MN Original

MN Original | Sculptor James Brenner

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Sculptor James Brenner likes to engage the community with his work, whether creating large public art pieces or involving entire neighborhoods in an iron pour. Learn about the process of creating public art and discover how it can be used to bring community members together.  

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MN Original | Painter Aziz Osman

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Trained as an architect and painter for over two decades in Italy, Aziz Osman returned to his native Somalia only months before the outbreak of civil war. Barely escaping the conflict, he and his family made a new home in Minnesota. Learn about the effects of the Somali Civil War on Aziz Osman’s life and process and create a work of art with limited resources. For more MN Original resources, click here.

MN Original | Pyrotechnic Artist Lisa Friedrich

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Lisa Friedrich uses fire, gunpowder and smoke to create cityscapes of her hometown. Discuss traditional definitions of fine art and how that concept can be broadened. 

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MN Original | Painter Paul Peterson

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Paul Peterson paints images of Colombia to connect to his heritage. Reflect on your own heritage through art.

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MN Original | Musician Mayyadda "Black is Beautiful"

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Use Mayyadda’s song “Black is Beautiful” as a jumping off point to discuss the effects of prejudices on self-image and the response art can provide. 

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MN Original | Michael Robbins and Bonnie Morris of Illusion Theater

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Michael and Bonnie started the Illusion Theater so they could tell stories that reflected them and their community. Learn about their latest production and the work they are doing to develop stories with high school students. For more MN Original resources, click here

MN Original | Rapper Tall Paul

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Watch now: Born and raised in inner-city Minneapolis, Paul Wenell, better known as Tall Paul, connects to his Ojibwe heritage in his clever and poignant hip hop music.

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MN Original | Textile Artist Tim Harding

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Learn how internationally known designer Tim Harding makes large-scale textiles out of colorful Chinese silks and other vibrant materials. Harding layers, cuts and assembles these fabrics to create the illusion that the flat work is actually 3-dimensional.

Harding’s work can be found around the world in museums and private collections, and even in an Abu Dhabi luxury hotel.

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MN Original | Curator Christopher Atkins

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Watch now: As the Coordinator of the Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program (MAEP) for the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Christopher Atkins describes himself as "a curator without a collection." While the encyclopedic museum boasts pieces that are decades to centuries old, the work that falls within Atkins’ purview comes from artists who are actively at work creating new pieces to exhibit within the MIA’s storied walls.

In the Spring of 2015, Atkins worked with Aaron Dysart to create “Surprise Party,” an installation in the MIA’s Fountain Court celebrating the museum’s 100th birthday, and with Pao Her on “Attention,” a 10-photograph exhibition in the MAEP gallery. Local artists are selected for the MAEP by a 7-member panel with knowledge of the Minnesota arts community and contemporary art.

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MN Original | Musicians The Ericksons

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Sisters, the Ericksons, started to play music together after experiencing a loss in the family. Learn about their musical collaboration and how inspiration can be drawn from difficult experiences and times of change. 

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