visual artartist biospoetrypoet bioshonorable mention poetryexhibition calendar



Ta-coumba Aiken
Del Bey
Frank J. Brown
William J. Cottman
Barbara Friberg
Camille J. Gage
Caprice Glaser
Ruthann Godollei
Lori Greene
Barbara Harman
Keith Holmes
Diane Katsiaficas
Malichansouk
Kouanchao

Marilyn Lindstrom
Gustavo Lira
Rod Massey
Celeste A. Nelms
Bruce Nygren
Steve Olson
George Roberts
Richard Sennot
William G. Slack
Scott Streble
Robin Getsug Taple
Sandra Menefee Taylor
Denise S. Tennen
Cy Thao
PaoKong Thao

Artist Bios and Statements


selected artwork
Ta-coumba Aiken
A Twin Cities artist-activist for thirty years, Ta-coumba Aiken is a member of the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council and the Science Museum of Minnesota Advisory Committee. He also has served as a curator for the African-American Cultural Arts Center and Intermedia Arts and helped coordinate the Family Housing Fund’s original “Home Sweet Home” exhibition in 2000. As a painter, he has created more than 75 public artworks and is the president of the St. Paul Art Collective.

Artist's Statement
I believe that art can be used as a vehicle for enlightenment and change. Consequently, I create art to heal the hearts and souls of people by evoking a positive spirit. My paintings investigate the many layers of human existence. The need for shelter should and will be at the forefront of any society, and given Minnesota’s climate, it should be one of our top priorities. This work captures the essence of Home—past, present, and future.


selected artwork
Del Bey
Del Bey has an M.F.A. in photography from the University of Illinois–Chicago and a B.F.A. in fiber arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has exhibited her work in Chicago and the Twin Cities, where she currently resides. She also teaches workshops under the auspices of COMPAS and the Minnesota State Arts Board and belongs to December Designs, an online art collective.

Artist's Statement
I strive to create images that are emotionally provocative and socially relevant. I believe photography is an educational tool that offers a reflection of society and allows us to understand ourselves. That awareness creates the power of social change.

I feel strongly about the need for affordable housing. There are so many displaced people on this planet. The problem can be overwhelming. For some, a home is a reality; for others, a dream, a wish, a memory. In any language, it’s a place of one’s own: somewhere to feel safe and have a personal universe, a sense of belonging, an external womb. The photographs in this exhibition span more than twelve years and explore the notion of home—within, without, and of the greater world community.

Some call it home,
Rent to own,
Take out a loan,
Equity stripped,
Home no more,
Land stripped,
Roam ever more.



selected artwork
Frank J. Brown
Frank Brown received his B.F.A. from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and his M.F.A. from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. As a sculptor and ceramist, he has taught in Wisconsin at the Madison Area Technical College and in Minnesota at the University of Saint Thomas and Macalester College. Regarded as one of the Midwest’s leading social realists working in sculpture, Brown has pieces in the permanent collections of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

Artist's Statement
The theme of this artwork, Homegrown Hate, uses gargoyles as a visual metaphor. These grotesques whisper negative suggestions and teach a European American family how to hate. They direct their animosity toward an African American family who has just been refused housing. I hope this work will lead to discussions about housing discrimination.


selected artwork

William J. Cottman
A graduate of Howard University in Washington, D.C., William Cottman worked for many years as an engineer before deciding to become a full-time photographer in 1999. The recipient of a 2002 McKnight Foundation Fellowship, Cottman has published his images in Lightworks, Ebony, the Star Tribune, and Insight News. He also has exhibited his works locally and given workshops at Southwest State University in Marshall and the Minnesota Center for Photography in Minneapolis.

Artist's Statement
Family, home, and community are assets critical to peaceful coexistence. Tangible, measurable economic assets, along with intangible, observable spiritual assets, create feelings of prosperity.

