-Minnesota State Arts Board - Minnesota North Star

2007 Grant Recipients

Artist Initiative Grants

Dance | Theater | Visual Arts


Number of grants awarded: 8
Total dollars awarded: $45,500

David DeBlieck, Saint Cloud
$6,000; to create a choreography laboratory to continue his work choreographing innovative dances on found structures.

Kats Fukasawa, Minneapolis
$6,000; to deepen and enhance his development as a Butoh artist by attending the Subbody Butoh School Himalaya in Dharamsala, India.

Matthew J. Janczewski, Minneapolis
$6,000; to undertake his largest project to date and, with the realization of this project, also create a new development process for his work. He will present a workshop performance at Intermedia Arts, then incorporate audience feedback into a full-length piece, "Ugly," premiering in October 2007 at the Walker Art Center.

Aparna Ramaswamy, Minneapolis
$6,000; to work on a piece that is cross-cultural and multidisciplinary, most notably involving New York visual artist Terry Rosenberg; her new project will reach a new level of sophistication in production elements.

Morgan Thorson, Minneapolis
$6,000; to enable Thorson's work to break into the national dance scene in a very prestigious way, by participating in the Association of Performing Arts Presenters' conference in New York.

Galen Treuer, Minneapolis
$6,000; to participate in eight weeks of training and collaboration in tantztheater ("dance theater"), to work with international artists in Hamburg on the creation of a performance installation, and to attend ImpulsTanz and Tanz im August, where he will network with peers and study new techniques and form.

Vanessa Voskuil, Minneapolis
$6,000; to collaborate with a sculptor and set designer and expand possibilities for future projects by helping her realize some of the more complex images that she would like to see on stage.

Christopher Yaeger, Minneapolis
$3,500; to obtain training and equipment for videoconferencing so that he can further network with students and teachers of dance.


Number of grants awarded: 13
Total dollars awarded: $72,500

Eva L. Barr, Wykoff
$4,500; Barr will stage parts of the life stories of residents of the greater Spring Valley and Wykoff areas. The stories will be presented at a “Meet Your Neighbor” series during the Wykoff Fall Festival in Spring 2007.

Lloyd W. Brant, Minneapolis
$6,000; Brant will create his second full-length clown play, “A Life of Serious Nonsense.” The show will be premiered in Minneapolis before starting a national tour.

Carlyle J. Brown, Minneapolis
$6,000; Brown will use the funds to support the preproduction phase of his play “Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been…,” a fictional account of writer Langston Hughes as he faces a McCarthy hearing. Preproduction includes the development of the multi-media aspect of the full production.

Jeanne E. Calvit, Minneapolis
$4,000; Calvit will travel to Australia to direct and present the first staging of a show, “Northern Lights/Southern Cross,” that she created with Minnesota artist Kevin Kling and Pat Rix, artistic director of the Tutti Ensemble. The play reaches across cultures to explore the emotional terrain of “otherness” that shapes the lives of artists with disabilities, especially artists with disabilities from minority cultures. Funds also will support documentation of her work there, an essential part of being able to continue the collaboration when she returns to Minnesota.

Layla S. Dowlatshahi, Minneapolis
$6,000; Dowlatashahi will travel to Sarajevo to research and gather material for a new play, “FWS 41, ” that picks up where her previous play, “The Waiting Room,” left off. It will focus on what’s happened to a 13-year-old girl (who was gang raped during the Bosnian war, then sold into prostitution) since the end of the war. Dowlatashahi will interview Bosnians, Serbs, and Muslims who survived the war in Bosnia. She also will travel to Saint Louis, Missouri, to interview residents of Little Bosnia, a neighborhood of over 100,000 Bosnian refugees.

Matthew A. Everett, Minneapolis
$6,000; to workshop his latest full-length play, “Love’s Prick,” an homage to Shakespeare’s “As You Like It.” The development of the play will be assisted by work with paid collaborators including a director, a dramaturg, and actors. Everett will utilize audience feedback at the end of the process.

Chris Griffith, Minneapolis
$6,000; to create an original children’s puppet show titled “The Puggles: Platypus Investigators” (PPI), and subsequently tour the production across Minnesota. The project will support his transition from artistic director of Galumph Interactive Theater to an independent artist.

