who brought this year’s pianos on parade to life? get to know the painters behind the artwork. below are their bios.
Location: Target Center (August)
Art Buddies pairs kind adults with children from the Twin Cities highest needs schools for creative one to one mentorship programs. Art Buddies helps kids realize their creative potential, and discover that creativity can be a path to a successful future.
Kelly Anderson – “WE ARE Mpls”
Location: Stone Arch Bridge (June)
Art for me started my junior year of high school. 3 years later I obtained a degree in graphic design. After a kid, a marriage and another kid on the way, my husband and I started an art business. We built it over 10 years, impacting people left and right. Every opportunity allowed us to give back more. Now looking back, we did so much together. It was time for me to focus on myself. I had packed my suitcase until it was bursting at the seams. Try having secrets, thoughts and stories that are tucked deep away, hiding in corners and tugging on your bags zippers. One day that bag exploded and I started to unfold my emotions. One day, one emotion at a time. So often we deal with life and forget that others deal with life as well. My mixed media images depict the feelings that everyone encounters. The crayon ties in the childlike feel of safety and comfort. I use other items to tie in the meaning. I include dictionary cutouts. This helps to visualize the emotions most of us have. It even adds that personal touch. Each original image has it’s own story as a handwritten message hat is sealed for one person’s eyes.
Raymond Baichtal – “Skyways”
Location: DID Alley (July)
Raymond is a junior at FAIR HS for the Arts. Raymond likes watercolors and their cats.
Ron Brown – “MplsTogether Now 2021”
Location: Peavey Plaza (June)
Ron Brown – “Love u Mo”
Location: City Center (July)
Afro Anime Illustrator Ron Brown. Long, yet it captures the style he creates. Many forms. Fluid lines. Drawing influence from African American artists Ta-coumba T. Aiken , Jean-Michel Basquiat and Gordon Parks, the dynamics of Marvel comics and graffiti are equally puissant in Brown’s work. He prides his material on being accessible and founded in the realty of the five senses, and capable of hurling the viewer into the infinite possibilities behind our stimuli.
Laura Burlis – “Dandelion City”
Location: Basilica of St. Mary
Laura Burlis – “And the Stars Are…Healthcare Workers!”
Location: AT&T Tower (August)
Laura Burlis is an artist who has lived in the Standish-Ericcson Neighborhood for 22 years. She is an avid gardener and lover of nature, and takes her subject matter from the natural world. She loves plants and landscapes, and working with pattern and color. Laura has worked with polymer clay for twelve years and loves teaching both kids and adults. She has taught art at the Textile Center of MN, Minneapolis Community Ed, Courageous heArts, Phipps Center for the Arts, and Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts; and was Artist-in-Residence at Glacier National Park in 2017.
Ani Cassellius – “Night Life”
Location: Target Center (June)
My name is Ani Cassellius (she/her). I’m an art education and studio art major at Augsburg University. I am passionate about teaching and creating a thriving community. Recently, this past summer I worked as a teaching artist for the Hennepin county library, collaboratively designing and teaching art lessons around identity development. In my personal artistic practice, I focus on mutual aid. Designing and printing to fundraise for activists. I am regularly involved in Minneapolis’ network of mutual aid organizations and committed to my studies towards becoming a licensed art teacher.
Angela Davis – “U.S. Bank Stadium”
Location: The Commons (July)
Angela Davis – “Street Signs”
Location: The Commons (August)
Dorius Griffin – “Opening Doors”
Location: DID Alley (August)
Griffin is a senior at FAIR HS for the Arts. Griffin likes to draw and is planning his future after HS graduation.
Kelly Frankenberg – “Red Cherry”
Location: The Commons (June)
Kelly Frankenberg is a Minnesota illustrator, muralist, and writer. Her work has been on Fox National News, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, in galleries, on pianos, walls, mailboxes, windows, doors, and electrical boxes. She has illustrated many published books. Kelly sells her work at festivals and teaches art classes online. She is currently working on a screenplay. You can find her work and adventures on kellyfrankenberg.com.