When feelings become sustainable realities, peace prevails. The statistics and news coverage of my home zip code, 55411, suggest a total
lack of opportunity for sustainable prosperity and peace.

But as these photographs from the Living in Jordan series show,
there is evidence to the contrary.



selected artwork
Barbara Friberg
Using photography and mixed media, Barbara Friberg frequently collaborates with her daughter, husband, friends, and neighbors to make her art. A partner in her own design firm, Friberg received her B.F.A. from the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul and is a member of the Lowertown Lofts Cooperative. She also has taught at public schools in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Mounds View.

Artist's Statement
My dear friends Susie and her daughter Tia recently moved into government- subsidized housing. This work—a compilation of photography, art, poetry, and prose—documents the physical and spiritual changes in their lives before, during, and after this transition. The piece first introduces Susie and Tia visually with a life-size portrait. Then, a series of books details their experience with words, poetry, and vivid symbolic imagery. Although the books are numbered, the statements are nonlinear and can
be read randomly. I am grateful that Susie and Tia have agreed to share their perspectives on this redirection of their lives. They have endured
it with integrity, and I feel honored to have their trust in presenting their feelings.


selected artwork
Camille J. Gage
Camille J. Gage began her “creative journey” as she calls it in her late teens and twenties, when she wrote music and toured with a number of bands throughout the United States and Canada. In her thirties, she became interested in performance and public art and attended the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. After graduating in 1996 with a B.F.A. in interdisciplinary studies, Gage has concentrated on painting and drawing and has participated in numerous exhibitions. She also has received grants from Intermedia Arts, the Jerome Foundation, Forecast Public Artworks, and the Southern Theatre.

Artist's Statement
While working in the studio I’ve discovered the urge to bring forth images of stillness and simplicity. These works provide me, and hopefully the viewer, with an opportunity for quiet reflection, a sense of connection to ancient truths, and a moment of repose in a hyper- kinetic world.

Most recently I have coupled this work with both personal paintings and community-based art collaborations that investigate issues of home and community, the responsibilities of citizenship, and the power of political iconography.

For these new paintings for the Family Housing Fund’s “Home Sweet Home Again” show, I returned to the writing of poet, art critic, and essayist John Berger for inspiration. Berger has written extensively on the subject of place and space, and sees home as the intersection between the earthly world and the spiritual realm of the heavens—the bulls-eye center of two coexisting worlds. He bemoans the breakdown of this sense of place—life’s centerpiece— in the modern, more transient, and, for some, more economically challenging world. Berger writes, “The one hope of recreating a center now is to make it the entire earth. Only worldwide solidarity can transcend modern homelessness.”



selected artwork
Caprice Glaser
The winner of several awards and Minnesota State Arts Board Grants, Caprice Glaser earned her B.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Since returning to Minnesota in the mid-1970s, she has worked in a variety of media and exhibited throughout the state and Wisconsin. Glaser also has received a number of commissions and been an instructor at the Minnetonka Center for the Arts and the Perpich Center for Arts Education. The mother of three grown children, she lives in St. Paul and has a studio downtown.

Artist's Statement
As an artist and single parent, I know the difficulties of finding affordable housing. My works express my feelings about “home” and its meaning to me. They document a time when I dreamt of buying a house (Hope), while living with my three kids and father in his small two-bedroom bungalow (Full House). They also reflect my overwhelming desire as a mother to provide for my children (Wishes), to persevere at all costs, and ultimately to secure a home of our own (Dream House).


selected artwork
Ruthann Godollei
A professor of art at Macalester College in St. Paul, Ruthann Godollei incorporates political and social commentary in her prints and drawings. Her art has been shown nationally in such juried exhibitions as “Art in Environmental Activism,” “Girls with Guns,” and “Shock & Awe: Artists Respond to War.” Her works can be found in many public collections, including the Belgian Royal Museum of Fine Art, the Croatian National University Library, the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

