Receptacle is an exhibition that features work by thirteen Somali American visual artists, and, at its core, serves to activate the site of exhibition through direct engagement and participation of its audience beyond the show. Central to the focus of their work, participating artists — throughout the creative process —will use every opportunity to embed avenues for collaboration with their audience. This artistic exercise and the final program acts as a receptacle for gathering questions, fostering appreciation, and incubating new ideas while ensuring a valuable connection between place and people.


Saturday July 8 , 2017

4–8pm / Opening Ceremony

Chase House, Comm. Room (2nd floor)

1530 S 6th St, Minneapolis, MN 55454


Saturday July 15 , 2017

4–8pm / Reception

Chase House, Comm. Room (2nd floor)

1530 S 6th St, Minneapolis, MN 55454



The exhibition will have, aside from the artworks, public programing that includes reception, panel discussions, performances, lectures, and film screening. Visitors will have an opportunity to see the artwork displayed and be able to talk with the artists about their respective work:


1. Saturday, July 8, 2017 / 6–7pm

The exhibition opening ceremony with performances by spoken word poet Muna Abdulahi.


2. Friday, July 14, 2017 / 6–8pm

Abdi Roble, documentary photographer and community archivist, will present a lecture on his ongoing archival experience and facilitate image capture via scanning for the audience throughout the evening in collaboration with Immigration History Research Center Archives, University of Minnesota Libraries and the Minnesota Digital Library.


3. Saturday, July 15, 2017 / 12–5pm

Painter Mohamed Hersi will bring his studio out into the open to finish his last piece for the exhibition.


4. Saturday, July 15, 2017 / 6–8pm

Reception program with moderated panel discussion with the artists.


5. Friday, July 21, 2017 / 6–7:30pm

Filmmaker Tariq Tarey’s Nasro’s Journey will be screened with Q&A after the showing.


6. Saturday, July 29, 2017 / 6–7:30pm

Staged Reading of Axmed Cartan Xaange’s play Samawada directed by Mohamed Samatar with Q&A after the play.




Soomaal House of Art (Soomaal) is a Minnesota-based Somali art collective that provides studio space, studio critiques, artistic community, mentorships for emerging Somali artists, and monthly and annual exhibition space with educational programming.


Soomaal House of Art will provide the platform for Somali visual artists who want to create and use art to shape and frame critical discourse around vexing local and global issues of our time. Moving forward, we hope the collective action of this group will lead to sustained partnerships with Minnesota institutions and, together, inspire more Minnesotans, especially Somali Minnesotans, to harness the power of art as a tool for intellectual and civic engagement.


The collective understanding amongst the artists are as follows:


1. Own the creation/presentation of all facets of their art;

2. Normalize the possibility of a career in the visual arts for Somali youth;

3. Advocate for policy work that will foster and advance Somali visual arts;

4. Create opportunities for Somali visual artists to produce and exhibit their work;

5. Offer role models for emerging Somali artists.

6. And hold monthly and annual art exhibitions.



Chase House Community Room

Chase House Community Room, located in the heart of Cedar–Riverside neighborhood  also known as West Bank, has housed many immigrants in its existence; from Scandinavians to recent East Africans, especially Somalis. It is a vibrant neighborhood with diverse peoples, backgrounds, businesses, religions, arts, schools, and much more.



Masjid shaafici cultural center

For years, the mosque was right next to the 400 Bar, in a much smaller space and always with overcapacity attendance. As one of the oldest mosques in Minneapolis, Shaafici offers many great social services and awareness for its community. For more information, please visit



Masjid Dar Al-Hijrah/ICSA

In June 1998, a group of scholars and community leaders became aware of a need for community space. As many immigrants have done in the past, these scholars and leaders yearned for a place to preserve the community’s identity, culture, religion, and values. They established the first phase of Islamic Civic Society of America (Dar Al-Hijrah Mosque) in the heart of the West Bank in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. For more information, please visit




The exhibition and its secondary activities are free for all visitors.


We will have American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community. We will have staff in front of the entrance, so please notify them upon your arrival or contact us beforehand.


This exhibition is an initiative of Soomaal House of Art, a Minneapolis-based Somali art collective.


The exhibition is made possible by the Visual Arts Fund, a grant program established by Midway Contemporary Art with generous support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; Riverside Plaza Tenant Association; Minneapolis College of Art & Design; Safari Express; Afro Deli; Dar Al-Hijrah/ICSA; Masjid Shaafici Cultural Center; Darul Uloom Islamic Center.


Poster/flyer in JPEG   PDF

Soomaal House of Art is a Minnesota-based Somali art collective that provides studio space, studio critiques, artistic community, mentorship for emerging Somali artists and a final exhibition space with educational programs.

2017 © Soomaal. All rights reserved.

(612) 703.5329


977 5th Street East

St. Paul, MN 55106