Minnesota State Fair 2022 Joyful World Mural Park
In 2021, the Minnesota State Fair launched the Joyful World Mural Park in partnership with Forecast Public Art and with support from the Minnesota State Fair Foundation. During the 12 days of the fair, 12 artists created murals on-site, enlivening a new green space with public art and giving fair visitors an opportunity to watch a wide range of artists work in a variety of styles.
Building on that success, the Minnesota State Fair and Forecast Public Art are pleased to announce four artists who will add four new murals to the Joyful World Mural Park. Each artist will actively paint on site for at least five days during the Minnesota State Fair, August 25 – September 5. Last year’s murals are now a seasonal attraction on the fairgrounds and will be on view this summer before returning to a new location for the second year of the Joyful World Mural Park.
JOYFUL WORLD MURAL PARK 2022 ARTISTS
Read Danielle’s Bio
Danielle Clifford is an Illustrator, Hand-letterer, Painter, and Designer based in Minneapolis, MN. She mostly works digitally, or with watercolor, acrylic or gouache paints for smaller-scale works, but always loves working on large-scale murals and chalkboard murals. She is also a mom of twin two-year-olds and a bonus mom to her former foster daughter. Danielle loves cats, books, legos, all the beverages, and having too many projects going at once.
Read Noah’s Bio
Noah Lawrence-Holder is a black, nonbinary artist from Madison WI, now based in the Twin Cities. Their work centers around racial justice, afro-futurism, intersectionality, and gender identity. They have featured work on walls and in gallery shows across Minneapolis and beyond.
Read Suyao’s Bio
Suyao Tian is an artist, designer, independent curator residing in the Twin Cities. She is also adjunct faculty at Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She completed her MFA in Design in 2017 with Honors. Her paintings have been featured in numerous group and solo exhibitions across the US. Along with curating multiple group shows, she owns and runs Viewpoint Gallery. Her works have caught the eye of local and national companies, with her designs applied and sold across a range of product types for clients such as Room & Board, Target, and Merlette NYC more.
Read Wes’s Bio
Wes Winship is an Asian American muralist, fine artist, and printmaker with roots in the Twin Cities graffiti and street art scene. Winship co-founded the award-winning graphic arts + screen printing studio Burlesque of North America, Chroma Zone Mural & Arts Festival, and an influential graffiti magazine, LSD, in the late 1990s. As an entrepreneur, he’s built a creative legacy in the Twin Cities and beyond over the past 3 decades. His live painting has been featured at events such as Soundset, X-Games, and Eaux Claires Festival.
ARTIST SELECTION PROCESS
All murals are the original work of the artist in concept, composition, and execution. Artists’ proposals were reviewed by a selection panel determined by the Minnesota State Fair and Forecast Public Art. Decisions by the selection panel are final and not open to negotiation.
The Minnesota State Fair and Forecast Public Art are committed to providing opportunities to people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, veteran status, or physical ability.
The selection criteria used to consider artist proposals includes how the proposal aligns with the Minnesota State Fair Mission: To educate and involve our guests by providing a world-class showcase that is innovative, entertaining, and fun.
The Minnesota State Fair strives to:
- Showcase Minnesota’s finest agriculture, art, and industry.
- Present an unparalleled forum for knowledge and ideas.
- Provide outstanding customer service.
- Offer exceptional value.
- Provide a safe, clean environment that is accessible to all.
- Create unique experiences.
In addition, the selection committee considers artist proposals in terms of:
- Audience enjoyment (must be family-friendly)
- Diverse representation of genres, cultures, and geography
Each commissioned mural is approximately 8’ x 8’ constructed of wood as part of a three-sided structure. Each artist is assigned one side of the structure for their mural. To complete this mural, the artist will receive a stipend of $4,000. This fee includes materials.
Artists are provided with parking, fair access, and food vouchers.
Artists from outside the metro area and greater Minnesota were encouraged to apply, with travel reimbursements discussed as needed.
Completed mural will remain on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds and be owned by the Minnesota State Fair.
Artist retains copyright to the artwork design.
Call for Artists Released
Pre-Fair Mural Site Prep
August 25 - Sept 5
MN State Fair / Mural Park painting
August 25 - Sept 5
Submit any questions to
Browse photos from the inaugural Joyful World Mural Park in 2021
#ForecastPublicArt #JoyfulMuralPark #JoyfulWorldMuralPark #JoyfulWorldMurals
JOYFUL WORLD MURAL PARK 2021 ARTISTS
Read Leslie’s Bio
Leslie Barlow’s practice includes paintings, drawings, textiles and quilts, and recently, public murals. Her work often serves as both monuments to community members and explorations into how race entangles the intimate sphere of love, family, and friendship. Her images are tender, nuanced, and inspired by community dialogue and personal experience. Barlow is a recipient of the 2021 Jerome Hill Fellowship, 2019 McKnight Visual Artist Fellowship, the 20/20 Springboard Fellowship, and the MN State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant in 2016 and 2018. In 2018, she received the Minnesota Museum of American Art Purchase Award in the Minnesota State Fair Juried Exhibition. Barlow earned her BFA in 2011 from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and her MFA in 2016 from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. In addition to her art practice, Barlow has taught at the University of Minnesota and Carleton College, supports emerging artists in her studio program PF Studios, and is an active member on the leadership team of MidWest Mixed.