Artist's Statement
I create images of the world around me as I see it, hoping it may change. Currently, I’m working on a major series of prints about the human condition. I juxtapose images of simple household objects and familiar items from everyday life with written statements to provoke empathy or stimulate discussion about issues many people choose to ignore. The objects and texts intentionally float in an “empty” black space. I hope this allusion to the darkness of dreams—or the white expanse of the imagination—will prompt viewers to associate their own thoughts and experiences with the ideas I’ve presented.


selected artwork
Lori Greene
Lori Greene received her B.F.A. from the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland and her M.F.A. from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. A past recipient of a Minnesota State Arts Board Grant, a Bush Foundation Fellowship, and a Henry Walters Travel Scholarship, Greene has exhibited her works in California, Minnesota, New York, and Virginia. She also has taught local children how to create mosaic murals and has been an artist-in-residence for the St. Paul public schools.

Artist's Statement
I have been struggling with the issue of affordable housing for a number of years. While I do own my home, it is small and five of us share two bedrooms. And because of the current housing market, the equity we have in this house does not allow us to move into a larger one or a safer neighborhood. Unfortunately, our situation is a common one, especially for low-income people of color and the working poor.

My hinged triptych takes the form of a house and utilizes found objects, glass mosaics, and photographs. When opened, it reveals things that make a community healthy: images of children playing outside, gardens growing, and neighbors talking. I use the triptych shape because for me it represents a spiritual place, a place for dreams and hopes.


selected artwork
Barbara Harman
As a working artist, Barbara Harman makes paintings, prints, and artist’s books. Her work is in such prestigious collections as the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. A teacher for more than twenty years, she also has given workshops in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Missouri, California, and Guatemala. Harman has a master’s degree in fine arts and currently serves as president of the Women’s Art Registry of Minnesota (WARM).

Artist's Statement
I have explored the topic of home for many years in my art and writings. I began my current series, Homework: Meditations on the Meaning of Home, in early 2001 as a light-hearted response to my daughter and her family acquiring their first home. But September 11 and its aftermath transformed it dramatically.

Home is a universal metaphor for safety, refuge, love, family, and belonging. And while Homework draws on those associations, their opposites are represented in some of the most powerful pieces in the series. I know personally that the longed-for home of cultural myth often bears little resemblance to the one in which many of us live. The losses of September 11 remind us of the unpredictable dangers of childhood, where home as we know it can cease to exist and parents can leave and never return. In Remember (9-11), home is a ghostly leaf between two towers of lit windows. It is about the children who waited at school all that day for parents who never came back for them.

The Homework series also relates to my own experiences of being homeless. I became a ward of the state in New Mexico at the age of 14, when my mother abandoned me. For many years before that, my family lived a nomadic existence, moving at least once a year. I was regularly forced to jettison friendships, school papers, books, neighborhoods, cities, and states.

The Homework series includes monotypes, paintings, artist’s books, drawings, and a journal about home. I make my paintings and books on textured Arches paper, to which I apply many thin layers of acrylic paint. Hand-cut stamps of leaves, twigs, and birds, and stencils of houses and windows provide pictorial elements. Collaged elements include actual leaves and fragments of handwritten texts.



selected artwork
Keith Holmes
“I am a documentary artist,” says Keith Holmes. “My job is to scratch. And ask. And dig deeply.” In recent years, Holmes has been creating installations that combine photography with three-dimensional objects. The recipient of numerous awards, Holmes has an M.F.A. from the University of Colorado in Boulder and has received grants from the Jerome and McKnight foundations. He has exhibited his work throughout the Midwest and at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb, Croatia.

