Founded in 2000 by Xavier Tavera and Dougie Padilla, Grupo Soap del Corazón celebrates latino artists and culture and the latinization of Minnesota and the upper midwest of the USA.  To date, Grupo Soap has featured the work of almost 90 artists, local, regional, and international.

A native of Mexico City and a resident of Minnesota for over twenty years, Xavier Tavera has been a professional photographer for 25+ years. His work centers on the Mexican diaspora, its people and places, its cultural events and rituals. His work centers on "soul", seeing the most basic humanity in people, their spaces and things. A professor of art at the University of Minnesota, married and the step-father of two,  he returns often to Mexico to see family and photograph. (

Dougie Padilla is a life-long resident of Minnesota/Iowa/Wisconsin of Norwegian-Mexican-cowboy roots. He is primarily a painter, but he also draws, sculpts, makes prints and ceramics, creates installations and ofrendas, does ritual, writes, and performs. He lives with his wonderful wife in the Northeast Minneapolis arts district that he helped create and spends much of his time at his studio building in lovely, rural Pepin, Wisconsin. He is a father of two and grandfather of seven and is glad to live in this magical but oft problematic world. (