-Minnesota State Arts Board - Minnesota North Star

FY 2009 Grant Recipients

Artist Initiative

Artist Initiative grants support and assist artists at various stages in their careers by encouraging artistic development, nurturing artistic creativity, and recognizing the contribution individual artists make to the creative environment of the state of Minnesota.

The Arts Board alternates disciplines eligible to apply each year; grants were awarded to media arts, music, photography, poetry, and prose artists in 2008.

Dance  |   Theater  |   Visual Arts


Number of Eligible Applications: 34
Number of Grants Awarded: 10
Dollars Requested: $192,400
Dollars Awarded: $57,900

Susana M. di Palma, Minneapolis
$4,200 – To attend the Festival del Flamenco in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.

Deborah Elias, Saint Paul
$6,000 – To travel to Spain for 23 days for intensive one-on-one study with flamenco artist Domingo Ortega in Jerez de la Frontera.

Colette M. Illarde, Minneapolis
$6,000 – For the creation, development, and presentation of a new dance work that includes a free public art event. The work will gather notable flamenco figures from the U.S, for inclusion in the Hit It Festival in April 2009, at the Southern Theatre.

Jennifer J. Ilse, Minneapolis
$6,000 – The grant will support research and development of her project, The Jury, which will be performed in its entirety in Winter 2010.

Leili T. Pritschet, Minneapolis
$6,000 – For restaging of Hidden Yearning, a cross-cultural tapestry of Persian classical dance, multi-cultural music, video, and poetry probing issues of immigration, assimilation, and faith.

Aparna Ramaswamy, Minneapolis
$6,000 – To build on her roles as Principal Dancer and Soloist with Ragamala Music and Dance Theater, and to present full-length solo performances during the 2009 Dance and Music Festival in Chennai, India.

Ranee A. Ramaswamy, Minneapolis
$6,000 – For travel to Bali to work with I Dewa Putu Berata to plan and map the production of, Dvee.

Sally A. Rousse, Minneapolis
$5,700 – To create a professionally-produced video documentation and promotional materials to market herself to the wider ballet community.

Deborah Jinza Thayer, Saint Paul
$6,000 – To create a full-length work in a modular format that can be presented in its entirety or in parts to initiate a national touring experience.

Morgan. Thorson, Minneapolis
$6,000 – For her first collaboration with composer Jonathan Bepler who will develop original vocal and sound scores for her first, three venue, national, choreography commission, Heaven, and for a rehearsal/production assistant to aid in this production.



Number of Eligible Applications: 45
Number of Grants Awarded: 13
Dollars Requested: $268,500
Dollars Awarded: $76,700

David R. Adjmi, Minneapolis
$6,000 – For time to write a new play, Red Elvis, that addresses the impact of the oil industry on American culture by investigating how both the intimate self and a national identity are both constructed and disrupted by ideological forces.

Shari G. Aronson, Minneapolis
$6,000 – To develop the tools to get her existing repertoire of family-friendly puppetry shows out to new audiences across Minnesota by working with a videographer to professionalize her video documentation and for a business coach.

Alan M. Berks, Minneapolis
$5,800 – To create and direct a 40-50 minute site-specific performance piece that uses a variety of theatrical languages to explore the intersection of our public and private personas at the place where we reach for intimacy.

Lloyd W. Brant, Minneapolis
$6,000 – For the video documentation of A Life of Serious Nonsense, that tells a tale about clowns as lovers who struggle to put on a Vaudeville show while navigating the ever-shifting rules of engagement in understanding the opposite sex.

Bart Buch, Minneapolis
$6,000 – To develop a puppet adaptation and interpretation of Antoine de Saint Exupery's The Little Prince, for audiences of adults and children.

Malia Burkhart, Minneapolis
$6,000 – To collaborate with a three-person cast and co-director to develop and perform a full-length piece, The Culture Pages, which combine the mediums of theater, puppet/mask work, Butoh dance, and video.

Jeanne E. Calvit, Minneapolis
$6,000 – To travel to Pointe Noire, Congo to the Theatre Festival (TECEJ) to research and develop a cross-cultural project, We Are All Africans, with leading African playwright, Jean Leopold.

Robert Farid Karimi, Minneapolis
$6,000 – For research, language lessons, and to study with a dramaturge/performance coach to develop the characters for Man/Mard: Farid to Freddy Mercury.

