Latino art exhibit branding for the Minneapolis Institute of Arts  

Company: The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Project: Latino Art Exhibit Branding.
Purpose: Showcase art created by six Latino, Minneapolis-based, fellowship-earning immigrants who are renowned in the U.S. for their varying art forms. The exhibitors’ objective was to deliver a highly memorable experience to draw new visitors and encourage return visits.
Solution: Use unique and unconventional outreach techniques to attract recent arrival Latino immigrants who otherwise would not consider a museum visit, while simultaneously captivating American museum guests. To do so, familiar, high-touch, experiential, informational and entertaining tactics were deployed:

  1. Exhibit theme – “Latinization of Minneapolis’ Lake Street area” (representing the U.S./Mexico border reality) explored the definition/role of art in the U.S.(high art versus low art)
  2. Exhibit invite – Use an atypical poster format seemingly promoting Mexican wrestling (“wrestlers” were actually the artists), clearly setting invitee event expectations
  3. Guerilla outreach – Go directly into Latino neighborhoods to personally invite residents, assuring them of free event attendance and an unforgettable first-time museum visit
  4. Traditional marketing – Combine direct marketing, email blasts, posters, print advertising (MIA budget), public relations and a press kit for event promotion
  5. Experiential art exhibit opening – Exhibitors greeted visitors dressed in traditional Mexican wrestler outfits, later hosting a mock wrestling match (fine art replicas were symbolically used as “weapons”)
  6. The museum purchased for their permanent collection the wrestlers capes and masks to include in the exhibit, showcasing the traditional “low art” alongside the fine “high art” displays.
  7. Catalog – All exhibited art and exhibitor biographies, Twin Cities arts cultural evolution insights, contact information and press conference releases were included in a branded exhibit catalog

The Frontera Lake Street Exhibit drew, on the opening night at least 450 people who would not otherwise have visited the Minneapolis Museum of Art. The “experiential” exhibit created extensive, local cultural buzz.