Top row: Povi Marie, Joy Spika, Rodrigo Oñate, Geno Okok. Middle: Hibaaq Ibrahim, Jennifer Davis. Bottom: Votan Henriquez, Taylor Berman, Maiya Lea Hartman, Jose Dominguez.
Chroma Zone 2022 artists, continuing to disrupt the mural festival status quo
Ten artists will leave their mark on the growing collection of community murals in Minnesota’s Creative Enterprise Zone (CEZ) during the return of the Chroma Zone Mural and Art Festival for 2022. Chroma Zone is Minnesota’s largest art and mural festival, produced and located within the CEZ, a city-recognized district of Saint Paul and non-profit dedicated to attracting and supporting creative people and businesses. Begun in 2019, the annual mural festival celebrates artistry and adds to the neighborhood’s long-term beauty, economic viability, safety, and walkability while supporting artists and entrepreneurs, and sparking creative economic activity. Forecast’s team is proud to continue facilitating the festival artist selection. Located right in the heart of the CEZ neighborhood for over 25 years, Forecast brings deep knowledge of the area to our mission to advocate for public art that advances justice, health and human dignity.
FORECAST’S ROLE + CONTINUING TO EMPHASIZE RACIAL AND GENDER EQUITY TO DISRUPT THE MURAL FESTIVAL STATUS QUO
We are a proud founding partner on the creation of this festival in 2019 and are happy to now serve as an ongoing Creative Consultant to the Creative Enterprise Zone as they move forward with this incredible event. As a facilitator of the artist selection, Forecast provided the CEZ with a list of pre-qualified artists for the festival’s third year.
A part of our role with Chroma Zone is to disrupt the mural festival status quo. In line with our values, we thoughtfully select and recommend artists for walls through the lenses of racial and gender equity. To ensure that resources and talent are cultivated right here locally, we always aim to recommend and select at least 80% local Minnesota artists. We are proud to continue to elevate and promote local artists from our rich community of muralists. Along with the CEZ, we also promote and ensure that creatives and artists always be paid fairly for their work. All selected artists in this festival are compensated for their work.
Jen Krava, Forecast Director of Programming, explains: “As a national organization that works with cities around the country, we helped start this festival with a concern that many mural festivals are more focused on priming capital markets than on building social capital among and between people, and that they continue to lag behind in ensuring full representation of BIPOC, women and non-binary artists.”
Many of the selected artists have previously received support from Forecast through grants and other programming, through our ongoing work supporting public artists with funding, training and opportunities to create partnerships and advance their public art careers.
The final selection includes ten artists. Most are Minnesota-based; half are women or non-binary artists, and the majority identify as BIPOC artists.
Povi Marie is a Pueblo/Diné woman who was raised in Tiwa Territory also known as Albuquerque. She is an active member of nsrgnts – an Indigenous brand, business, and art collective that advocates for Indigenous rights.
@scorpionic.sun | nsrgnts.com
Joy Spika is a black identifying artist with a mixed cultural background. She incorporates her personal stories into all of her work. She is a mixed media artist with a deep love for aerosol murals, painting, and textile art.
Joy painted a mural for the Minnesota State Fair Joyful World Mural Park for which Forecast facilitated artist selection.
@joyspika | joypainxoxo.com
Rodrigo Oñate: The creation of characters and fantastic worlds are the universe that deﬁnes the work of Rodrigo Oñate (Rocodrilo), originally from the city of Queretaro Mexico. Through the years, Roco has embarked on his career as a self-taught plastic and graphic artist, inﬂuenced by the pop culture of the 80s, comics, grafﬁti and various artists representing Mexican art. The artist says of the impression he hopes to leave, “I just hope people like the murals, to have joy when they see them, to feel good energy and good vibes.” Rocodrilo’s new mural is located on the lower North wall of Northwest Packaging Company at 1996 University Avenue W near Prior Avenue in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
@roco_drilo | Felino Social Club
Geno Okok is a Nigerian-American artist who attended the Minneapolis Institute of Art. 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.
