Construction at the Soap Factory

Opening Reception


Gallery Hours


Exhibition Runs

Jan 16 - May 15


The Soap Factory is excited to announce that after almost a year of renovations, we plan to re-open in the spring of 2018. For the last couple years, Soap Factory Staff and Board Members have been hard at work to make the Soap Factory a more sustainable organization to better serve our mission of supporting artists.

The renovations, while a significant update, will not interfere with the Soap Factory’s unique rugged aesthetic. Contractors are working hard to maintain the building’s historic appearance as well as ensure that the building gets the necessary care it needs to stay around for another 100 years. The Main Floor galleries will remain almost entirely untouched and will retain the size and raw appearance that they are known and loved for.

What the renovations will do is transform 35,000 sq ft of underutilized space into spaces that serve national, international, and local artists and our local community. We are so excited to see how these developments help the Soap Factory grow, increase programming opportunities, and reach a broader audience. We hope that you will stay tuned these next couple months as construction progresses and that you will join us to celebrate the re-opening this spring.

The Renovations will create space for:

– Low-Cost Artist Studios for Rent

– New Exhibition Spaces

– Residency Studios

– Multi-use Community Room

– Restaurant

– Fully Renovated Woodshop

If you are interested in participating in our new residency program, applications are now open, learn more and apply here.

To receive updates about the renovations, including the availability of artist studios, the restaurant, and more sign up for our mailing list here.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Will the Soap Factory still own its building?  

Yes!  The Soap Factory will maintain ownership control of the building into perpetuity.

2.How much is the project going to cost?


3. Is all of the money raised?  

We have all of the money we need to complete construction.  We have a $2.0MM philanthropic need for which we will be seeking major benefactors during 2018 & 2019.

4.Will artists live at The Soap Factory?

No, the Soap Factory will not have any accommodations on-site.  All artists in residence will be housed in arrangements with neighborhood & community partners, and hotels.

5. Will there still be exhibitions?  

Yes!  The Soap Factory will continue to host 4-5 primary exhibitions each year in its main galleries.

6. Will there be a new building as part of the project?  

No. The project will renovate the existing building, bringing it up to code, providing new heating and cooling, elevators, stairs, windows, and roof.  The building will otherwise remain substantially as is.

7. Do you know what the restaurant will be?  

Not yet, the Soap Factory is currently in discussion with interested parties. We plan to make an announcement in Spring 2018.

8. Will additional parking be provided?  

No, while The Soap Factory currently exceeds parking requirements, we are actively engaged in discussions with neighborhood representatives and business owners to coordinate other parking options. We are also exploring alternative transportation options that will help minimize neighborhood impact.

9. Does the neighborhood support this project?  

Yes!  We have strong support from the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association and are working closely with neighborhood and other institutional partners on information exchange and program coordination. Additionally, we are well connected to arts partner organizations throughout the Twin Cities in support of the project.

10. Is the Soap Factory adding new programs?  

Yes! The Soap Factory is inaugurating its Artists in Residence program (AIR) in 2018 in the lower level AIR Studios.  Between 12 and 18 artists from MN, nationally & internationally will work, create, curate & show new work, supported by the fantastic facilities, staff & community of the Soap Factory.

11. How do artists apply for the residencies or the studios?  

The Soap Factory will announce in the Spring 2018 the process, timing, and program specifics for the residencies and studios.  Generally, the residencies will be a mix of open call/juried and invitation-based.  The studios will be offered subject to an interview with a standing committee aimed at establishing active practice, catalytic need, and sufficient “but-for” value on the part of applicants. If you’d like to be on our mailing list and receive updates, please sign-up here

12. What will the studios cost?

Rental rates are intended to be at least 25% below comparable alternatives.  Support from the McKnight Foundation, along with philanthropic support noted in question 3, will allow us to maintain these studios as low-cost, catalytic components of our creative infrastructure.

13. This sounds exciting. How can I get involved?  

Response:  We’d love to have you!  Join our mailing list to receive ongoing updates and learn about opportunities. Sign up here.


Project Partners:

RJM ConstructionStudio M Architects, Preservation Design Works LLC, Emanuelson-Podas IncOOIEEHansen Thorp Pellinen Olson, Faegre Baker DanielsHerzog Engineering, LLC, Mcknight Foundation, and Marcy Holmes Neighborhood Foundation





Join our email list:

514 Second Street SE Minneapolis MN 55414  | 
(612) 623–9176