Paul D. Herwig, Minneapolis
$6,000; for travel and research expenses for five collaborating artists in preparation for a dance and puppet production called “Border Crossing,” which will be presented at the Playwrights’ Center in January 2008. Collaborators include codirector/scenic designer, codirector/ choreographer, writer/dramaturg, sound designer/composer, and project consultant on issues of race, social justice, and immigration.

Gülgün Kayim, Minneapolis
$6,000; to complete work on “Self Portrait…for now,” an eight-character site-specific performance installation. It is the third component of a trilogy drawing from personal narrative and memory on the themes of dislocation, migration, and culture. Kayim writes, directs, designs, and choreographs all her own works. The Creative Capital Foundation has awarded funding for the production of the whole trilogy once it is finished and the Walker Art Center will present the trilogy in its 2008 series of off-site performances.

Kevin L. Kling, Minneapolis
$4,000; to finish the first draft of his play “Northern Lights/Southern Cross” which was inspired by collaboration with Interact Theater and the Tutti Ensemble. Kling will workshop the text with the Tutti Ensemble in Australia; the play will be presented at two festivals in Australia -- the Bundaleer Festival and the Fringe Festival.

Wendy K. Knox, Minneapolis
$6,000; to develop a lively and performable theatrical version of Franca Rame’s one-woman show “Grasso e bello!” (Big is Beautiful!). Knox’s colleague, Sydney Cheek, has completed the literal translation of the text into English. Knox will take the next step in bringing this piece to American audiences by working with Cheek to turn the literal translation into a culturally relevant adaptation and workshop.

Suzy Messerole, Minneapolis
$6,000; for travel to research and conduct interviews for the creation of her first solo performance “Venus Nefanda,” based on Marianne Woods who lived in Scotland in the early 1800’s. Marianne Woods and Jane Price are the real-life women whose story was the basis for Lillian Hellman’s play “The Children’s Hour.” After the development stage of the play, Messerole will work with a director in the rehearsal process in preparation for a public performance in 2008.

Nothando Zulu, Minneapolis
$6,000; to professionally document her work on a DVD and debut the new DVD by attending three storytelling conventions and events in the next year.

Visual Arts

Number of grants awarded: 47
Total dollars awarded: $262,100

Norman A. Andersen, Minneapolis
$6,000; for the creation of two welded steel outdoor kinetic works and two wooden indoor sound sculptures. The pieces created through this grant could cultivate private sales or result in a solo exhibition, allowing Andersen’s career to expand from the realm of public commissions into a new direction.

Barbara J. Arney, Stillwater
$6,000; for research, creative time, materials, and exhibition expenses for a series of twelve plein air oil paintings that rely on the language of color to create representational Minnesota landscape scenes. Her work will be exhibited at Arcola Mills in 2008.

Christine A. Baeumler, St Paul
$6,000; to create a new body of work that poetically and visually recounts the rapid ecological changes on the Galapagos Islands. She will shadow the journey of Charles Darwin to the Galapagos Archipelago then, when she returns to Minnesota, document her experience in paint. Funds also will support shipping of her completed works to New York city for her first one-person show at the Mercer Gallery in Soho.

Kate Bauman, Minneapolis
$6,000; to support the production, documentation, and transportation of her work for two upcoming exhibitions. The first exhibition is a two-person show at the Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, WI, and the second show is a solo exhibition at the Northfield Art Center in Northfield, MN.

Michael D. Boyd, Minneapolis
$6,000; to build a piece of glassblowing equipment called a glory hole. This equipment will enable him to complete more commissions, exhibitions, and larger scale installations.

Lonnie Broden, Orono
$3,800; to explore integrating more and larger images into his mixed-media compositions. The subject of this new series is the visual story that occurs around gatherings of people. Specifically, his new work will start with paintings of the cross-section of life at the bus stop across from the Landmark Center in Saint Paul.

Elizabeth Bucheit, Lanesboro
$6,000; to create a press kit of her work, including high quality images of her gold and silver Norwegian jewelry (tiaras, crowns, and wedding jewelry). She will hire a photographer and models to professionally document the remaining three of her four wedding tiaras and a collection of wedding rings.