Artist's Statement
The idea to print faces on bricks occurred to me in the early 1990s while doing fieldwork in Yugoslavia. The texture and color of the bricks came through the light areas of the image, integrating the expressive power of the portrait with the distressed surface of the clay. Printed on stacks of bricks, the fragmented faces suggested the dislocation of identity that takes place in a civil war, when ethnic conflicts tear apart families and friends as well as human bodies. The bricks also offered a redemptive metaphor—the idea of reconstruction and the courage, strength, and collective effort needed to rebuild a home, a family, and a community.


selected artwork
Diane Katsiaficas
A professor in the art department at the University of Minnesota, Diane Katsiaficas has an M.F.A. in painting from the University of Washington and a B.A. in chemistry from Smith College. As an artist, she uses a variety of techniques and media, from digital stills and video images to cut tin cans. Her work ranges from small journal drawings and paintings to large-scale installations and has been shown throughout the United States and Europe. She has received numerous awards, including a Fulbright Scholarship to Greece and two McKnight Foundation Fellowships, and holds a U.S. patent for an outdoor recreational structure.

Artist's Statement
One of the themes in my work centers on home and migration. To begin this piece, I first looked to the essays, poems, and statements that had been written for the first “Home Sweet Home” exhibition. I read them first on-line and then printed them out and kept the printouts close by. I was touched by the sincerity and honesty of each one and the strong visual images they elicited.

Then I went into my studio and began to draw. The Family Housing Fund had asked me to create a larger piece than I usually do. I’ve not worked on this scale in a long time, but the ‘bigness’ of the narrative and multitude of components led me to abut two sheets of 22- by 30-inch Lana watercolor paper (a strong acid-free cotton paper) to make a 30- by 44-inch sheet. I like the idea that one plus one equals three. Each drawing can hold its own, but together they make a third one.

Next, I laid down a patchwork of bright colors in harder oil pastels. I kept track of the colors I used by making a mark at the bottom of the pages, and block by block the community grew. Then I covered the quilt of colors with a softer black oil pastel to create a field I could scratch through to the colors below. (As a pigment, black is the presence of all hues.) What lay in front of me was an old-fashioned scratchboard—like the ones we had in elementary school—filled with the promise of discovery as each mark clears the surface.

As I sgraffitoed, the narrative emerged: A community of houses at the perimeter of a big field. In their circular encampment, they defy gravity. Houses with at least two doors. A blue bedroom for one, with a light and books. A big porch. A big yard. Windows that swing open. Flowers around the house. A round table set for four. Pots and pans. A clothesline filled with clothes. A girl in a tree writing in a journal, another youngster riding the handlebars of a bike. Flying a kite. Balloons. Birds. A mother tending to her children in the shelter of a tree in the shelter of a house. A sun/compass pointing the drawing south. An infinity sign. Specific images that together create a wealthy ambiguity which allows for multiple readings and unending metaphors.

This drawing fills me with joy. In creating it, I am indebted to Kristin Ellertson, Anna Mileyev, Michael LaDoucer, Gemma Kirby, Sarah Schuster, Danita Walker, Shirley Jenkins, Heidi Fuhr, Leesa Applebee, Fulisha Fulmer-Kalanges, and Jennifer Lee for their keen perceptions.



selected artwork
Malichansouk Kouanchao
As a child, Malichansouk Kouanchao came to the United States from Laos with her family. That experience led her to explore the conflict of growing up in two cultures in her art and to expose racism, sexism, and other forms of oppression. A graphic designer and muralist, she has shown her work internationally and collaborated with people from many diverse backgrounds and ages. She believes public art should empower the maker and educate and transform the community.

Artist's Statement
As a painter, I have explored nostalgic symbols of cultural heritage and cultural transformation. Through my work, I have attempted to understand how culture can be defined, diluted, degraded, or reconstituted when nostalgia influences our perception of history. What interests me most about the images I select is the contrast between my personal history with the cultural symbol, like a U.S. military helmet in Southeast Asia, and what I perceive to be the greater cultural response to that symbol.

My public artwork has allowed me to interact with people from other marginalized, largely urban communities. Through this exchange, I have begun pondering how cultural, political, and historical contexts blend with popular images of immigrant and refugee communities to obfuscate, exploit, and/or repossess our personal and public identity.