May Moua G. Lee-Yang, Saint Paul
$6,000 – To build name recognition as an artist by staging a full production of her play in Spring 2009, and for funds to attend strategic conferences to build networks that may lead to national bookings.

Christopher D. Lutter-Gardella, Minneapolis
$6,000 – To develop the production of large animal puppets and to present them as the center piece at the Mid-Winter Animal Dance and Promenade event in Powderhorn Park.

Esther Ouray, Minneapolis
$6,000 To lay the ground work for a fall 2009 tour of When We Look, by developing the professionalism of the production and by cultivating relationships with organizations the production may serve.

Deborah Stein, Minneapolis
$4,900 – To support the development process of Lifeboats, a site-specific touring piece about global warming and the American instinct for Utopianism. It is to be developed collaboratively with a director, designer, and ensemble of actors.

Molly M. Van Avery, Minneapolis
$6,000 – For time to write, direct, and expand a ten-minute multi-media piece, The Happy Imposter, into a full-length performance, which explores the complex relationships we have with ourselves.


Visual Arts

Number of Eligible Applications: 234
Number of Grants Awarded: 66
Dollars Requested: $1,308,700
Dollars Awarded: $370,900

Aaron L. Anderson, Minneapolis
$6,000 – To more fully realize his work and to expand upon the growing narrative for Hardland/Heartland, by traveling, creating new collaborative relationships, and by increasing the scope and scale of his work.

Susan J. Armington, Minneapolis
$6,000 – To create a series of portraits of diverse people in the Twin Cities made out of their own words, stories, and maps.

Christopher P. Baker, Minneapolis
$6,000 – To participate in a six-month artist residency in Budapest to collaboratively develop public installation art with a leading Hungarian architect and artist.

Beth Barnes, Minneapolis
$6,000 – To procure and produce a solo show for the New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art, and to investigate another venue in New York City.

Arlene L. Birt, Minneapolis
$6,000 – Waterflows is a major creative work that applies the concept of a previous visual storytelling work (Background Stories) to create an information-rich, illustrative map of the Twin Cities water cycles and flows.

Rachel B. Breen, Minneapolis
$6,000 – To develop a body of work using the mediums of copper and thread combined with corresponding wall drawings and shadows to explore the ideas of repair and hope.

Anne C. Brink, Minneapolis
$6,000 – To create 21 new paintings on the theme of urban healing and have them photographed and printed on greeting cards, posters, and calendars. She will update her website with the new images.

Brenda J. Brousseau, Minneapolis
$6,000 – To create four beaded headdresses that will become part of a collection that will be used to enter competitions, for name recognition, and to stage an exhibition.

Liz Bucheit, Lanesboro
$6,000 – For research and travel to observe the silver working villages of the Guizhou District in China in preparation for a new body of work.

Betsy R. Byers, Minneapolis
$6,000 – To create ten, 6 'x 6' paintings that further her current investigation into the malleable boundary between the self and the environment.

Nicholas A. Conbere, Minneapolis
$6,000 – For travel costs to Finland to examine local graphic arts approaches and to begin a new series of drawings and prints.

Jennifer B. Danos, Minneapolis
$6,000 – For a solo show at Banfil-Locke Center for the Arts in May 2009 consisting of multiple elements in the gallery and throughout the grounds.

Andrea L. Denecke, Scandia
$6,000 – To build a gas (propane) fired soda kiln with safety equipment attached to the burners in Scandia, MN.

Andy DuCett, Minneapolis
$6,000 – For creative research and travel to Tokyo for a pre-arranged meetings with gallery directors, and to attend the opening reception of his work at the Tinlark Gallery in Los Angeles, CA, in the fall of 2009.

Gregory L. Euclide, Minneapolis
$6,000 – To purchase supplies enabling him to create larger work that engages the body more fully, to improve documentation of his three-dimensional work, and to acquire tools that will allow him to build crates for shipping work.

Wendy A. Fernstrum, Marine on Saint Croix
$4,300 – For an artist book titled, Clutter/Free, which explores the struggle between wanting to hold on to things and the desire, at the same time, to be free of the responsibilities associated with the things we collect.

Barbara Gilhooly, Saint Paul
$2,600 – For research and equipment for the digital photo documentation of her numerous small art objects to provide a more cost effective and efficient means to market and sell her work online.

Timothy J. Gorman, Minneapolis
$6,000 – To create new work and a proposal for a group show to be held in the MAEP Gallery at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

Glenn A. Grafelman, Bloomington
$6,000 – For time and materials to create large-scale paintings that comprehensively embody visions of spiritual transcension.

