees the opportunity to display talent that isn’t part of their daily work routine. 
Hennepin County
May 5 - July 28, 2014 Hmong dance, old and new. Using photos and costumes, Asian Media Access tells the story of Hmong dance.
Asian Media Access
March 4 - April 25, 2014
Art Speaks: Building voices by 32 Artists with Disabilities: The Art Speaks program provides opportunities for people who have physical, intellectual, brain injury and emotional disabilities to express themselves through art.
Rise, Inc.
February 3-27, 2014

Remembering Our Leaders: Drawings, paintings and photographs honoring African and African American leaders.
The Roho Collective
November 2013 - January 2014 Creative Care: Art + Healing in the Twin Cities: Two nonprofit organizations joined in producing this first-of-its-kind exhibition.
Hennepin County’s Multicultural Arts Committee and Forecast Public Art
September - October 2013 The World within Our Walls: The History of Departments inside HCMC. Hennepin County Medical Center
August 2013 Struttin’ Our Stuff – Sewing in the Twin Cities exhibit included fashion sewing, restyling (remaking an old item into something new), home decorator sewing, quilting, embroidery and more. American Sewing Guild
June - July 2013 Have a Seat exhibits chairs reflecting twentieth century design movements like Art Nouveau. The exhibit looks at chairs used by county residents, circa 1840-1960s. Hennepin History Museum
May 2013 Celebrating Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month offers a glimpse into the lives of Asian communities within the county. Hmong ABC Bookstore, the Chinese Heritage Foundation, the Korean Service Center, and the personal collection of Hennepin County Library — Augsburg Park Librarian Phuoc Tran.
April 2013 Latino Artists in Minnesota features the works of emerging local artists. Latino Cultural Center of Minnesota
March 2013 Celebrating 30 Years of Moving from Conflict to Resolution portrays how county residents move from conflict to resolution through mediation and restorative services. Community Mediation Services, Inc.
February 2013 Bibliophilia: Collecting Black Books features a selection of books from the Archie Givens Sr. collection of African American Literature. Archie Givens, Sr. Collection of African American Literature
December 2012 - January 2013 A Century of Quilts provides a look at historic Hennepin County quilts. Hennepin History Museum
November 2012 Voting: Our Voice includes historic election materials from the 1880s to the present. Hennepin County Public Affairs

For older exhibits, see our gallery on Flickr.

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