The Year Ahead Starts with Your Membership

Renew now to take advantage of all the wonderful things 2022 has in store for the Friends.

Friends President Julie Holland, Eike Schmidt, Director of the Uffizi Galleries, Mayor of Minneapolis Jacob Frey, and Katie Luber, Nivin and Duncan MacMillan Director and President of the Minneapolis Institute of Art

2022 has been such an exciting month for the Friends! In January, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey proclaimed January 20th “Friends of the Institute Day” and the Minneapolis 35-W Bridge was lit up in our signature Friends Blue. The proclamation was followed by our first in-person lecture in twenty-one months featuring Eike Schmidt, the director of the Uffizi Galleries in Florence, Italy.

Fast forward to February, also known as Friends February—a time when we continue to celebrate 100 years as part of the Mia family but also look forward to the future and all it holds as we continue a future of celebration and support of Mia.

March and April hold more exciting events. A Friends lecture with local artist and activist Seitu Ken Jones, a multidisciplinary artist, advocate and maker based in St. Paul takes place on March 10th and our monthly Friends-Only book club is back online and then in April, our annual ode to spring opens on April 27th with our Preview Party, as well as another Friends lecture and the Centennial Luncheon.

That’s the near future but did you know that in the recent past:

  • Our Transportation Fund has brought more than 25,000 school children to Mia in the past 10 years?
  • Art in Bloom brings over 40,000 visitors to Mia each spring? 
  • The Friends have made many, many contributions to Mia’s collection, including a Delacroix painting that now hangs in Gallery 321?
  • The Friends launched the docent program as well as Art Adventure and other volunteer communities to support Mia?

We could not have built this vital organization without the thousands of members and volunteers who have shared our passion for Mia over these 100 years. And we need you to help our organization thrive. How can you help? Renew your Friends membership!

Memberships now run for the calendar year, starting in January each year. So make the most of your Friends membership in 2022 and renew today! Click HERE to renew, stop by our table at lectures, or call 612-870-6323 to sign up.

As a reminder, all Friends members in good standing will receive a beautiful hardcover copy of Friends for 100 Years: A Lasting Legacy (while supplies last) and be invited to all centennial events as well as all of our regular Friends programming like lectures, docent tours, book club and Art in Bloom! 

We look forward to seeing you at Mia!


Friends Lecture: Seitu Jones

March 10, 2022 11:00 am


Pillsbury Auditorium

Ticket Price: Free

Seitu Jones is a multi-disciplinary artist, and community organizer, known for his large-scale public artworks, and environmental designs.  He works both independently and in collaboration with other artists, and has created over 40 large-scale public works. He has created sets for multiple Twin Cities theaters. His art has been exhibited at Mia, the Walker Art Center, the American Folk Art museum in New York, and the Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC. 

Seitu was born in Minneapolis in 1951 and has degrees in environmental history and landscape design.  He is retired from the faculty of the Interdisciplinary Arts MFA program at Goddard College in Port Townsend, WA.

He is a 4th generation Minnesotan. His great grandfather, who was born into slavery, relocated to Minnesota in the 1870s, first settling in Red Wing, and then Rochester.  His grandparents lived in the Rondo area of St. Paul.

His father, aunts, and uncles were all creatives, and inspired Seitu.

Seitu finds inspiration in so many places. He uses the spirit of improvisation in his work, which is in the sphere of African and Afro-Atlantic traditions. Much of his art centers around placemaking, creating, and manipulating space, while working with the community to change and transform, temporarily, a space to create a sense of place. He is also influenced by music, and always wanted to be a musician. When he won a Sally Award he bought a bass violin, and took lessons at the Walker West Music Academy.

He digs deep into the role that plants play in our environment, and spends time hanging out with plants and nature. Another big part of his work is passing on information, knowledge, and culture to new artists coming up behind him. He is influenced by the Black Arts Movement, and its belief that artists have an obligation to leave their community “more beautiful than they found it”.

In 2013 he received a Joyce Award from the Joyce Foundation in Chicago, which allowed him to develop “Create”, a dinner for 2,000 people at a table one half mile long, that in part was organized to show Frogtown residents how the food system works.

In addition to all of the above, he has collaborated on a number of projects, with his wife, Soyini Guytonand with fellow St. Paul artist, Ta-coumba Aiken for the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Last but not least; Jones received the McKnight Distinguished Arts Award in 2017, which honors a Minnesota artist who has made a significant contribution to the states’ cultural life.  With his designs, his artistic vision has become an indelible part of Minnesota’s cultural landscape, according to Kate Wolford, president of the McKnight Foundation.

Seitu Jones has demonstrated what’s possible, when an artist with a hopeful vision and a generous spirit sets down deep roots in his community!