Gregory B. Graham, Saint Paul
$4,000 – To expand the subject matter, scale, and materials used in the creation of a new body of work

David A. Hamlow, Good Thunder
$6,000 – To create and maintain a website dedicated to making Archival Structures to generate more installations, expand them to remote venues, and to diversify project participation as widely as possible.

Ursula Hargens, Minneapolis
$6,000 – To focus on a more decorative line of work, developing molds to work with multiples and scale, to increase the efficiency in her process, and to find galleries to carry and promote this work.

Brian W. Hartley Sago, Minneapolis
$6,000 – To purchase a 36" etching press to print larger works and then to professionally frame the prints for upcoming solo exhibitions.

Jeffrey S. Hirst, Minneapolis
$6,000 – To create an illustrative promotional packet of his work to send to national exhibition venues and to further the exploration of the relationship between painting and printmaking through research of screen printing onto encaustic.

Nick Howard, Minneapolis
$4,700 – To expand his artistic space and vision through the creation of larger works.

Simon Huelsbeck, Rochester
$6,000 – To create a body of work around the vital and endangered Minnesota Prairie Pothole Region, the work will be done primarily in plain air in our state parks and will be exhibited at Flanders Contemporary Art in Fall 2010.

Saira M. Huff, Minneapolis
$5,800 – To continue productivity and increase promotion of her work.

Mary L. Klein, Minneapolis
$6,000 – To complete an in-progress work of an ongoing series of still life paintings of the theme of gravity, to develop and create new work on this theme, and to research appropriate exhibition venues.

Maren A. Kloppmann, Minneapolis
$6,000 – For creating a sculptural wall piece with multiple parts, documenting its creation through photography and video recording, and making this the basis for a new portfolio.

Julia C. Kouneski, Minneapolis
$5,000 – For travel to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to research the work of Lygia Clark and Helio Oiticica, and to develop and create new participatory artworks/installations upon her return.

Paul A. Lambrecht, Lanesboro
$6,000 – To purchase a large-scale band saw and carriage system, for creative and to develop new, large wood sculptures to be shown regionally, nationally, and at fine craft shows and galleries.

Josie Lewis, Minneapolis
$6,000 – Ms. Lewis has "invented" an art making process involving recycled paper and resin and will continue developing the methods discovered to create a new body of work.

Lee Love, Minneapolis
$6,000 – To complete his ceramic studio, to research and develop clays and glazes used in Japan with Minnesota materials, to facilitate exchange between creative people in Japan and Minnesota, and to prepare educational materials and publications about the exchanges.

Dean J. Lucker, Saint Paul
$6,000 – To build a mechanical work of temporary public art.

Charles Matson Lume, Saint Paul
$6,000 – To study the light in Iceland at the Baer Art Center, strategize with a curator at The Drawing Center, and to research and purchase new materials to create a new body of artwork.

Jeremy M. Lund, Minneapolis
$6,000 – To create a series of prints and drawings entitled, Migration, while increasing the number of exhibition opportunities, and to have access to printmaking facilities during this project.

Charles Lyon, Minneapolis
$6,000 – To make a series of paintings of snow in the Twin Cities to be exhibited at Groveland Gallery.

Bernadette S. Mahfood, Winona
$6,000 – To expand on a newly developed series of glass and fiber pieces, to relate them to her female ancestors, and to create more exhibition opportunities in the Twin Cities, New York City, and Sante Fe.

George M. Mahoney, Minneapolis
$6,000 – To exhibit his new design chair/lounge at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York City in May 2009.

Stephen S. Mark, Springfield
$3,000 – To purchase an enclosed trailer to transport his large-scale, sculptural paintings, and to purchase water and oil-based paint to create new work using a poured-paint technique.

Margaret A. McGee, Minneapolis
$3,500 To produce a large-scale figurative sculptural installation titled, How They Live in Idaho and Other Unknown Places, which features the travel adventures of Mark Twain and Ernest Hemingway.

Miles D. Mendenhall, Minneapolis
$5,500 – For his project which consists of a rectangular cube constructed from industrial grade plywood and supports hung three feet off the ground, the exterior will remain bare, but the interior will be entirely painted in a circular scene.