In my own work, I like to incorporate the tools of mass media—including digital imagery, video, printing, and advertising propaganda—and contrast popular images with the infinitely less seen, but more authentic, symbols of marginal cultures.



selected artwork
Marilyn Lindstrom
A native Minnesotan, Marilyn Lindstrom began her career in 1971 and since then has helped to create hundreds of public artworks. Inspired by Chicago’s community mural movement, she founded Wall Painting Artists in 1978. In 1991, she established Neighborhood Safe Art, a public art program for teenagers. Lindstrom has received several Committee on Urban Environment (CUE) Awards and a Leadership Initiatives in Neighborhoods (LIN) Fellowship. A single parent with one son, she lives in the Whittier neighborhood of Minneapolis.

Artist's Statement
I have found the concept of Home to be very multilayered and multicultural. The more I explore its meaning, the more I find. When placing the notion of Home alongside that of the “American Dream,” we find ourselves facing expectations, contradictions, and, ultimately, new definitions. In Our Home, Where Is the Dream?, I hope to further this discussion, especially for new immigrants and those living on the edge of society.

Our Home, Where Is the Dream? grew out of getting to know the wonderful people at Skyline Towers, a high-rise with 1,300 residents overlooking Interstate 94 between Snelling and Lexington avenues in St. Paul. First, we—an intergenerational, multicultural group—created a mural together on an interior wall of the Towers called Welcome. It grew out of our exploration of the questions, “What makes a place a home, and how does one feel welcomed there?”

For Our Home, Where Is the Dream?, Skyline residents again became artist-participants, shooting photographs of their community at Skyline Towers and creating the three hundred human images for our traveling mosaic for “Home Sweet Home Again.” When the idea for this piece first arose, I envisioned a mosaic of a house made up of all the people who do not live in a traditional American dream home. I thought that would be a powerful statement about privilege and lack of access. But during the process of becoming part of the community at Skyline Towers, I came to realize that the people living there truly do make a home, which adds another nontraditional layer to its definition.

For cosponsoring the Welcome mural at Skyline Towers, I thank CommonBond Communities, The Advantage Center, and Intermedia Arts.

For commissioning this piece, I am grateful to the Family Housing Fund. For helping to make it, I am grateful to Malichansouk Kouanchao for her technical assistance and to all the residents at Skyline Towers. Thank you for your stories, conversation, ideas, talent, time, work, trust, patience, and participation. Most of all, thank you for sharing your home with me The Skyline photographers include: “G” Abdirizack Abdi, “MB” Mohamed Ali, “lee” Liban Adam, Mohamed Abdi, Abdul Asdi, Ahmed Mo, Bahnan Abdi, Nuyerma Bararo, Momett, Abdirizak Adod, Deq Hurre, Marguis Montantes, Tiawanna Garret, and Samell Thomas.



selected artwork
Gustavo Lira
Born and raised in Mexico, Gustavo Lira attended the Autonomous University of Mexico and its National School of Fine Art. He came to the United States nine years ago and has served as an artist-in-residence in public schools throughout Minnesota. The recipient of grants from COMPAS, the St. Paul Foundation, and the Jerome Foundation, he has exhibited his art in Mexico, California, and Minnesota. A painter and muralist, Lira also makes mosaics in glass and tile.

Artist's Statement
Although I have lived in the United States for nine years, the idea of home makes me think about what I left behind in my place of origin—Mexico. My family built a house there for all the children to use, and it remains a comfort knowing I still have that home if
I ever need it. Home, after all, is not only about security, family, and community, but about dignity, pride, and culture. And having one should be a basic right for every human being.