Bounxou Chanthraphone, Brooklyn Park
$5,200; for time and supplies to create a large weaving that captures the Statue of Liberty using the “mut-mee” weft ikat techniques of Lao weaving. Since Lao weaving often depicts stories of survival after war and is a significant method of telling Lao stories to new generations, Chanthraphone feels it is fitting to depict the Statue of Liberty in her weaving masterpiece since it is a symbol of her nation and an expression of freedom.

Kelly A. Connole, Northfield
$5,000; to develop a ceramic installation titled “Where the Sky Meets the Earth” using both large and small-scale narrative figurative work that explores the interrelationship of natural, human, and animal environments.

Christopher Copeland, Stillwater
$6,000; Copeland is an experienced landscape painter whose work has successfully captured the horizontal scene of the Midwest. He will use the landscape of the southwest regions of the country to break from the horizontal structure in his work and combine a more complex use of space and broad range of color to express the immense scale and sweeping rhythms of the landscape.

Guillermo Cuellar, Shafer
$6,000; to complete construction of his own kiln, a gas-fired, insulating brick, downdraft car kiln with a stacking space of 60 cubic feet. The shelves, which are a crucial component to the performance of the kiln, will complete the basic requirements in order to begin production in his studio.

Mickey Cunningham, St. Cloud
$6,000; to create four large-scale paintings that depict central Minnesota farm life. Having become proficient with painting farm landscapes, she will now paint an intimate view of farm life. Utilizing preparatory studies and work, she will be able to paint more complicated subject matter.

Pamela Davis, Little Canada
$6,000; to participate in Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum (Decorah, IA) Textile Study Tour in Norway and Sweden in the summer of 2007. Davis’s contemporary art uses tapestry weaving to express the connection among ancient times, nature, science, and the spiritual world.

Stella Ebner, Elk River
$5,600; to frame her large-scale prints for an upcoming solo exhibition at the Groveland Gallery. This is her first exhibition in the Groveland Gallery’s main room, signifying an important step in her exhibition record. Ebner’s media are hand-printed woodblock prints, drawing, and watercolor.

Timothy J. Gorman, Minneapolis
$5,500; to create two large and several small new furniture pieces for his solo exhibition at the Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson, WI. To build the new work he will acquire two new pieces of equipment and raw materials. He also will develop and produce a promotional brochure of his work.

Mary M. Griep, Northfield
$6,000; Griep has been working on a series of drawings of sacred spaces of the Medieval Era for eight years. These spectacular renderings depict a process called Anastylosis, a method of restoring a monument distinguished by dismantling and, in theory, rebuilding the structure using the original methods and materials. Griep will complete the series with the addition of the Great Mosque. The series will be on display at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in summer of 2007.

Janet Groenert, Saint Paul
$5,200; to finish work on two large textile pieces and develop print and web based promotional materials for these works. The shift from wearable work to wall-mounted textile pieces requires Groenert to seek out new venues of exhibition. Acquiring promotional materials from her two current pieces will allow her to seek out these venues.

Alison Hiltner, Minneapolis
$6,000; for travel and to begin the construction of new work that will be exhibited at the Heineman Myers Contemporary Art Center in Bethesda, Maryland. This exhibition will be an ambitious large-scale installation, precisely the direction in which she wants to take her work, and will allow the artist to reach new audiences in the Washington, DC, area.

JAO, Minneapolis
$6,000; for studio time as she transitions from performance visual art to focus on the painting process. For the past three years, JAO has been perfecting the art of speed painting, a performance art show with a visual art product. The grant will allow her to create a body of new paintings that demonstrate the concepts of speed painting and prepare for exhibition.

Ann L. Jenkins, Duluth
$4,000; to view and study the work of abstract Norwegian painter Ornulf Opdahl, particularly in respect to his use of texture and the abstraction of real subject matter. Jenkins is striving to let her own work become more abstract, dramatic, and luminous so that by simplifying the motif, the mood is enhanced.

James Johnson, Mankato
$4,000; to complete a sculpture titled “Black Hole,” in time for its first scheduled exhibition in Mankato in October 2007. Johnson also will construct crates to safely transport the sculpture to upcoming exhibition venues.

