Friends Lecture for May Features Psychologist

May 14, 2020 11:00 am

Pillsbury Auditorium

Ticket Price: Free

Art captivates and moves us, but it takes a psychologist like Ellen Winner to try and pin down why that is.

The Friends Lecture Speaker for May is Ellen Winner, Department Head, and Professor of Psychology at Boston College and Senior Research Associate at Project Zero, Harvard Graduate School of Education. She directs the Arts and Mind Lab which focuses on cognition in the arts and is the author of more than 200 articles and four books.

We all know that art captivates and moves us, but it takes a psychologist to try and pin down why that is or to attempt to tease out the ways in which we all benefit from exposure to art. It takes a psychologist to bring the rigors of science to bear on easily made assumptions that sometimes prove not to be as obvious as they seem. For example, it was Dr. Winner who debunked the claim that exposure to arts education raises students’ scores on standardized tests, a finding that spurred her ongoing investigation into arts education and the actual benefits students derive from studying art.

In her most recent book, “How Art Works: A Psychological Exploration,” Dr. Winner looks at art through psychological and philosophical lenses and discusses answers to timeless questions such as, “Why do we need Art?” After all, no one has ever discovered a culture without one or more forms of Art. Is Art inherent to our species? Is it, like language, something we are just programmed to do, part of being human? Is it true that people have stronger emotional reactions to music than to the visual arts? Is it true that people actually can tell the difference between abstract art created by artists and that created by “my five-year-old” and, if so, how? And why is it that we are drawn to art that depicts tragic or horrifying events? Is it possible that interacting with art helps us develop empathy?

For the answers to these and other questions, come hear Dr. Winner speak. Part of the Friends Lecture Series. For tickets, go to


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Don’t forget the March Friends Lecture!

March 12, 2020 11:00 am


Pillsbury Auditorium

Ticket Price: Free

Don’t miss out on revolutionary opportunities, the French Salon, and slanderous art critics at the next Friends lecture.

Please join the Friends of the Institute as former Mia curator Lisa Michaux speaks on  “Mary Cassatt, Berthe Morisot, and Marie Bracquemond and the Impressionist Exhibitions.”

Life as an artist was a challenge for women in late 19th-century France. Banned from studying at the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts until 1897, women had to find other means of artistic instruction. This lecture will examine the women of the Impressionist movement, and provide greater understanding of the social and historical factors at play in late 19th century France.

Lisa Michaux was a curator in Mia’s Prints and Drawings department from 1990 to 2010 and is now a private art consultant and dealer. She divides her time between Paris and Minnesota and loves all things French, despite her inability to master the language. Join us in welcoming her back to Mia!

Reserve your ticket through the link below or by calling 612.870.6323.

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Friends only tour with Mia’s Senior Educator

March 17, 10:50AM- 12:15PM, Mia First Floor Lobby

Ticket Price: Free

Join us for a FREE Friends Only tour developed by Debra Hegstrom, Mia’s Senior Educator.

Debra Hegstrom is Mia’s Senior Educator and oversees the docent program, which includes teaching, evaluating and coaching docents.  Debra is involved in exploring new gallery strategies that incorporate critical thinking and cultural fluency.

In this tour, we’ll examine various points of view by changing our viewing lens while looking at works of art.  Viewing art through more than one lens can offer us greater insight or a different entry point into the work. Debra received her MA and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.  We’ll meet at 10:50 in the upper lobby across from the gift shop.  The tour is limited to 15 to 18 people so contact the Friends Office ( / 612.870.3045) to register soon! 

March Book Club meets for Exit West

March 20, 2020 10:00 am


Art & Research Library

Ticket Price: Free


The Friends Book Club will meet in the Art & Research Library on the first floor of the Target Wing.  All Friends members are invited to attend.

The March selection will be the award-winning book, Exit West by Mohsin Hamid. Described as a visionary love story tracing the immigrant journey from homeland to an uncertain future in new lands, the story of Nadia and Saeed reveals the global perils that so many must face. 

Honors for this inventive work of fiction include Finalist for the Booker Prize and one of the 10 Best Books for 2017 by the New York Times Book Review.  The Review stated, “It was as if Hamid knew what was going to happen to America and the world, and gave us a road map to our future…”

The discussion will be led by docent Bruce Robbins who holds a Ph.D. in Latin American history.  During his career he spent 30 years as a diplomat and teacher for the Methodist Church. Mia docents will guide members on gallery tours following the book discussion. 

