When you think Twin Cities art, you think Adam Turman. His bold illustrations riff Minnesota culture with stylized takes on everything from the Stone Arch Bridge to Babe the Blue Ox. Notably, his work celebrates a distinctively Twin Cities love of the great outdoors. Adam’s murals can be found all over town and his prints in private collections worldwide. He works with major Minnesota brands, local boutiques, and private collectors alike to make art a part of Minnesotans’ everyday.
Adam grew up in the Twin Cities, and got his start as an artist by making gig posters for bands coming through popular Twin Cities venues. He drew influence from the bold, graphic style of 80s art and comics. After working as an in-house graphic designer for the University of Minnesota, Adam took his studio practice full-time in 2003. Since then, he has become one of Minnesota’s most popular artists.
Approaching projects from a graphic design perspective, Adam connects with art lovers through his collection of colorful screenprints, and creates commissioned pieces in the form of logos, illustrations, murals, and paintings. Clients use his work to advertise events, connect with local audiences, and celebrate their organizations. He has worked with companies like Fidelity, SPAM, Indian Motorcycles, and the Children’s Hospitals of Minnesota.
Crowned Fan Favorite during sixth season of Project Runway in 2009, self-taught designer Christopher Straub didn’t put on airs, he just went back home to Shakopee, Minnesota, and put on his Midwestern work ethic.
Straub’s collections embrace not only apparel, but handbags and other accessories, all of which reflect an aesthetic based on nature in form and texture. Inspired by the elemental, Straub’s signature is photo- realistic prints and whimsical design. With a background in art and illustration, Straub also manipulates fabric and strives to create “wearable art,” individually designed statement pieces.
Straub’s imagination appeals to a commercial base as well as to individuals - last year he collaborated with Yoplait for Target, and designed six different yogurt cups inspired by colors and textures from his gowns.
In addition to design, Straub works as the “Style Expert” for the Mall of America, the 520-store complex that also houses the nation’s largest indoor theme park located in Minneapolis - St. Paul. He’s also an author, illustrator, and toy developer for a series of children’s books including Albert the Confused Manatee, Albert’s Underwater ABCs, and Rocky the Confused Platypus. His Midwestern ethic surfaces as well through civic engagement, and Straub is a passionate fundraiser. He developed an eponymous line for maurices, the national women’s clothing chain, that helped raise more than $400,000 for causes including the American Cancer Society, Child Neurology Foundation, Make-A-Wish, and the Children’s Cancer Research Fund, among others. Now a father, Christopher and his husband, Ronnie Cooper, adopted two sons in the summer of 2016.
Kristi grew up in Sydney, Australia. Having earned her Bachelor of Design degree followed by her MBA, Kristi answered her call to duty to run her family’s executive training business in Sydney. A decade on, she managed the family business’ merger and acquisition with a larger non-profit. As a marketing and communications manager, Kristi developed collateral material, published websites, managed social media and developed a network of international distributors. Then in 2008 as the CEO of SimSkill, Kristi consolidated and transitioned over 25 years of historical classroom-based workshops for leadership, project management and compliance learning into its eLearning platform.
In September of 2013, Kristi boldly changed course to become a full-time artist. Returning to Minnesota in search of new directions and inspiration, Kristi initially found her community as a resident in the city of St Paul, but now works out of her own studio and gallery space in downtown Minneapolis.
As a collage artist Abbott is fascinated with the use of color, pattern and texture and tries to combine these elements in her work in an innovative and exciting way using a combination of substrates, adhesives, papers and embellishment materials.
Abbott also feels challenged to continue to push the boundaries of technique, subject matter and provocation. She is keen to understand some of the driving forces that shape our culture, communities and social patterns. Therefore each piece and series is thoughtfully researched and conceptualized to tell a story through the use of familiar imagery richly layered through each artwork. Major influences in her work include pop art and pop culture, Hollywood, music and fashion. Games from her childhood have also had a major influence in her latest works, which are rich with hidden imagery. As a child she spent hours hunting through “Where’s Wally” books, examining “Spot the Difference” games and piecing together intricate jigsaw puzzles.
