Reedy Gallery

Free with gate admission.

Then and Now: Somali Stories Through Art

February 22–April 22

Everyone has a story to tell. The Arboretum is honored to present the stories of local Somali artists living and working in our communities. Featuring contemporary artist Ifrah Mansour, photographer Ridwan Omar and painter Aziz Osman, this two-month long engagement in the Arobretum's Reedy Gallery offers a glimpse into the lives - past, present and future - of these accomplished artists from another culture who now call Minnesota their home.

Somali Nomadic House by Ifrah Mansour

Ifrah Mansour

An exciting, contemporary artist, Mansour expresses her sense of the world with video, sculpture and performance. These works reach out to build bridges between traditional and modern life. She is a storyteller at heart and her works talk about history, alongside current events with honesty, respect and humor.


Ridwan Omar

Ridwan Omar

A fashion photographer and photojournalist, Omar's work for this show merges his desire to document Somali fashion using the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum conservatory as a backdrop. The colors of the Baati, a classic cotton dress work by the model, complements the natural beauty found in the setting.


Aziz Osman

Aziz Osman

Osman paints what he sees and what he remembers. His works evoke a time before the civil war in Somalia - canvases filled with joyful colors, women sipping tea, a couple resting in the shade, a local fruit market - all happy memories. His images tell stories to those from Somalia but he strives to educate those without that experience, especially Somali-American youths.


Woman in Pink mosiac

Hands Across the World

Two pieces in the show come from Hands Across the World, a St. Cloud non-profit that helps immigrants acclimate to new environments, while honoring tradition and history. The mosiac entitled "Beauty & Strength, Women of Africa," consists of six panels made by groups of immigrant women which have individual meaning while as a group tell stories of sisterhood and respect for one another. The second installation, "Hand Banner, is the result of a class to teach refugees new skills. Armed with sewing machines and applique embellishments, each hand has a story to tell. Tracing and cutting their own hands, the women add their personal mark to the banner.


Free Opening Reception: Dancers, Speakers and
Tours in English and Somali

Saturday, March 3
12–4 p.m.

A reception for the artists features traditional weavers, the Somali Museum Dance Troupe, Osman Ali, founder of the Somali Museum of Minnesota and henna artists. Samboosas and tea will be served. Free gate admission for this event.

Metro Regional Arts CouncilThis exhibit is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.


Coming Soon

Origami Art Show
May–November 2018

Reedy Gallery

The Reedy Gallery, established through the generosity of Darwin and Geri Reedy, offers eclectic interpretations of nature's beauty, outdoor landscapes and scenes by talented, award-winning artists with roots in Minnesota. Works in oil, pastel, watercolor, acrylic and other media add nature-inspired artistry to engage visitors in exploring the beauty and wonders of the outdoors at the Arboretum.

Subscribe to info on art exhibit openings, Meet the Artist and gallery events from curator Wendy DePaolis at

Typically, four to five fine art exhibits are presented each year, touching on seasonal themes and explorations. Informal tours are offered weekly by trained volunteer docents and staff. Often, artists talks and painting demonstrations are scheduled in the Great Hall or in the gardens to round out the exhibit. Reedy Gallery exhibits are open year-round during Visitor Center hours and are free with Arboretum admission. 

Art in the Reedy Gallery is for sale, with a portion of the proceeds from each sale directly benefitting the Arboretum as well as helping to support the local arts community.  Purchases can be made through the Arboretum Gift Store

The Arboretum is pleased to work with the local arts community in curating and organizing exhibits  Please contact arts curator, Wendy DePaolis at if you are interested in showing your work as part of a future exhibit.