Since it opened in September 2013, Instinct Art Gallery has built a reputation as the go-to place for contemporary art with provocative ideas. As a showplace for Midwestern talents, Instinct uses its prominent location on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis to champion the notion that art is — and should be — more than just a pretty distraction on the wall. Its shows have dealt with such “socially relevant” issues as environmental degradation, species mutation and over-medication. Never heavy-handed or preachy, Instinct art typically makes its points with wit, humor, insight and a healthy dose of excellent craftsmanship. 940 Nicollet Mall, Mpls.; 612-208-0696;