I was born in Rajasthan, India, a state of princes and palaces, but my memories from childhood are of the simple memories of village life. Weddings were the best times, when we dressed up and applied henna on our hands. More than an art form, the application of henna was a social event for all the women in the community. I spent hours learning how to create the intricate designs on my own hand.
The constant exposure to folk art sparked my interest in many different art forms. I started painting and decorating household objects, from drinking glasses to pottery. My family and friends were impressed with what I did and gave me encouragement and opportunities to continue pursuing my interest. In college, I majored in biology, but the most interesting part for me was creating incredibly detailed drawings of anatomy and plants.
After college, I tried even more art forms - beadwork, wire sculpture, and batik. I also made my first forays into painting, clay, and plaster-of-paris sculpture. I had my first one-person art show in Bombay, where I showed paintings, embroidery, sculpture, and decorated textiles.
After I married, I came to the US and started displaying my work at local art shows. As my kids started going to school, I started teaching art but soon realized I was the one that needed to learn more. I started a program at North Hennepin Community College, and received a certificate in Graphic Design in 1993. This was an incredible experience for me.
I was exposed to new ways of creating and expressing myself. I experimented with all different mediums - pastel, watercolor, pen-and-ink, mixed-media, and photography. I particularly fell in love with photography and the darkroom process. The most important gain from North Hennepin was that I started to develop my own personal style. I began to integrate elements from my Indian heritage with modern methods and mediums.
In 1995-96 I opened my own gallery, Shakuntala Gallery on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis. This was a great learning experience for me, and while it was an enjoyable experience, it became quite time consuming. When the city began to demolish the buildings, I closed the gallery and ran my business out of my home and also started teaching more. After attending workshops at Intermedia Arts I became the roster artist for Young Audiences. The folk arts from my childhood, specifically the arts of henna and rangoli, became a important part of my art teaching. I started to demonstrate and teach these arts in schools and various cultural festivals.
My art now reflects a combination of my knowledge of folk art, photography and graphic design. Based on my ethnic background - colors, stylized designs, and story telling is evident in my work. I have participated in many art shows and art competitions and won numerous awards over the years in both paintings and photographs. I have shown my work in various galleries and participated in art shows throughout the Midwest, California, and India.
Last year I participated festival of nations, Edina art fair, Loring park art fair, Women’s art show. Did residency and workshop at schools and Libraries through Compas, art Start, Minnetonka center for the Arts 2019 solo shows Coffman Union in October 2018 – January 2019, and at North Hennepin community college 2019.
As a full time art and graphic design educator, Bailey's exposure to a wide variety of art mediums means her art incorporates many techniques, mediums, and artistic styles. She is often inspired by the theme of "Home" in the sense of how we find our places of comfort, safe havens, and our own identity. Growing up and living in Minnesota, she encounters influences of Native American and Scandinavian cultures and is also inspired by these cultural themes in art. Bailey loves to travel to gain new perspectives and ideas for her work. Some of her favorite mediums include photography, watercolor, metal leaf, acrylic paint, charcoal, printmaking, and digital art. Her work has been shown at the Rochester Art Center, Olmsted County Fair, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Winona State Watkins Gallery, Canvas & Chardonnay, and recently some of her graphic design work was featured on the set of Netflix's hit series Atypical.
Kimberly McCracken is a contemporary artist working under the name Mimiku. She lives and works in Muscatine, Iowa and was once a native of rural Illinois. Although growing up surrounded by the rustic countryside, her inspiration came from Japanese culture and fashion. Her distinctive personal style emanates colorful imagery and a kawaii aesthetic.
Fantastical heroes, magical girls, vibrant characters, and set pieces are all brought to life with a combination of bold and bright compositions.
As a child, Mimiku wanted to be an artist, but never pursued the idea until she won first place in an art competition in 5th grade. Afterwards she studied and dedicated herself to drawing until entering college where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from The University of Northern Iowa and a Master of English/Medieval Literature. Although English was her major, she did take a few art classes during her studies, and volunteered for a group who created art in order to fundraise for a school to be built in El Salvador.
