pianos on parade artists

who brought this year’s pianos on parade to life? get to know the painters behind the artwork. below are their bios.

Kelly  Anderson – “Letters to Thyself ”        

Location: Minneapolis College

Art for me started my junior year of high school. 3 years later I obtained a Associates of Applied Science degree in Graphic Design December of 1999.  I worked in the field for a year designing pattern pieces for cold air inflatables before returning to college to graduate with a Bachelors of Applied Science degree in Graphic design June 2003.

Laura Burlis – “Snow! We Can Do This!”

Location: Gateway Park 

Laura Burlis is a painter, mixed-media, and polymer clay artist who has called Minneapolis home for 30 years. Her subject matter draws on nature, landscapes, and seasonal change. She teaches art to both kids and adults locally, and was the Artist-in Residence at Glacier National Park in 2017.

Cory Favre – “Garden Party”

Location: 222 Hennepin Apartments        

Cory Favre is a visual artist living and working in the Twin Cities.  She studied Art and Interior Design at Ball State University with a focus in drawing.  Recently, her work has been in oil painting and encaustic painting (wax painting). Inspired by many subjects, including her travels and social issues, her work drifts between abstract and realism.  Cory enjoys using bright, lush colors in most of her paintings. If you would like to learn more, please visit her website:  www.coryfavre.com.

Kelly  Frankenberg – “Oozing Spirit”

Location: Capella Tower

Kelly Frankenberg is an artist, writer, and teacher. Her artwork has appeared on Fox National News, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, at festivals, live events, in books, magazines, newspapers, film, TV, on pianos, walls, windows, doors, and mailboxes.

Christy Murphy – “Smile! You’re in Minneapolis”

Location: Minneapolis Convention Center

Christy Murphy is an artist from Minnesota. She has lived in Minnesota all her life and has enjoyed experiencing all the arts and entertainment Minnesota has to offer .  She was raised by two parents very interested in art so she developed a love of art at a young age.   She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelors of Liberal Arts degree with art/painting as the main focus of her studies.

Oleksandra Norwick – “Homage to Ukraine”

Location: Marquette Plaza

Oleksandra Norwick 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 mpls downtown council in 2018.

Liv Novotny – “Beloved Community”

Location: Brave New Workshop  

Liv Novotny is a muralist, sign painter and printmaker living in South Minneapolis. They work for Minneapolis Public Schools teaching after school mural classes, and work as contract painter for GoodSpace Murals, and organization that promotes community development through murals and mosaics. They adore dancing, gardening, being queer, creating collaboratively, and above all, people! They’ve been a volunteer for Heart of the Beast for a couple years and wanted to paint a piano to honor the MayDay parade in its final year.

Morgan Oie – “Mississippi Color”

Location: Basilica of St. Mary

Morgan Oie is a painter, printmaker, drawer, photographer, and sculptor. Morgan creates portraits of women layered with transient moments of her psyche. Her work is deeply inspired by music and her life in Minneapolis. She is currently studying Fine Art and Art History at the University of Minnesota.

Geno  Okok  – “City of Purple”

Location: MacPhail Center for Music

Born in western Nigeria, Geno Okok developed his passion for art at the age of 7. With his use of unique colors and textures, he strives to influence creativity in modern pop art. Geno describes his style of painting as “Realistic Expressionism.” By creating paintings of everyday people, his art is an illustration of the joyful moments in life. He studied at the Art Institute and has since evolved to become one of the recognizable young artists in Minnesota. His collection of artworks capture various elements of the African spirit: beauty, music, fashion, femininity, and grace.

Taylor Robers – “Our Musical Neighborhood”

Location: The Commons

Taylor Robers creates oil paintings of color saturated spectacles in order to evoke emotion stirred by music and color. She is currently working on her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. In 2019, she co-curated Is Your Brain Functioning Properly? and her painting Kiki was part of The Intersection of Art and Music in Chicago Heights, IL. In 2018, her paintings, Crescendo and Live, were featured in a two-page spread of “The Wake Magazine.” Live was also featured in the For Freedoms show in Regis West Gallery. She received a 2017-2018 art department scholarship and her work was shown in the Quarter Gallery of the Regis Center for Art. Her drawing Sunspot was presented in the Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition of 2017.  In 2016-2017, her painting Another Lifetime was published in the University of Minnesota’s Art and Literary magazine, The Tower.