We look forward to seeing you all at his talk the next Friends lecture March 10th in Pillsbury auditorium at Mia at 11am.
You are in for a TREAT!
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Friends Lecture: Save the Date

SAVE THE DATE – April 14, 2022, 11:00AM

Join us for the Friends Lecture Series with Patrick Noon, retired Mia curator, and the fascinating story of the Delacroix!

Eugène Delacroix, (French, 1798–1863), Still Life with Dahlias, Zinnias, Hollyhocks and Plums, c. 1835, oil on canvas, Gift of funds from the Friends of the Institute in celebration of their 100th anniversary, with generous support from Nivin MacMillan, Mary Agnes and Al McQuinn, Sheila C. Morgan, Mary and Douglas Olson, Carol Burton Gray, Nikki and Ron Lewis, Lucy Crosby Mitchell, Linda and Phil Boelter, Pamela and Mark Friedland, Katie and Steve Remole, Elizabeth Short and Kirk Cozine, Samuel and Patricia McCullough, Lucille Amis, Carolyn and Tucker Dahl, Maria Eggemeyer, Martha Head, Heidi Ault and Gretchen Holland, Ed and Teresa Luterbach, Jane and Thomas Nelson, Suzanne C. and William B. Payne, Constance Sommers, Marilyn Sundberg, Marietta and Jot Turner, and gifts made in memory of Teresa Pfister, 2017.52

Friends Only Event

March 8, 2022 11:00 am



Ticket Price: Free

We invite you to join our March Friends Event on Tuesday, March 8 which will feature Mia Guide Josie Owens. Josie will lead our discussion on “Pride: Fluidity in Art and Life.” 

Josie’s tour will explore the GLTBQ movement in the lives and works of artists in a variety of societies, time periods and around the world. 

We will also discuss race, sexuality, gender identity, and fluidity through religions. 

Josie is a graduate of the 2015 Docent class at Mia. 

Please RSVP by March 5 at or call 612-870- 3245. 

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

Join The Friends

Friends Book Club

March 18, 2022 10:00 am



Ticket Price: Free

Mark your calendar for Friday, March 18, at 10 am for a guided art tour and a lively discussion at Friends Book Club, all on Zoom.

March bursts forth with Mia’s Supernatural America exhibition and our Friends book tour with The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. Between life and death there is a library whose books allow the main character, Nora, to make changes in her past. With the help of an old friend, Nora can undo every decision she regrets as she tries to work out her perfect life. But things are not always what she imagined they’d be. What might your choices be? Please join us as we view the story enhanced by Mia’s fabulous works of art.

Please sign up with the Friends Office at or 612-870-3045.

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

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

Join The Friends

President’s Letter

Dear Members,

January is membership month. On January 20, 1922, 45 women gathered in the museum’s boardroom to officially launch Friends of the Institute. Membership fees at that time were $2, which would be $30 in today’s dollars.

This month we begin to celebrate our centennial with engaging events scheduled throughout the year. We eagerly anticipate April, when flowers will return to the galleries for a spectacular Art in Bloom.

Through the gracious support of a loyal Friend, each member will receive a complimentary coffee-table book titled Friends for 100 Years: A Lasting Legacy.

Your $50 membership fee supports the Friends and our initiatives to support, enhance and sustain the collection, programs and influence of the Minneapolis Institute of Art.

Renewing is easy – just call 612-870-6323.

My very best,

Creating Memories

Creating Memories is the new name for the centennial-focused column, Stepping Back in Time.

Over five years ago, when this committee started planning for the Friends centennial celebration, 2022 seemed so far away.

And as so many know, time has a way of flying by. This year is the beginning of creating memories for the next 100 years of the Friends. Plenty of activities are planned for members throughout the year.

What everyone enjoys, and is everlasting, is a photo of Friends together. We all call ourselves photographers these days, so please take the time to capture moments when we are together at Friends events. Send your photos to Claire Goulson at with pertinent information. We will look forward to sharing many of these photos in upcoming newsletter editions, but more importantly, to having a record going forth. Here is your opportunity to create memories and history. A huge thank you in advance!

Looking back at last month, we recall the beautiful display created by Friends member Chris Vickery. Visitors to the Friends office were greeted by the entrancing arrangement of the beloved Friends angels in needlepoint surrounding the 2015 Art in Bloom poster.

Twenty-five years ago, talented Friends members created 75 such stockings to commemorate the Friends 75th anniversary. Visitors to the holiday tree installed near Mia’s 24th Street entrance have been delighted to find these pieces proudly displayed in past years.



