1. “Anthropocene”: Edward Burtynsky’s large-scale aerial photographs, showing the tangible and devastating impact of man on the environment, made for a breathtaking exhibition at Weinstein Hammons Gallery.
2. “Siah Armajani: Follow This Line”: Named for a childhood game that Armajani and friends played back in Tehran, the famed Minneapolis artist’s Walker Art Center retrospective spanned 60-plus years of work, from early conceptual experiments to his iconic bridges and new political sculptures.
3. “Egypt’s Sunken Cities”: From massive granite statues to tiny gold earrings, this show, on display until April at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, includes nearly 300 objects excavated by underwater archaeologists who discovered missing links to understanding the cult of Osiris, god of the underworld.
4. “Sara Cwynar: Image Model Muse”: In her first solo museum show, this Canadian-born artist investigated kitsch and the strange nature of reproducing (and questioning) reality, through three short films and 11 photographs that exploded with color at Mia.
5. “Nimbus” on Nicollet Mall: The long haul to complete Tristan Al-Haddad’s 20,000-pound, halo-like structure is wrapping up as 2018 closes. Visitors will be able to sit beneath it and be bathed in pure light.
6. “Art(ists) on the Verge 9”: Five Minnesota artists considered the impact of technology on culture in this annual exhibition, originally planned at the Soap Factory, but moved to the resurgent Rochester Art Center because of financial troubles at the Soap.
7. Opening of the Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery: A mix of historical artifacts and contemporary artwork marks the beginning of the first (successful) museum of its kind in Minnesota.
8. “Allen Ruppersberg: Intellectual Property”: The L.A. conceptual artist’s retrospective at the Walker took viewers through assemblage works created from the natural landscape to a remake of his half-real business, half-parody environment Al’s Cafe.
9. “Birth Project: Born Again”: This exhibit at St. Catherine University showed there’s more to Judy Chicago than her epic 1970s feminist work “The Dinner Party.” Lesser-known needlepoint and silk-screen pieces from the 1980s focused on the physical body and childbirth.
10. “The Fantastical Worlds of Kim Simonsson”: The Finnish artist’s creepy ceramic sculptures of kidlike warriors and adult characters — some of them covered in mosslike fiber — haunted the American Swedish Institute’s 110-year-old mansion.