Liz Miller, Good Thunder
$6,000 – To explore increased dimensionality in her large-scale, site-specific installations and for creative time and materials to experiment with new sculptural strategies, leading to more immersive environments for viewers.

Georgia Mrázková, Minneapolis
$6,000 – To further her career by having funds for a computer, software, and for traveling and shipping expenses for upcoming local and national shows.

Jack FX Pavlik, Minneapolis
$4,000 – For materials and studio expenses to create new works for an upcoming exhibition at Mankato State University as part of their visiting artist program.

Kirsten A. Peterson, Minneapolis
$6,000 – To expand a recent body of work by constructing larger, mixed-media objects that merge nuances of painting, drawing, and printmaking. She will commission a welder-fabricator artist to work with collaboratively.

Sonja D. Peterson, Minneapolis
$6,000 – For installation expenses for an upcoming MAEP exhibition, documentation of the exhibition, portfolio materials, and for travel to Chicago and New York City to meet with gallery curators to pursue additional exhibitions.

Nancy E. Robinson, Saint Paul
$6,000 – To set aside time to create and do follow-up on an exhibition of her paintings at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

Tim Roby, Minneapolis
$6,000 – Recent transition from painting into sculpture; funds to provide equipment, for creative time, and for research into materials to further his career and to prepare for future exhibitions.

Jennifer L. Rogers, Brooklyn Center
$6,000 – For a continued study into her inquiry into the philosophical approach to labor, home, compulsion, and the futility of life. Through an exploration of scale, color, surface, and material she hopes to locate new and varied formal qualities.

Steven R. Shearer, Golden Valley
$2,000 – To digitize the creative process and to store images in a secure, external digital location.

Douglas E. Snyder, Elgin
$6,000 – To purchase materials and provide studio time to create a large, site-specific sculpture for a rural Minnesota town's bike trail.

Kenneth A. Steinbach, Shoreview
$6,000 – To purchase materials and studio time to complete a series of cast resin works, and fund two trips to New York to make connections with galleries with the goal of getting representation.

Bruce H. Stillman, Minnetrista
$6,000 – To create a very large landscape sculpture with a nature and recycle theme.

David M. Stordahl, Eagan
$6,000 – To photograph houses that still stand from the time when his ancestry lived in Klokkarik, Norway. The photos will be reproduced as large color photogravures at artist Jan Pettersson's studio in Bergen, Norway

Scott A. Stulen, Rochester
$6,000 – To support research, creative time, technology upgrades, and documentation to pursue exhibition opportunities outside the Midwest in the coming year.

Tara K. Sweeney, Saint Paul
$6,000 – To complete a mixed-media series about cancer recovery, propose it for a solo exhibition, and advocate for better survivorship care through related presentation of the art to a national continuing education conference for cancer care professionals

Anna J. Tsantir, Minneapolis
$5,800 -To continue to develop recent technical breakthroughs through sustained production and studio access, and to begin seriously promoting her work by developing a website and printed materials to present to galleries and museums.

Pamela M. Valfer, Saint Paul
$6,000 – Work on project that is an investigation into the modern landscape, in which she chooses to subvert the history of landscape painting to include road-kill, a non-picturesque representation of nature in order to highlight man's impression on the environment.

Rebecca J. Wandersee, Springfield
$5,100 – To develop and resubmit a proposal to MAEP at MIA, propose a regional drawing show, to seek alternative venues, update her computer system, and to frame her work.

Asia Ward, Minneapolis
$6,000 -To create new animatronic sculptures using microcontrollers, then program them to interact with an audience via motion sensors.

Erik M. Waterkotte, North Mankato
$3,600 -To continue to explore mixed media printmaking, expanding the format of his work by increasing the scale, and to provide materials to create large-scale prints on paper.

Jay L. Wittenberg, Saint Paul
$6,000 To expand an on-going portrait series of poets, and to document and promote his work to venues in Minnesota and Boston in an attempt to increase exposure and to secure exhibits.

Ann L. Wood, Saint Paul
$6,000 – To create a press packet with four to five new pieces to send out for opportunities outside our region.

Andrew P. Wykes, Northfield
$6,000 – For framing and documentation costs for his upcoming show at Groveland Gallery, and for travel expenses to New York City to promote his work to galleries.

Laura Heit-Youngbird, Breckenridge
$6,000 – To hire a professional photographer and web designer to create digital images and a website of her work, for travel around Minnesota and Chicago to promote her work, and to set up an efficient work space with improved storage and organization.

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