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A show of Minnesota Somali artists looks at community healing

Monday April 22, 2024
By Alex V. Cipolle

"Art of Liberation" exhibition at the Soomaal House of Art featuring a "Healing Aqai (Hut)" installation by Ifrah Mansour, a painting by Mohamed Hersi and photos by Aesha Mohamed and Yasmin Yassin. Courtesy of Somaal House of Art

The Soomaal House of Art and the Somali Museum of Minnesota, both of Minneapolis, have curated a new art exhibition: “Art As Liberation: A Journey Through Collective Healing.”

“Art as Liberation” features the work of six visuals artists from the Twin Cities Somali community — Ifrah Mansour, Mohamed Hersi, Yasmin Yassin, Khadija Charif, Aesha Mohamed and Abdurahman Ali — as well as the work as well as the work of Tariq Tarey of Columbus, Ohio.

“We've had multiple conversations of reimagining the various traumas or difficulties that our community has gone through, and how can we come together and lean into either traditional practices, or lean into more contemporary practices in healing,” says Sadia Ali, a co-curator and program coordinator for the museum, of the exhibition’s theme. “Those processes might be easier coming from artists as they work through their own personal experiences and put it on display for people.”

Co-curator Mohamud Mumin, a founder of Soomaal House of Art, says there will be paintings, photography and immersive art on view.

“For me as a curator and also a practicing artist myself, all art is liberative,” Mumin says. “It liberates the maker, it liberates the person who engages with it.”

“Art of Liberation” is on view through May 4 at the Soomaal House of Art in the Seward neighborhood. Mumin says it's the first event of 2024 for the Somali artists collective. There will be an artist talk 5 p.m., April 27, and a closing event with open mic at 5 p.m., May 4.


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