Reservations are recommended. Please call in or email a reservation prior to the Friday meeting, or 612.870.3045.   Beverages will be provided courtesy of the Friends.

For further information about this Friends Only event please contact  We hope that you will join us!   


April Friends Lecture features MacArthur Fellow

April 2, 2020 11:00 am


Pillsbury Auditorium

Ticket Price: Free

Titus Kaphar imagines a renewed and more nuanced engagement with American history in his April lecture “Making Space for Black History.”

Titus Kaphar


“Art is a language. There is always a narrative coded in the painting and sculpture. When you look at something, ask yourself, “who is represented and who is invisible?” asks Titus Kaphar.  A painter and sculptor, Kaphar is one of the country’s most exciting young artists. In 2018, he received a MacArthur Fellowship– a 5-year award given to individuals who show exceptional creativity and outstanding talent in their work. 

Kaphar imagines a renewed and more nuanced engagement with American history: envisioning new spaces for marginalized or forgotten bodies to enter and disrupt the evolving fabric of a culture. For this creator, the artist’s role is clear– to draw back the curtain on ignorance and deception and amplify the voices to those who cannot speak for themselves. 

Kaphar’s work speaks to issues around race, diversity and social change in America today. TIME Magazine commissioned him to create an artwork in response to the protests in Ferguson, Missouri. Recently, he worked with poet Reginal Dwayne Betts on The Redaction, which draws inspiration from lawsuits on behalf of people incarcerated because they cannot pay the court fees and fines. In Drawing the Blinds, Kaphar re-mixes the work of Classical and Renaissance painters to reveal forgotten figures. 

Kaphar’s works capture Roosevelt riding a horse and boldly staring into the future while nameless African Americans and Indigenous people walk on foot beside him. Who are the anonymous slaves, servants, and laborers appearing as footnotes? What values are being expressed by the constitutional monuments dotting our American Landscape? And why do we skip over chapters (entire peoples, entire histories) in our national narratives? 

To help support and give direction to the next generation of artists, Kaphar co-founded an arts incubator, NXTHVN. This $12 million nonprofit center and fellowship program nurtures rising talents.

Kaphar’s work has been included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the New Britain Museum of American Art, the Yale University Art Gallery, the Brooklyn Museum, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery and the Seattle Art Museum. He received an MFA from the Yale School of Art and a BFA from San Jose State University.

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Annual Art in Bloom Fashion Show and Luncheon Planned for April 24

April 24, 2020 10:30 am

Target Atrium

Ticket Price: $85-$175

Mark your calendars and get your tickets early for this annual Art in Bloom event featuring spring-inspired fashions and food!

Art in Bloom 2019 Fashion Show hosted by Grant Whittaker.

The Art in Bloom 2020 Fashion Show and Formal Luncheon is just around the corner. With your generous and sustained support, we continue to grow this event year after year. This spring we look forward to expanding the event, and with your help, its philanthropic impact. Please join us for another fabulous afternoon of fashion, music, and cocktails as we celebrate the spring season!

The Fashion Show & Formal Luncheon will take place on Friday, April 24, 10:30AM-2PM. Check-in begins at 10:30AM in the Star Tribune Atrium on the first floor of the Target Wing. Before the show, please join us for sparkling wine, a signature cocktail, and hors d’oeuvres in the Donna and Cargill MacMillan third floor Atrium. At 11:15AM, General Admission guests can begin gathering for the fashion show in Mia’s Contemporary and Modern Art Galleries. Around 11:45, the models will hit the runway. Immediately following, please join us in the Reception Hall for the spring inspired luncheon.

The Fashion Show is generously sponsored by the Galleria Edina and will once again be produced by internationally renowned stylist and fashion personality Grant Whittaker. We are also thrilled to announce that it will be included in the lineup for Fashion Week MN.

The Formal Luncheon is graciously sponsored by Linda and Phil Boelter and Friends, in memory of past Friends member and generous Mia supporter, Pauline Altermatt.

