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Minneapolis Art Lending Library
Minneapolis, MN, USA
Admission: $0.00
This service is completely free to all.
If you are a first-time borrower, please make sure to bring a state-issued ID.
Lending events are every three months. Find Future Events

The Minneapolis Art Lending Library (“MALL”) is a program created to share original works of art with the public. MALL’s mission is to provide exposure for artists, build ongoing support of the arts, and share the joy of art with all community members, regardless of financial standing. The MALL collection features a changing selection of contemporary artwork, with a focus on work from Twin Cities artists. Participating artists include printmakers, painters, photographers and sculptors.

Minneapolis Art Lending Library
Image courtesy of Minneapolis Art Lending Library

How the Minneapolis Art Lending Library Works

Every three months, the MALL is open to the public to come and browse its collection of over 100 original artworks. Patrons can choose to check out and take home a favorite piece. All you need to borrow art is a state-issued ID. After two months, borrowers return their piece at a pre-scheduled return event.

With Kids? Really?

I asked this question because my children are destructive. They seem to have sharpie radar and can turn anything small enough to pick up into a projectile. This is what I was told:

[W]e think artwork should be a part of all homes! … [W]e leave it up to borrowers to determine the safest location for artwork in a home with small children.

However, keep in mind, if your children do go on a Sharpie rampage, you may be asked to pay for the piece – just like with the public library. Personally, knowing my children have mostly left alone the paintings on my walls, I would be comfortable checking out wall-art, but would leave sculptures for someone else. Much of the art in their collection is whimsical and family friendly. Kids may enjoy being able to help choose art for the home.

Minneapolis Art Lending Library

Artist Fellows and Interactive Activities at Lending Events

Lending events each feature an artist fellow, who leads an interactive arts activity. These activities are always open the visitors of all ages, and the MALL specifically requests that artists plan family-friendly activities. Even if you are not quite ready to make the borrowing commitment, these events could be a great way to meet some real local artists.

Minneapolis Art Lending Library

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