On October 25th - November 8th, The Soap Factory presents Rethinking Public Spaces project, Trestle Support Systems, by Pete Driessen at the Northern Pacific Rail Yard site in Brainerd, MN. Created with red pine wood and metal hardware, Trestle Support Systems is a solo public art project presenting two monumental site specific installations, Trestle and Trestle Worker, reflecting the architectural spatiality of the former rail yard spaces, referencing empowerment of the past community worker, and utilizing ideas of affective stimuli, physical embodiment and rural vacancy.

The duo installations include two unique sound works composed by Michael Masura Flora. For more information on his work visit:


Northern Pacific Railroad Yard 1511 Northern Pacific Road, Brainerd, MN 56401
OPENING RECEPTION: October 28th, 6:00pm-9:00pm

Northern Pacific Rail Yard Tours 4pm & 5 pm
After Party: Roundhouse Brewery 9-10 pm
Twin Cities based visitors can catch a bus to the event from The Soap Factory at 2pm the bus will leave Brainerd at 8pm. Sign up to take bus here.


October 29th, 1:00pm

Artist Dialogue and Tour with the artist, Pete Driessen; art critic and curator, Sheila Dickinson; and sound artist, Michael Masura Flora at 1 pm.


Wednesday, October 25th - Saturday, November 4th - 11am-6pm closed Monday, October 30th. Also by appointment, for appointments please email

Pete Driessen is a fiscal year 2017 recipient of an Artist Initiative Grant from the MN State Arts Board. This activity is funded in part by the MN State Legislature from the State's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund with money from the vote of the creative people of MN on November 4, 2008.

This project is supported and presented as part of Here & There: Rethinking Public Spaces, The Soap Factory's 2017 public programming. Rethinking Public Spaces presents artist projects that enliven underutilized spaces throughout Minnesota, rethinking public space and considering what it means to place-make through a contemporary, celebratory, and critical lens.

About the Artist

Pete Driessen is a Minneapolis based multipractice visual artist, curator, and cultural producer who creates abstract and sociopolitical paintings, mixed media ship fleets, found object installations, conceptual art statements, interdisciplinary public art, and performative participatory projects. Driessen received his MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier, VT, and BA from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul. Pete was recently named Minneapolis City Pages 2015 Artist of the Year, and has been awarded numerous regional grants and awards, including a 2015 Jerome/FSP Fellowship at Franconia Sculpture Park for his Franconia Boat Tower project, a 2014 MRAC Next Step grant for his Silverwood Park sculpture project, and two MSAB Artist Initiative grants (2017, 2013). Pete's exhibition record includes national and regional solo and group exhibitions at a wide range of venues. He currently directs and curates a hybridic, experimental garage-basEd Gallery known as TuckUnder Projects that specializes in emerging and midcareer artists focusing on conceptual visual arts practice, curatorial projects, and institutional critique. About the Location The Northern Pacific Railroad yard is a large historic grouping of 12 brick and wood beam buildings that sit on a colossal 47-acre plot of land in Brainerd, MN. The massive industrial site contains the aesthetic atmosphere and former physical workings of the past turn-of-the-century railroad era. The old railroad Blacksmith Shop building is 50,000 square feet, with 20-foot high sidewalls, an 80-foot wide cross span, and concrete floors. Listed on National Register of Historic Places and a former EPA Superfund site, the NP setting is centrally located near the geographic center of the state. Both the industrial rawness and the monumental scale of the Northern Pacific site and its Blacksmith Shop space are reflective of Minnesota's architectural history and our current need for regional creative public arts.

About Here & There

Pete Driessen: Trestle Support Systems is one of several public projects being presented by The Soap Factory as a part of Here & There. Here & There is The Soap Factory's out-of-building programming during 2017 while the building undergoes renovation. Here & There includes a residency exchange program with Kultivera in Trånas, Sweden and Rethinking Public Spaces, public projects that will take place directly outside of The Soap Factory and around the state of Minnesota including locations such as; Rochester, Willmar, and Brainerd.

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