Mimiku now works as a library assistant and is able to showcase her creativity in drawing and sewing thanks to the constant support of her fiance, Manuel, who helped inspire her to keep moving forward. All projects created by Mimiku are dedicated to her late mother, Debora Shelman.
Kao Lee Thao is best known for her expressively fluid style that echos folktales, themes, and patterns passed down verbally from generation to generation in the Hmong culture. Her journey began when her mother fleeing the jungles of Laos crossed the Mekong River while she was cradled in her womb. Her family escaped to America with $5 to begin a new life in Minnesota. Storytelling is the driving force behind most of her paintings and recent public art work. During her process the faces of the community inspire her to create pieces that unify many voices. Kao recently designed a Peanuts "Lucy" statue which was a gift to Changsha, China where the statue is installed. The statue was created by TivoliToo.
When we began doing custom designed jewelry as Tivoli Jewelers in 1980, we never thought that one day we would build really big custom themed stuff of all shapes and sizes for so many different types of clients all over the world.
Our love of fun, craft and unique solutions combined with lasting client relationships and great value has stood the test of time. We have learned that there is always an opportunity to evoke a smile, brighten a day and add that extra WOW to any space.
A proud Roseville resident, Aimee studied fine arts at St. Catherine University and now works at McGough as the lead creative in their marketing department. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her children, Rose and Nicholas, cooking, traveling, painting and listening to music (she also plays!).
While Donna Post is a southern California native, she has come to love the northwoods area after moving to Seeley, then Cable, Wisconson, some 10 years ago to help care for her grandsons. She has worked in many media, including painting, sculpture, fibers, and ceramics, and completed a number of indoor and outdoor murals. Her most recent large mural was created for the town of Cable, Wisconsin, and is 8 x 72 feet long.
Born in McGrath Minnesota in 1942, Thomas lived in the Roseville area and then enlisted in the US Army and finally enrolling in the University of Minnesota. Toebe played hockey for the Minnesota Gophers and received a BS in Art Education. He went on to teach and coach for the Roseville School District from 1970- 2000. Thomas retired to Florida and taught art for a division of Ringling Bros College of Art. Toebe's art was also featured in six galleries from across the country from Montana to Florida.
His life in Roseville, MN gave him opportunities to be taught by the best teachers and to teach and coach the best students. The people in the community have high morals and family values. The people of Roseville played a major part in Toebe's life and it is portrayed through theses facets in the rose design.
When we began doing custom designed jewelry as Tivoli Jewelers in 1980, we never thought that one day we would build really big custom themed stuff of all shapes and sizes for so many different types of clients all over the world. Our love of fun, craft and unique solutions combined with lasting client relationships and great value has stood the test of time. We have learned that there is always an opportunity to evoke a smile, brighten a day and add that extra WOW to any space.
An ink and watercolor artist with training in scientific illustration, Cora Hays illustrates children’s books and teaches art classes when she isn’t being a full-time mom. Her primary encourager is her husband, Keith, without whom she’d never get any drawing done. She creates art that brings people together, encourages community building, and supports education. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram @KidsBookPainter and view her portfolio at KidsBookPainter.com.
I had the pleasure of attending Roseville area schools, named “Alexander Ramsey High School” at the time (1980-1983). There I was to meet the first great creative influence of my life, my art teacher Merl Clercx. It is because of his tutelage that I was able to attain a scholarship for four years full tuition at the Mpls. College of Art and Design (1983 to1987). My junior year in college I studied in Aix-en –Provence, France, at the Leo Marchutz Atelia. I completed my formal education at a summer intensive at Chautauqua School of Art in the Finger Lake Region of New York studying under the Master Abstract landscape painter Stanley Lewis (1991).
I have maintained a studio practice in portrait, figure, and still life as well as plein-air painting for the last 30 years. For twenty-five years I taught painting lessons in lower town at my studios there. For the last 5 years I have continued my practice as a teaching artist and and painter at 280 and University at the Midway Triangle Bldg.