Dean Swanson – “A Day in the Life”

Location: Stone Arch Bridge

I graduated with an Art Degree from the University of Minnesota specializing in intaglio and oils. I have participated in fine art shows and have run a business for the last 30 years featuring handcrafted art.

Leo Whalen 

Location: IDS Center

This piano shows my side of Minneapolis and how the city and the people here are helping me through my transition. It is a testament to the strength of me and my allies.

Juxtaposition Apprentices – Food Culture

Location: City Center

As the Contemporary Art Lab at JXTA we worked as a collective and in smaller groups to respond to the theme of Spirit of Minneapolis and discuss what we felt was important to include in our designs. Each painted piano is the a result of a collaborative effort and process.

Highlighting the abundance of options in Minneapolis cuisine, we hope to put a spotlight on one of the most important aspects of the city. The variety of food that is both affordable and easily accessible to everyone is representative not just of the creative scene in Minneapolis, but also the cultural diversity and contributions of our large immigrant population to the community.

Artists: Salem Murre, Melody Vaughn, Jordan Hamilton

Juxtaposition Apprentices – “Water is Sacred, Honoring Dakota Land”

Location: St. Olaf Catholic Church

As the Contemporary Art Lab at JXTA we worked as a collective and in smaller groups to respond to the theme of Spirit of Minneapolis and discuss what we felt was important to include in our designs. Each painted piano is the a result of a collaborative effort and process.

Through this painting we wanted to honor that we are on Dakota land by acknowledging the first peoples to live here, including other life of indigenous plants and animals. We comprised a large body of water because water is important to all living things. If we want to take pride in our river, lakes, and the abundance of nature to explore we need to come together to protect our water. This will help us live in harmony with other creatures and nature and better our futures by learning from indigenous people and the mistakes of the past.

Artists: Imani Gates, Jordan Hamilton, Laurel Prenzlow, Mette Aarsheim

Juxtaposition Apprentices – “Seasons of Change”

Location: Hennepin County Government Center South Plaza

As the Contemporary Art Lab at JXTA we worked as a collective and in smaller groups to respond to the theme of Spirit of Minneapolis and discuss what we felt was important to include in our designs. Each painted piano is the a result of a collaborative effort and process.

We decided to focus on the passion and vibrance of the Minneapolis music scene. From local bands to now globally known artists who started here, new music is always on the forefront in Minneapolis. The drive of the young artists in Minneapolis is palpable, always creating more new and raw music. They are supported with access to reputable venues or radio stations all over the city. The community here highly values and revolves around the impact of music and how it connects us. Our goal is to shed light and appreciation to this innovative part of Minneapolis.

Artists: Jordan Hamilton, Mette Aarsheim

Juxtaposition Apprentices – “Change Makers”

Location: Hennepin Theatre Trust

As the Contemporary Art Lab at JXTA we worked as a collective and in smaller groups to respond to the theme of Spirit of Minneapolis and discuss what we felt was important to include in our designs. Each painted piano is the a result of a collaborative effort and process.

Minneapolis has been home to some incredible leaders who work towards making the city and world a better place for all peoples through being a voice for those historically disadvantaged. We want to pay tribute to Ilhan Omar and other change makers who’ve contributed to social and humanitarian movements through spreading awareness of feminism, intersectionality, and fighting for human rights.

Artists: Jordan Hamilton, Kachina Henry

Juxtaposition Apprentices – “Minneapolis Music”

Location: Minneapolis Central Library Theatre in the Round

As the Contemporary Art Lab at JXTA we worked as a collective and in smaller groups to respond to the theme of Spirit of Minneapolis and discuss what we felt was important to include in our designs. Each painted piano is the a result of a collaborative effort and process.

A unique part of Minneapolis that affects our culture is that we have four distinct seasons: spring, summer, fall and winter. Each season allowing for different types of events and activities. We focused on a few images and characteristics detailing each season.

Artists: Bereket Weddell, Kendrix Bady, Makeda Parrish, Tamiera Chatman