In 2008 the MIA launched an initiative to focus on the art of our times. Through its new Department of Contemporary Art, the museum brings a fresh dynamism to its galleries by collecting and exhibiting works by living artists. This initiative emphasizes the relationships among historical art, diverse cultures, and contemporary art-making.
Contemporary art of the region continues to be represented by the Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program (MAEP) as well as by selected projects with local artists, architects, designers, and other creative thinkers. In collaboration with other MIA curatorial departments, the Department of Contemporary Art engages both local and global artists to create public and site-specific work at the MIA.