My investigations into painting flowers began as a response to Minnesota’s long cold winters. I needed color, beauty and connection during the inclement winter months. Flowers have offered me this wonderful arena of hope, experimentation and play. The living, breathing, presence of flowers can offer so much joy and healing to all who have the pleasure of noticing their delightful and powerful generosity. It is in this spirit that I embark on the rose sculpture ”Flower Power” created for, and located in, Roseville--a place to which I owe so much gratitude. Birthplace of my first hopes and dreams and creative playful longings!
Art has always been my “ace in the hole”. Whenever I need a ‘pick-me- up’ I’ll take on an art project. It has been that way since elementary school and my first art show. The tools, the crayons, pencils, oils, watercolors, or whatever, help me produce ideas. The discussions of light & shade, color and perspective are alive & around us everyday. My “ace in the hole” is still teaching me how to ‘see’.
Daniela Bianchini was born and raised in Cordoba, Argentina. She was given the opportunity to come to the United Stated at the age of 19 and fell in love with Minnesota right away. She has been living here for the past 20 years and it definitely feels like home to her. As for her artistic passion, her mother is an artist who encouraged her exploration through the arts since she was a child. She worked with several mediums until she fell in love with mosaics about nine years ago. She is very enthusiastic about composing a work of art by bringing many pieces together. Sometimes it feels very much like life itself to her, composed by mosaic pieces of experiences, places, people, colors, etc. She dives into the process of making mosaic with passion and excitement. She spends many hours finding or creating the right pieces to make it come together. She documents the process of each work because the completed piece of art delights her in perspective to all the previous shatter pieces.
She has participated in art shows and exhibits. In recent years, she has dedicated her time to public art and sharing her passion for mosaics. As much as she enjoys exhibitions and art shows, beautifying public spaces is her call. Her goal is to be able to use her artistic passion to bring it to the community and beautify the city. Mosaic murals and artworks are covering cities around the world making these places beautiful, promoting the arts, expressing culture and for everyone to enjoy. She loves to contribute to Minnesota in this way. Daniela feels like our modern world of technologies is alienating all of us. She truly believes that arts, creativity and especially mosaic art has the potential of bringing people together to create amazing things.
Jill Osiecki grew up in West St. Paul, Minnesota and attended college at Concordia College in St. Paul as a fine art major. Jill is an artist and hockey mom with a passion for nature. She loves to experiment with all different mediums and techniques.
Hello! My name is Erin Ward and I am a mosaic artist. I live in Maplewood, MN with my husband, four children, three dogs and two cats! I work with glass and ceramic tiles mostly but have been known to include a found object or two in my pieces. My favorite things to make are pet portraits and personalized picture frames but I am always trying to expand on what I know and to try new techniques.
In many ways, mosaics serves as a sort of therapy for me. It is the art of taking something broken and reconstructing it into something beautiful. To me, there is such a powerful message about life in this. Life can be hard, it can break us, pieces of our former selves can be lost. But from the scraps, the broken shards we can reconstruct ourselves into a masterpiece.
Lili Payne is a seasoned professional muralist with 17 years of painting experience, and with a solid reputation for vivid designs, precise execution, and quality workmanship. Her work is found in such institutions as Minnesota’s Bell Museum, Macy’s Special Events (Chicago State Street and Minneapolis), a 2017 feature film (Wilson), and on numerous public and private walls around Minnesota. She was awarded an Honorable Mention at the 2019 Minnesota State Fair Fine Art Exhibit, and was featured on an episode of Pioneer Public Television's Postcards, an award-winning art and culture program showcasing the people and communities of western Minnesota. Lili was raised on the Minnesota prairie in Morris, is an honors graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College and a veteran of the professional theatre community of Minneapolis, working for years as a freelance Scenic Artist. The skills learned as a theatre painter plus an entrepreneurial spirit propelled her to shift her work to murals in 2009.
Lydia stands by that our passions should be our professions, not just a pleasant pastime but a way of life. She graduated from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, May 2019, with a Bachelor in Art. After graduating she continued to work in the University Theater and Dance Department as a Theater Carpenter and Scenic Artist. Aspiring to continue education as a scenic artist she will be attending Cobalt Studios Inc. in White Lake, New York, summer 2020. Lydia values seeing art in public spaces which led her to the street art community as a chalk artist and muralist, she will be completing her second mural for the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in the summer of 2020.