General admission tickets start at $85 ($35 tax-deductible) for early registration, and increase to $100 ($45 tax-deductible) after March 29, 2020. These tickets include one drink ticket for a signature cocktail, sparkling wine, or a non-alcoholic beverage during the cocktail event, general admission seating for the fashion show, and a seated lunch (gluten free and vegetarian options available) with wine. A cash bar will also be available.

VIP tickets are available for $175 ($100 tax-deductible). VIP tickets include express check-in, sparkling wine upon arrival, early admittance into the galleries, reserved front row seats for the fashion show, a swag bag, two sparkling wine or signature cocktail tickets, and priority seating at the luncheon. VIP tickets are limited, and tend to sell out quickly.

To purchase tickets and specify luncheon seating requests, please visit or call 612.870.6323. After you have purchased your ticket, you can also email Heidi Ault to confirm luncheon seating requests at

Art in Bloom raises funds to support Mia projects and Friends of the Institute initiatives, including educational programming and free transportation to Mia for young students, exhibitions, art acquisition, education, and community programs.

don’t miss February lecture by Naima J. Keith

February 13, 2020 11:00 am


Pillsbury Auditorium

Ticket Price: Free

Naima J. Keith to discuss curating and the museum of the future. 

Naima Keith Mia

Naima J. Keith
“Deep Dives into Curatorial and Educational Approaches”
A Mark and Mary Goff Fiterman Lecture presented by Friends of the Institute and Mia

Naima J. Keith, the new Vice President of Education and Public Programs at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) will be presenting “Deep Dives into Curatorial and Educational Approaches” at our February lecture on

Tickets are free but must be reserved by following the link at the bottom of the page, or calling 612.870.6323.

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February 13, 2020 12:30 pm


Reception Hall

Ticket Price: $30

February luncheon to be held immediately following the February Friends Lecture.

Following the February 13 lecture by Naima Keith, “Deep Dives into Curatorial and Educational Approaches,” join the Friends for a Valentine’s luncheon in the Reception Hall, Target Wing.

The menu includes a Strawberry, Feta, Spinach Side Salad served with red onions, pecans, and poppy seed dressing, Sundried Tomato Stuffed Chicken with Roasted Red Pepper Vodka Sauce served with mashed potatoes and roasted veggies, followed by Mini Strawberry/Rhubarb Crisp topped with Chantilly cream (Gluten Free & Vegan).  A vegan option of Trottole Pasta topped with roasted veggies and marinara will be available; please request when making your reservation.

The cost is $30 including tax and gratuities. All reservations MUST be received by Thursday, February 6, by 4 p.m.  Tickets are available through the link below or by calling 612.870.6323.

This event is a Friends Only Event. Join the Friends today and attend the event!

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Behind the scenes: Framing at Mia

February 18, 2020 11:00 am


Target Wing, Mia

Ticket Price: Free

Ever wondered how they decide which frame to use with various works of art? Now’s your chance to find out! 

Jason Ressler, Framing Technician at Mia.

Join us for a Friends Only tour Tuesday, February 18 at 11AM with Mia Framing Technicians Jason Ressler and Sam Molstad.  We’ll tour the framing facilities to see some of the tools and materials they use, and then go into the galleries to look at art through the eyes of professional framers.

Each of Mia’s Framing Technicians has studied art and apprenticed in matting, framing, and shipping for many years, including locally at the Swedish Institute and the Walker Art Center before coming to Mia.

Don’t miss the opportunity to get a glimpse behind-the-scenes! Limited to 20 Friends, so don’t wait; to reserve your spot, contact the Friends Office  at 612.870.3045 or

This event is a Friends Only Event. Join the Friends today and attend the event!

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The Story of Arthur Truluv:  A Novel by Elizabeth Berg is February’s book

February 21, 2020 10:00 am


Mia Library

Ticket Price: Free

 “A beautiful, life-affirming novel about a remarkably loving man who creates for himself and others second chances at happiness.”


The Friends Book Club will meet on the third Friday in February to discuss a book that, while about loss, is optimistic and life-affirming. 

This month’s discussion will be led by docent Julie Holland who will explore the theme of how small acts can turn friends into family.  Mia’s docents will guide members on gallery tours following the book discussion.  Beverages will be provided courtesy of the Friends. We hope that you will join us!   

For further information about this Friends Only event, please contact To reserve your spot; or 612.870.3045.  

This event is a Friends Only Event. Join the Friends today and attend the event!

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