Art-i-Facts: An Unconventional History of MCAD

August 26–September 18, 2011

MCAD Second Floor Galleries

Exhibition reception: Friday, September 9, 6:00-8:00 p.m


As part of the College’s 125th anniversary celebration, an invitation went out to all alumni encouraging them to submit for exhibition an object (or text, video, etc.) that represented a memory of their experiences while students at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (named the Minneapolis School of Art before 1970). The call for submissions was wide open, though the original request was to keep items about 12.5 inches in size (in honor of the 125th). But more interestingly, objects of various sizes appeared. First a brick came in the mail, then old black-and-white photographs and a 1972 Polaroid camera. Tangible reminders of walls that crumbled and relationships that hopefully endured. More exciting and eclectic mementos continued to arrive—recollections of instructors, visiting artists, exams and assignments, cutting edge technologies, and extracurricular diversions. Items selected from the College archives and permanent art collection provided visual fodder as well, filling in gaps and offering other glimpses of personal and institutional ambitions and achievements. 

The histories of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design are as diverse as the thousands of students, faculty, and staff who have worked together, learned from one another, and enriched the artistic culture of this city and the many other places where they lived or continue to live. This motley assortment of artifacts testifies to these divergent histories. To bring these objects out of drawers, off shelves, and even down from trees is to reinvigorate them, to provide them new contexts for their appreciation, and to keep reminding us that the past can and should inform our future.   

Special thanks to the staff of the Office of Institutional Advancement for their assistance and to the MCAD Library staff who generously gave of their time and knowledge to help make this installation possible, especially Eva Hyvarinen, Allan Kohl, and Gregg Zimmer. 


MCAD 125 Timeline