Bethany Kalk, Minneapolis
$6,000; to paint and install a temporary public art mural in the Phillips neighborhood of south Minneapolis. Construction of the murals and the public’s interaction with the finished pieces will be documented on video and in sketches that will be projected onto a building next to the site of the mural. The community will be invited to three different “openings” of the murals.

Michael R. Kareken, Minneapolis
$6,000; for time and materials to create large-scale paintings of urban and industrial landscapes. Using the theme of the recycling plant as an “urban forest” he will finish paintings of RockTenn recycling plant, and will research and develop related subjects like a scrap metal site in Minneapolis, a tire recycling operation in Saint Paul, and several excavations and building sites. Finally, he plans to create numerous larger works of RockTenn and the related sites measuring at least eight to ten feet wide.

Malichansouk Kouanchao, Minneapolis
$6,000; Kouanchao has been documenting Asian and Asian American pop and sub-cultures in her painting. She will travel to Lao communities within the United States and Cambodia to collect images toward the development of a series of new paintings, in which she will use traditional media combined with digital media to portray the layering of cultures that an immigrant experiences.

Dean Lucker, Saint Paul
$6,000; Lucker’s sculptures create mechanical stories that reflect a fragile and wondrous nature. This grant will fund research and development time for new work. He will investigate the Victorian age in which machines quickly transformed our relationship to nature. The resulting new work will be mechanical dome sculptures that will continue his earlier direction.

Megan A. Madland, Minneapolis
$6,000; to create a large public art piece that is site-specific about the land of the Twin Cities, focusing artistically on how people will move through the space of the sculpture. She will focus on her long process of assembling parts to make the whole and then casting to create the large sculptures.

Courtney Martin, Saint Paul
$6,000; to create six character sculptures, inspired by her figurative drawings that depict odd, grotesque, beautiful, and fierce humanoid characters. Developed over years of consideration and experimentation, the characters represent a modern human identity shaped by gender, appearance, fashion, health, and sexuality. The next step is to make these characters into human-sized sculptures interacting in an installation.

Jeanne McGee, Minneapolis
$4,500; McGee has changed the direction of her work from printmaking to mixed media. She has begun to work with maps, intrigued that they represent a fixed view of how a place should look. The idea of shredding a map and weaving it back together to create a new document and a new landscape inspired her recent work. Though she has exhibited locally and nationally for the last ten years, she cites a deeper connection to this current body of mixed media work and will use this grant to explore this work further.

Liz Miller, Good Thunder
$6,000; to create works that explore the realm between painting and sculpture. She will expand her palette to include a wider array of materials and experiment with innovative uses for those materials. She will use the grant to research new materials and methods of presentation that more fully involve the viewer in complete installation environments.

Jane Powers, Minneapolis
$6,000; to expand into installation work, bringing together a series of armored bodies with accessories into a showroom-style display in a storefront or gallery that invites the viewer to check out the latest in designer bodies and try on some accessories. Powers will take a class in interactive media, and use micro controllers in the installation.

Matthew J. Rezac, St. Paul
$6,000; for research, travel, and materials to create a new body of work for upcoming exhibits. The subject matter is roads that were discontinued to make room for the interstate 50 years ago. The roads were frequently dead-ended or redirected with drastic, perpendicular turns to run parallel to the interstate. His intent is to explore the human relationship to place through a landscape series focusing on these recurring instances of viewable disconnection.

Paul Rieffer, Saint Paul
$2,300; to enrich his bronze sculptural work through the use of applied patinas. He will use funding to offset expenses of creative time to learn new patina techniques, travel expenses to the bronze casting foundry, and expensive foundry fees. He will purchase necessary materials and chemicals, tools, studio equipment, and safety equipment.

Regula Russelle, Saint Paul
$6,000; to work on a major solo book art project to gain increased national visibility. Funds will support the creation of a mock-up of the book including content and form. The mock-up will be a candidate for the National Museum of Women in the Arts Artist Book Grant, specifically designed to pay for an edition of 125 books and for the promotion of the work.

Megan Rye, Edina
$6,000; for her first solo exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in fall 2007. Rye’s current body of work is based on the collection of over 2,000 photographs her brother took during his deployment in Iraq as a U. S. Marine.