Oleksandra Guirlina – “The Everyday Bright”
Location: MacPhail Center for Music
Oleksandra Guirlina is a self-taught Ukrainian artist, illustrator and urban sketcher who moved to the States a few years ago. Educated in linguistics and interpreting, she found her professional focus shifting back from the language to art after the relocation, which led to rediscovery of her artistic identity and restoring connections to cultural origins. In 2015-2016, Oleksandra was a protégée in the WARM Mentor Program in Minneapolis, MN, and later, exhibited her work during the WARM Guerrilla collaboration and La Mese delle Donne V (Rochester Art Center), created illustrations for the IMPRESSIONS Project (2017) and for Poetry in the Dark in the Park (May 2019) by Saint Paul Almanac, and Pianos on Parade for Downtown Minneapolis Council in 2018 and 2019.
Kulture Klub – “Bbe Ota Otunwe”
Location: Stone Arch Bridge (August)
Kulture Klub – “Dandylion Cycle
Location: Peavey Plaza (August)
Kulture Klub – “Minneapolis Wildlife”
Location: Hennepin Theatre Trust
Kulture Klub – “Sounds of Africa”
Location: IDS Center (August)
KKC is an independent 501(c)3 arts organization that brings together artists and homeless youth in the Twin Cities. Through multi-disciplinary workshops, open mics, artist residencies, and art outings (ArtView), KKC brings dignity and respect to these special young people as they enter adulthood.
Brighton McCormick – “Bike Everywhere”
Location: AT&T Tower (July)
Brighton McCormick is an independent sculptor and fabricator living and working in South Minneapolis. Her interdisciplinary practice focuses on sculpture, gallery installation, and public art primarily utilizing invented processes, metal casting and fabrication, reinterpreted found objects, woodworking, and experimental video. Currently she is working on remodeling a 1907 house, contracting as a metal fabricator, and creating new works in the studio. She began her career interested in law and business. After 6 years in the field, she found herself working for a recruiting firm in Manhattan and hating her job. It became impossible to identify with the stereotypical American dream she had been chasing. Needing a drastic change, McCormick left head hunting to pursue art making. She returned to academia through an arts program to study abroad in Uruguay. This led to the creation of a painting profile that gained her admittance to the BFA program at the University of Minnesota. After a short time in the program McCormick’s work shifted towards sculpture. In 2019 she completed an MFA in sculpture at the University of Washington.
Alexandra Motz “Downtown Bike Babe”
Location: Stone Arch Bridge (July)
Alexandra Motz is a local artist based in Minneapolis, MN. She strives to create one of a kind original paintings from everyday surroundings. She creates artwork that is recognizable to the mind, but uses nature’s natural geometry to take apart, and piece back together using bright vivid colors and textural mediums.
Christy Murphy – “Natural City”
Location: Peavey Plaza (July)
Christy Murphy is an artist from Apple Valley, MN. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Liberal Arts and currently works as a business professional. She is the mother of three amazing children whom she adores. She is excited to be at a point in her life where she is able to pursue all of the things she loves (of which there are many). She has a passion for painting, nature, and music and she hopes to spread joy and happiness through her art and humor.
Johanna Nassif – “Downtown Rhapsody”
Location: IDS Center (July)
Jo is a freshman at FAIR HS for the Arts. Jo likes all things creative.
Geno Okok – “Joy in All of Us”
Location: AT&T Tower
Geno Okok moved to the United States from Nigeria at the age of seven and his passion for drawing and painting was already there. He eventually attended the Minneapolis Art Institute and received an Associate Degree in Fine Art in 2013. His work focuses on joyful moments in the lives of everyday people and documents the ways beauty, music, fashion, and grace manifest in the African spirit. He describes his style of painting as Expressionist Realism. He has partnered with galleries such as Gallery 13, Night Art Gallery and Dow Gallery and has most recently worked on public mural projects in response to the police killing of George Floyd. In addition, he currently serves on the Brooklyn Park Task Force and the Advisory Council for the Center for Innovation. He recently completed a public art piece at the Brooklyn Park plaza next to Hennepin County Library with youth artists. The story and art were feature on Fox 9 News, Star tribune, CCX Media News, and other media outlets.
Ebrima Sarge – “The African American Flag”
Location: Gateway Park
My name is Ebrima Sarge. I am a young painter and this was my first major project.
Dean Swanson – “What’s Up Mpls?”
Location: First Avenue
Dean has degree in art from the University of Minnesota and has been involved in creating art in multiple mediums for over 40 years.