1. "The Contemporary Print: 20 Years at Highpoint Editions." This year the Minneapolis Institute of Art purchased the complete archive of work from Highpoint Center for Printmaking, a pillar of Minnesota's art scene. Mia's groundbreaking exhibit showcased 175 of the 310 published prints and multiples that joined a collection of over 40,000 prints at the museum.
2. "Liberatory Adornment." Three artists explore the politics of hair care as protection and power, pink as a radical color, and consumerism as a relational art practice for Black and Latinx people in this show at St. Olaf College's Flaten Art Museum.
3. Rube Goldberg. The iconic Jewish American cartoonist — whose playful "machines" which create dozens of steps to perform a simple task — is honored in a two-part exhibition organized by his grandson, Geoffrey George, and the Minnesota Jewish Community Center.
4. "Envisioning Evil." Mauricio Lasansky's famous series of drawings reflecting the horrors of the Holocaust felt just as painfully poignant in this exhibit at Mia as they did when they debuted a half-century ago.
5. Rayyane Tabet's "Deep Blues." The San Francisco/Beirut-based artist fell into 10 shades of blue — IBM's signature hue — in a color-drenched gallery at Walker Art Center, where decommissioned IBM Eames chairs hung from the ceiling, and an artificial-intelligence voice recited the company's history in a show that was half corporate critique, half eerie coincidence.
6. Eric-Paul Riege. The Diné and German-American artist comes from a family of weavers. His exhibit at Minneapolis' Bockley Gallery wove together "many time periods, lives, people," as the artist put it, through soft hanging objects such as touch-friendly earrings that became totems of memory.
7. "Julie Mehretu." The internationally renowned abstract painter's retrospective finally arrived at the Walker, which helped launch her career 20 years ago.
8. "Out My Window." The pandemic canceled travel plans, but photographer Gail Albert Halaban's beautiful images of people pictured through their apartment windows took you to Paris, Rome, Istanbul and elsewhere in this show at Weinstein Hammons Gallery.
9. "Kindertransport." This powerful exhibition at the American Swedish Institute explored the stories of 10,000 Jewish children who were spirited out of Nazi Europe before World War II. To make it even more local, three survivors shared their stories, and ASI added a section about kids who went to Sweden.
10. "Pressing Issues: Printmaking as Social Justice in the 1930s United States." Contemporary issues such as gender inequality, economic disparity, racialized violence and labor exploitation surfaced in this Weisman Art Museum show of approximately 40 prints commissioned as part of the federal New Deal nearly 100 years ago.