Also, in December the public had the opportunity to enjoy Mia’s artfully decorated lions flanking this same 24th Street entrance. These grand lions were a generous gift from former Friends president Ella Crosby (1960-62) dedicated to the memory of her husband, Tom, in honor of the Friends 75th anniversary in 1997. How wonderful to have the Friends Plants and Flowers committee involved in providing this holiday splendor for the community to enjoy.

April brings the exciting exhibition curated by Tom Rassieur, the John E. Andrus III Curator of Prints and Drawings. The exhibition will highlight past Art in Bloom images and the brilliant Eugene Delacroix painting, “Still Life with Dahlias, Zinnias, Hollyhocks, and Plums.”

Everyone knows Friends members love to be involved with the organization. With so many events on the calendar this year, volunteer opportunities are abundant. Please contact Claire Goulson at friends@artsmia or 612-870-3045 with your name and we will do our best to find a spot for you to show your talents. Being together, meeting new Friends is such an integral part of why you are a member of the Friends.

Stay warm, stay safe! We look forward to seeing you all at the Friends centennial celebrations!

Friends History Publication Committee

Pamela Friedland
Linda Goldenberg
Mary Merrick
Suzanne Payne
Connie Sommers



February Friends Lecture

February 10, 2022 11:00 am


Pillsbury Auditorium

Ticket Price: Free

Join us on February 10 at 11am when the Friends Lecture series welcomes Star Tribune theater critic Rohan Preston.

Please note: In accordance with the current City of Minneapolis mandate, Mia now requires all visitors ages 5 and older to show proof of full Covid-19 vaccination. Mia also requires all visitors to wear a mask.

A Life of Imagination: How an Immigrant Kid Found His Passion — and Freedom — in the Arts

Photo credit: Thomas John Wallace

Star Tribune theater critic Rohan Preston grew up with parents, both Jamaican immigrants, who were so fearful of 1970s and ‘80s New York, they forbade their children to just go “hang out.” Their fear was that their children would literally be eaten up by the concrete jungle. But the youngsters could go to the Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza, to various museums, and to live performances of music and theater, including Broadway. Preston overindulged, becoming a glutton for cultural knowledge and experience not just for aesthetic reasons but because paintings and books, music, opera and dance literally meant freedom, as his teenage mind perceived it. That experiential education gave him a foundation that he polished at Yale, where he studied English and critical theory, devising his own path to becoming both an appreciator and an arbiter of arts and culture.

Preston was born in Jamaica and grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where he attended an arts magnet high school. His fascination with the theater began in the 10th grade when he began writing plays and poetry. In college, in addition to his coursework, Preston wrote for a variety of student publications, which enabled him to develop a marketable skill. Following graduation, he and a friend moved to Chicago in the hope of launching careers as playwrights, but it was writing theater reviews that kept him afloat.  Freelance writing for the Chicago Tribune and as a stringer for The New York Times eventually led to full-time employment at the Tribune. He was recruited by the Minneapolis Star Tribune in 1998 to be the paper’s theater critic and has remained in the Twin Cities ever since.

Over his decades as a theater critic, Rohan Preston has interviewed a raft of luminary artists, including playwrights Arthur Miller, August Wilson, Edward Albee and Tony Kushner. He has the unique distinction of being an Emmy Award-winning critic, having led a Star Tribune team that won the coveted award for a documentary on the historic 2008 elections. Preston has twice served on the Pulitzer jury for drama. In addition to his journalistic pursuits, Preston continues to compose poetry, write plays and take photographs, and loves to till the soil at home with his wife, poet Angela Shannon, and, when they visit, their two adult daughters.

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Friends Only Tour

February 8, 2022 11:00 am



Ticket Price: Free

Friends Events welcomes you to join us February 8 at 11 AM via Zoom.

Former print dealer and Mia Guide Cara Richardson will present highlights from Mia’s collection of late modern and contemporary prints while exploring various printmaking techniques. We will look at contemporary print artists that are perhaps less well known, including a number of Black American print artists in honor of Black History month. We will discuss how and why it is important to create, build, and broaden your own print collection.

Please RSVP by February 5 to or call the Friends office at 612-870-3245.

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

Join The Friends

Friends Book Club

February 18, 2022 10:00 am



Ticket Price: Free

Friends Book Club
Friday, February 18, 2022
10 AM on Zoom

Mark your calendar for Friday, February 18 at 10 am for a guided art tour and a lively discussion at Friends Book Club, all on Zoom.

February is Valentine month. Come get your dose of romance with this month’s book selection of The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. Two unlikely people meet; neither fit each other’s expectations for a partner. And guess what: They fall in love, but will their relationship work out in the end?

Let’s have fun with the madcap adventures of the two infatuated characters and view the story enhanced by Mia’s fabulous works of art.

Please sign up with Claire Goulson at or 612-870-3045.

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

Join The Friends

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