Personal and professional circumstances have led me to move a number of times in the past two years. This has been a struggle for me, but I often think about how difficult this would be for others, especially families. Adapting to new places, however, has given me insight into the unique challenges facing immigrants, an insight
I use in my art to address social issues.



selected artwork
Rod Massey
A lifetime resident of Minneapolis, Rod Massey depicts the tree-lined streets, modest houses, and quirky interiors of his beloved hometown in his vibrant paintings and drawings. A graduate of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Massey was awarded a Bush Foundation Fellowship in 1986 and a McKnight Foundation Fellowship in 1997. He has had numerous solo exhibitions at Groveland Gallery in Minneapolis and has works in several local museums and corporations.

Artist's Statement
For more than twenty years, I have been painting the buildings and landscapes of the Twin Cities. Although these scenes may be described as regionalist, they attempt to go beyond mere surface representation and explore the underlying nature of our streets, alleyways, and neighborhoods. In so doing, they help us gain insight into our urban environment and community.


selected artwork
Celeste A. Nelms
Celeste A. Nelms has been making photographs for 24 years and has exhibited her work both nationally and internationally. She has received grants from the McKnight Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, and the Jerome Foundation. She also has been an artist-in-residence at the New York Mills Regional Cultural Center, the Vermont Studio Center, and the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, Nebraska.

Artist's Statement
When I photograph, I am drawn to people’s discarded possessions and abandoned environments. I am interested in the transformation of regard to disregard, while recognizing that the value we place on objects changes through time and with certain events.

My work first began with a fascination for buildings and structures that had been left behind. In these settings, I thought about the people who once inhabited them and discovered the beauty of nature regenerating itself. My images now include discarded objects that I find for free or at yard sales and thrift stores. I include my own figure in each photograph because I want to record both a physical and psychological response.



selected artwork
Bruce Nygren
A 1969 graduate of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Bruce Nygren has been painting full time for more than twenty years. He lives with his dog, Truman, in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis and has just finished a 25-foot-long oil painting for the Brooklyn Center Public Library.

Artist's Statement
I am not a surrealist. I like to ask myself questions about what impossible situations would look like. What would houses floating high in a night sky look like?

My painting relates to the “Home Sweet Home Again” project on a number of levels. For one, the houses are floating peacefully in the sky and may be out of reach for many. Or perhaps, the floating houses depict a haven in an uncertain world—showing the stability and comfort of having a safe place to call home. The experience will be unique for each viewer.



selected artwork
Steve Olson
Born and raised in Minneapolis, Steve Olson received his bachelor’s degree in studio arts from the University of Minnesota. He has exhibited his work in the Twin Cities since 1980 and has pieces in a number of corporate and private collections. He is married and the at-home father of five children.

Artist's Statement
The world is a dangerous place if you’re vulnerable, and no one is more vulnerable than a child. In the worst times, nothing comforts like the loving arms of a caring person. In the worst times, we can do no less than to provide shelter to those without. In the worst times, when we reach out to the poorest of the poor, then I believe grace will flow. In these times of suffering, providing shelter is the first step.


selected artwork

George Roberts
A writer for more than forty years, George Roberts has published four books of poetry. At the same time, his work as a visual artist has gravitated toward the three-dimensional and the making of books and collages. In 2003, he completed Conversation Piece, his first public artwork, and in 2004 collaborated with Seitu Jones on Sedimentary, a commission for the Sumner Community Library. Roberts lives in Minneapolis and owns Homewood Studios.

Artist's Statement
Homelessness is one of those social issues you can theorize about, get angry about, and then step away from until you know someone who has been affected by it. A former student of mine, a courageous young man who has overcome all manner of obstacles, came to visit me one winter day. He had been living in his car for several weeks and was near despair. After finding him a place to stay, I asked myself, “What is a larger solution to the problem?” “Home Sweet Home Again” is one answer. And if we artists place the issue in front of a larger audience that can view the work with an open heart, things will begin to change.



selected artwork
Richard Sennott
A graduate of the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, Richard Sennott has published his photographs in Newsweek, the New York Times, Life magazine, and the Washington Post. The recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the McKnight Foundation, and the Minnesota State Arts Board, Sennott also received a Humanitarian Award from the Minnesota Associated Press in 1990. As a documentary photographer, he has traveled to El Salvador, Bosnia, Israel, and Iraq. He also has given lectures at Carlton College and the College of Saint Thomas.