Todd A. Shanafelt, Mankato
$5,900; to study with ceramic artist Rafael Perez of Spain, and to visit the European Ceramic Work Centre in the Netherlands. Funds will be used for equipment and materials to create a new body of works from this experience, and exhibit them in Minnesota and other venues.

Robert W. Smart, Minneapolis
$6,000; to complete a collaborative project, with students at the University of Minnesota, that involves building a series of internally lit spheres from recycled materials. Each sphere will be developed on a particular theme based on the materials used to construct the skin of the sphere. The completed sculptures will be exhibited at the University of Minnesota as well as the corporations that provide the recycled materials.

Douglas Snyder, Elgin
$5,800; to purchase a large welder, and work on large outdoor sculptures. Snyder’s latest project was a large outdoor sculpture for the Healing Garden Park in Zumbrota. He wants his career to follow this direction, but the equipment he has in his studio is only suited for smaller works.

Lynn Speaker-Epping, Minneapolis
$6,000; for creative time and supplies to produce a new body of work that utilizes gunpowder and other innovative mark-making materials as a medium. Funds will allow her to expand the process, scale, and format of this work. This includes developing a process for working on multiple substrates including masonite, paper, canvas, and synthetic materials.

Jacob T. Stoltz, Minneapolis
$4,300; to research the unique geography of Minnesota and create a series of large drawings and etchings based on the three ecological systems found here. He will use traditional methods of drawing, en plein air, using the simplest of tools. The resulting works will be large drawings and intaglio etchings honoring the land.

Carolyn Swiszcz, West Saint Paul
$4,000; working with collaborator Wyatt McDill, Swiszcz will expand her current series of landscape paintings capturing University Avenue. Together they will produce a painted survey that captures the feel of University Avenue from the Peking Garden in Stadium Village to the Greyhound Station on Rice Street. This will be Swiszcz’s largest collaborative undertaking to date.

Ellen Thomson, Saint Paul
$6,000; to attend a week-long workshop in Balestrand, Norway, where she will have eight hours each day of structured painting and drawing time. This dedicated time will be an opportunity to experiment with synthesizing her style while pushing its content. Daily critiques at the workshop will help her address the merging of landscapes with figures. She will add to her visual vocabulary through observation of the Nordic landscapes.

Timothy Trost, Goodhue
$5,000; Trost illustrates native plant species, focusing on the rare and endangered plants of Minnesota. He has identified three endangered species he will draw next. Funds will enable him to travel to parts of Minnesota where these species can be observed in their habitat and photographed before he begins illustrations. He has a tentative exhibit in 2008 scheduled at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

Holly Vrieze Murray, Minneapolis
$6,000; to create a series, with the bird as primary subject and the complex and sometimes disparate associations generated by the image or character. She will build the pieces first in wax and then take them to a foundry for ceramic shell and bronze casting. Next, she will focus on the welding, clean up, and patina. Her final step will be to document the work for promotional materials, working towards a solo exhibition.

Chamindika Waduragala, Minneapolis
$6,000; to create a series of new works inspired by Pablo Neruda’s poetry. She will challenge herself artistically to incorporate text into her drawings. Telling a story within each drawing has always been a part of her work. With this new work, she will also challenge herself to tell a story with the whole series.

Randy Walker, Minneapolis
$6,000; to create an interior fiber installation in a found, highly visible urban public space. He uses fiber to create woven color, light, and transparency in his work. The installation is tentatively scheduled for a grain elevator in the Mill City Museum. This project will engage the public as it is involved in the transformation of a familiar space into a lively and engrossing experience of art making and art viewing.

Daniel R. Wheeler, St. Paul
$6,000; to travel to the Museum of Jurassic Technology to research unexplained creatures in impossible scenes. Wheeler explored a similar theme of fusing the ordinary with the absurd in his recent series of works depicting enormous birds in bodies of water and on highways at night. His next body of work is inspired by small museum house exhibits that recall the “cabinets of curiosities” of the eighteenth century.

Ann Wood, Saint Paul
$6,000; to create new work in which the figures have a direct conversation with the viewer compared to her past work in which the figures communicate only with each other. She will research detailed objects that have remained powerful throughout time. She is continually searching for historical crafts made by women with visual richness. Various art forms such as miniature mourning lockets, 16th century lace, and various textile arts have influenced her work.

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