An on-going professional exhibition program begun in 1992 under the leadership of Mary Towley Swanson, and the exhibition program has grown to be a permanent fixture of campus life, primarily in the lobby of O'Shaughnessy Education Center. Past exhibitions include fiber art, selections of Western and American Indian Art, Sacred Arts, contemporary quilts from the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, slave quilts, book art, calligraphy, two and three dimensional works, photography, and kinetic architecture. Student assistants engage in hands-on learning in curatorial skills. Four annual exhibitions promote emerging, established, local and national artists, as well as alums, in an effort to expose the St. Thomas community to different genres and thematic concepts. This program also serves to build bridges to the surrounding community as a whole.
The artist reception for the fall exhibit is part of The College Art Gallery Collaborative Fall Art Tour. The Fall Art Tour is a multi-campus gallery tour that gives visitors the opportunity to visit their neighborhood galleries and enjoy art, refreshments and music on free shuttle buses.
The Art History Department collaborates with numerous external and internal groups to provide exhibitions that appeal to a broad range of people and serves the educational purpose for which it is also intended. It also holds memberships in a variety of professional organizations, such as Twin Cities Fine Arts, the Arts and Culture Partnership, the Minnesota and American Associations of Museums, and the College Art Association.