Geno painted a mural for the Minnesota State Fair Joyful World Mural Park for which Forecast facilitated artist selection.
Hibaaq Ibrahim is a botanical and abstract muralist living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She was born in Sweden and has moved over 20 times. This drives her sense of curiosity and exploration. Every new home and neighborhood was an opportunity to discover; new friends, new flowers, new places to bike to. Discover Hibaaq’s artistry on her new mural on the north wall of 692 Glendale Street in the Creative Enterprise Zone neighborhood of Saint Paul. Owner of Moon Juice Murals in Minneapolis, Hibaaq says, “Flowers, plants, and patterns are my passions. I’m incredibly inspired by the vivid colors and beautiful shapes found in local flora and fauna. Gratitude is good for the soul. In my work, I attempt to bring my grateful spirit to the viewer. ‘It’s the little things’ is a phrase that is often unappreciated. To me, it is the key to life. I can admire every stick, rock, and petal I come across. Anything can be beautiful if you stop and look.”
Hibaaq painted a mural for the Minnesota State Fair Joyful World Mural Park for which Forecast facilitated artist selection.
@moonjuiceart | moonjuicemurals.com
Jennifer Davis is a Minneapolis-based artist known for her colorful, imaginative paintings of surreal and whimsical characters. Davis is a recipient of the 2013 Next Step Fund Grant from the Minnesota Regional Arts Council/McKnight Foundation. She holds a BFA from the University of Minnesota.
Jennifer painted a mural for the Minnesota State Fair Joyful World Mural Park for which Forecast facilitated artist selection.
@jenniferdavisart | Jennifer Davis Art
Votan Henriquez is a multifaceted street artist based out of LA and Albuquerque. Votan grew up amidst the birth of Los Angeles street art which involved tagging, graffiti and wheatpasting to create powerful statements in community spaces.
@votanik | nsrgnts.com
Taylor Berman is an artist and educator living in the St. Croix Valley of western Wisconsin. His work consist of both aesthetic and functional art forms, from printmaking and mural painting, to knife making and fly tying.
@taylorbermanart | taylorbermanart.com
Maiya Lea Hartman is a Painter and Mixed-media artist and muralist living and working in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Hartman is a current Artist-In-Residence with the MN African American Heritage Museum and Gallery as well as the ALVERA by common apartments in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Maiya painted a mural for the Minnesota State Fair Joyful World Mural Park for which Forecast facilitated artist selection.
@maiyaleaart | maiyaleaartist.com
Jose Dominguez is a Minneapolis-based mixed-media artist and illustrator born in Casa Grande, Arizona; and raised in Colorado, Wyoming, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. His early work was a reflection of growing up as a Hispanic in the United States and the struggle of finding his place.
Jose painted a mural for the Minnesota State Fair Joyful World Mural Park for which Forecast facilitated artist selection.
As part of a special Chroma Zone event, Few and Far Women also painted a new mural over five days in June at their Summer Mural Meet. Few and Far are an all-women collective comprised of 5 talented graffiti and street artists—Deity, Meme, Keena Azania Roman, Martzia Thometz, and Thomasina TopBear—who beautify the streets with a shared commitment to creativity, education, and social justice. Located at 800 North Hampden Avenue in Saint Paul, their mural features local poet, artist, and performer Liz Skye of the Oglala Lakota Nation. Titled Garden Buddies, it “represent[s] our collective growth over the last decade along with the love we share for plants & nature!” the collective says. The collective also held an all-women graffiti artist talk, “Women in Graffiti & Street Art,” to discuss their stories and perspectives on why there are still so few women in street art. Special guest artist Simone Alexa joined the June 25 talk, which was moderated by Forecast grantee Zamara Cuyún.
Thomasina TopBear is part of a Forecast 2022 early-career project grantee team, and was also a Forecast 2021 mid-career project grantee.
@fewandfarwomen | Few and Far Women