Artist's Statement
The aim of documentary photography is to decode and distill daily existence. It should visually deliver the lives of those being photographed and provide a channel for true understanding and empathy.

My work as a documentary photographer has been focused on individuals who are struggling to survive. The portraits here portray families from the Jeremiah Program and People Serving People who have struggled with homelessness. Through the help of the affordable housing community, these parents are courageously working to strengthen their own lives and the lives of their children.


selected artwork
William G. Slack
Born in Akron, Ohio, William Slack received his B.F.A. from the Cleveland Institute of Art and an M.A. in art education from Miami University in Ohio. He has taught at the University of Wisconsin–Superior, the University of Notre Dame, Bethel College, and the University of Minnesota, where he also earned an M.F.A. in printmaking. His works have been exhibited in Senegal, Brazil, and the United States. A resident of the Twin Cities for the past two decades, he is the cultural arts specialist at the Hans Christian Andersen Elementary Community School.

Artist's Statement
As an educator, I am drawn to the theories of Dr. James Comer, who teaches that the experiences one has as a child determine later success and achievement. As an artist, I am always seeking balance and the desire to create images that speak to the viewer on a very basic level. Using metaphor, I want to give visual clues that tell a universal story. This monoprint celebrates the joy of community and the excitement of a family moving into its first home.


selected artwork
Scott Streble
Scott Streble has been a professional photographer since 1982. Working for such organizations as Doctors Without Borders, the American Red Cross, and the Salvation Army, he has gone on assignment to Europe, Africa, and Central America, as well as to Peru and Brazil. A graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology, Streble moved to Minneapolis two years ago from Los Angeles. He has exhibited extensively in southern California and won a 1999 Kodak Purchase Award.

Artist's Statement
Scott Streble has been a professional photographer since 1982. Working for such organizations as Doctors Without Borders, the American Red Cross, and the Salvation Army, he has gone on assignment to Europe, Africa, and Central America, as well as to Peru and Brazil. A graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology, Streble moved to Minneapolis two years ago from Los Angeles. He has exhibited extensively in southern California and won a 1999 Kodak Purchase Award.


selected artwork
Robin Getsug Taple
Born and raised in the Twin Cities, Robin Getsug Taple has created art all her life. After receiving a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota in 1985, she spent the first 15 years of her career in commercial interior design. She has taught locally for the past few years and participated in the National Council of Jewish Women’s arts program for children with chronic illnesses and disabilities. The owner of Momento, which makes handcrafted objects for the home, Taple lives in St. Paul with her husband and three children.

Artist's Statement
Homelessness and the lack of affordable housing are serious and daunting issues. As a community, we must face this grave reality and offer ways to overcome it. This piece explores the meaning of home and presents the housing crisis as solved. The work is colorful, alive, and happy. Whether viewed from side to side or up and down, the composition always leads the eye back to the center, to “home.” Moreover, the triptych format allows the three panels to be linked but separate, like a neighborhood.

The panel on the left represents family and expresses closeness, happiness, and laughter. The one on the right depicts community and symbolizes the richness of cultural diversity and the importance of fair housing practices, regardless of a person’s ethnicity or income. The central panel, softer and calmer in color, stands for home itself—as a place of safety and security, as a place where one sleeps.

Through mixed media, I use color in a bold and surprising way to evoke emotion. I use layering to suggest mystery, complexity, and revelation. I blend new with old “found materials” to express a sense of history, reminiscence, memory, and our link to previous generations. Symbols like flowers, butterflies, and hearts signify happiness and beauty. Keys and keyholes represent free and fair access to housing. The neighborhood garden, a childlike environment, is an extension of one’s home. Tactile and inviting, it welcomes all to come in. The garden, in fact, is a metaphor for both the family and the community, which blossom with “HOME” as their foundation.

“HOME” is a place where children can grow nourished by safety and the stability of nurturing families within their communities. It is a place they can call home through the cycles of life, a home for their children and their children’s children. I thank my family and community, my “HOME,” for inspiring my art.



selected artwork
Sandra Menefee Taylor
A multimedia artist, Sandra Menefee Taylor has created books, videos, sculptures, and installations. She often collaborates with other artists and has shown her works locally and nationally. The recipient of several grants and residencies, she has lectured at Grinnell College, New York University, the College of Saint Catherine, and the University of Minnesota.

Artist's Statement
Prayer Rug for a Seed/Heart consists of three panels of textural images that combine home as a house, home as a heart, and home as a seed.

As “Home Sweet Home” 12-year-old writer Jennifer Lee reminds us, “Everything starts its life by having a place to live and a place to call home.” In this work, I wish to picture some of those places—seeds, hearts, houses, and such intimate spaces as those created by prayer rugs.



selected artwork

Denise S. Tennen
A licensed architect, Denise S. Tennen graduated from Cornell University in 1981 and worked for firms in New York and Minnesota for many years. She also has taught ceramics to students of all ages and created sculptural murals for the St. Louis Park Public Library, Chrysalis, and the College of Saint Catherine. Tennen enjoys working collaboratively and has received grants for several neighborhood projects and installations.

Artist's Statement
For this relief, I collaborated with my ceramic students at the Twin Cities Jewish Middle School. We started by looking at images of houses and then thinking about familiar spaces and details from our own homes. As we worked with the clay, our enthusiasm grew, and we kept adding
more and more details. In the end, what we created is a joyous assemblage of life’s everyday pleasures and activities.



selected artwork
Cy Thao
Born in Laos, Cy Thao emigrated from a Thai refugee camp to St. Paul with his family in 1980. After earning a bachelor’s degree in art and political science from the University of Minnesota at Morris, Thao studied the history of the Hmong people at Xiantiang University in China. With grants from the Bush and Jerome foundations, he eventually produced an epic series of paintings called The Hmong Migration, which were shown at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in 2004. Thao also works as a legislator at the Minnesota House of Representatives.

Artist's Statement
For many centuries, the Hmong lost their writing system and needed to develop other forms of communication. Storytelling was one way to pass on information from one generation to the next. The Hmong sewed their histories onto cloth using symbols. Eventually, they replaced those symbols with scenes and characters to tell their stories.

During the late 1970s in Thai refugee camps, Hmong men and women started sewing tapestries that recounted their journey from Laos. Those tapestries didn’t use words but pictures of people leaving their villages, wandering in the jungle, and finally reaching the resettlement camps. My paintings try to continue that story-telling tradition using oil paint on canvas.



selected artwork
PaoKong Thao
A recent graduate of the University of Minnesota, PaoKong Thao has a bachelor’s degree in studio art. As a young child, she immigrated to Minnesota with her mother and four siblings from a Hmong refugee camp in Thailand. She credits that experience with inspiring her to create images that “evoke some kind of emotion...whether it’s sadness or happiness or even confusion.” An emerging artist, she makes paintings, collages, and photographs.

Artist's Statement
We’ve all lived in one place or another, some of us far away. And there are things we can’t help but associate with a home. Whether it’s good times or bad, they remain part of us and our memories.

The pieces selected for “Home Sweet Home Again” intimately reflect places I’ve lived during my life. As types of memories, they directly relate to experiences I’ve had and emotions I’ve felt. Memories are a great place to start because they are like dreams. Bits and pieces are vividly clear, while other parts are not quite so apparent. As a result, one can fill in the
blanks and create wondrous images.

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