Read Jennifer’s Bio
Jennifer Davis is a Minneapolis-based artist known for her colorful, imaginative paintings of surreal and whimsical characters. She has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions at venues such as The Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Minneapolis, MN); The DeVos Art Museum (Marquette, MI); Foster Museum (Eau Claire, WI); Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History (Santa Cruz, CA); The Lesher Center for the Arts (San Francisco, CA); ArtSpace (Raleigh, NC); Turchin Center for the Visual Arts (Boone, NC), as well as several galleries in major cities across the United States and Canada. 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.
Read Jose’s Bio
Jose Dominguez makes artwork out of his two-bedroom apartment in Hopkins, MN. His playful, Tetris-like compositions are often made up of bold color-schemes and dynamic characters that feature ricocheted glances and a variety of comical expressions. Jose finds inspiration in the space of human connection; his work is rooted in the humor and absurdity of everyday interactions. Side-eyes, out-of-context conversation, and silly, intimate moments are all reflected in what Jose describes as ‘a celebration of uniqueness and the funny looks we cast and receive.’
Maiya Lea Hartman
Read Maiya’s Bio
Maiya Lea Hartman is a multi-disciplinary artist born and raised in Minneapolis, MN. They currently hold studio space through PF studios in the Northrup King building in Northeast Minneapolis. As a self-taught artist, they look at their environment and interactions as the teachers who inform their work. They draw from personal memories and moments examining identity, expression, and the body through the lens of a Queer, Black, Non-binary person. In addition to their studio practice, Maiya is a muralist working in collaboration with the collective, Creatives After Curfew. Since the Summer of 2020, they have led and collaborated on several public art projects. Maiya has shared images rooted in themes of justice, liberation, and joy through their recent mural work. In recognizing the incredible value of being a member of a community of artists, they hope to continue supporting the programming being built within their studio program and mural collective to continue to find new ways to reach communities of artists of different backgrounds.
Read Hibaaq’s Bio
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.
Read Tom’s Bio
Minneapolis-based artist, Tom Janssen, has always been interested in art – ever since he was old enough to hold a pencil. At age eleven, Tom was introduced to spray paint and the graffiti culture, which he decided to focus on during his freshman year of college. Since that time, Tom has invested a significant amount of time and attention to progressing in his craft. Realizing when working on a commissioned piece or mural that he wakes up every day loving his job, Tom decided in 2020 to focus on his aerosol work with the goal of being a professional artist full-time. The idea of making a living from what had been a hobby is incredibly intriguing to Tom, who has also received inspiration to become a full-time artist from his mentor, Peyton Scott Russell, with whom he has worked on several mural projects. Tom’s goal is to continue learning and evolving his profession with the intent of one day inspiring young adults to follow their own dreams of being an artist. Tom was born in Guatemala City to parents of Guatemalan and Mayan descent. He moved to the United States when he was six months old.
Read Geno’s Bio
Geno Okok is a Nigerian-American artist; at the age of seven he started his passion for drawing and painting all through his youth. He eventually attended the Minneapolis Art Institute and received an Associate Degree in Fine Art in 2013. 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. He has partnered with galleries such as Gallery 13, Night Art Gallery and Dow Gallery and has most recently worked on public mural projects in response to the police
killing of George Floyd. In addition, he currently serves on the Brooklyn Park Task Force and as a member of the Advisory Council for the Center for Innovation and the Arts. He recently completed a public art piece at the Brooklyn Park plaza next to Hennepin County Library with youth artists. The story and art were featured on Fox 9 News, Star Tribune, CCX Media News, and other media outlets.
Shade Pratt (Fola)
Read Fola’s Bio
Shade Pratt, a.k.a. Fola, is a Minnesota based artist and designer. Pratt studied at the University of Maryland, receiving her undergraduate degree in Individual Studies: Design & the Built Environment. She later went on to pursue her football (soccer) career, competing professionally for 5 years. She is currently completing her master’s in civil engineering while working as a Footwear Design Apprentice for Nike. Her work pulls from her multifaceted background of art, engineering, and sport. She creates colorful scenes that embrace how shape and shadow interact and compares these playful and gestural forms to engineered compositions. Though her work can be seen as whimsical, Fola intentionally creates abstract works, with layered meanings which are derived from her thoughts, emotions, and observations of the world. With her ever-evolving approach to art, she is constantly pushing to expand how we think of art and breaking the traditional norms.
Read Xee’s Bio
Xee Reiter is a self-taught artist specializing in watercolor, pen and ink illustrations. As a first generation Hmong American, you can largely find cultural influences in her works. Her artistic exploration includes but is not limited to portraiture, children’s book illustrations, art journaling, mural art, typography and calligraphy works. She has worked with local organizations such as TPT PBS, The Minnesota Museum of American Art, Minnesota Public Radio, The Ordway and Hmong Museum to connect community through her artistry.
Read Joy’s Bio
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. She believes in the power of art to heal and connect people. From a young age she has used art as a fundamental form of expression and communication. Joy finds Inspiration through her intuitive understanding of the world around her and those things that aren’t always visible. Joy uses her art as a channel to retrieve messages from her ancestors and guides. Art has always been her primary spirituality.
Kao Lee Thao
Read Kao’s Bio
Kao Lee Thao is the visual artist and 3D animator behind Inner Swirl, where she taps into the subconscious and releases hidden inner swirls in paintings. All of her inspirations come from her dreams and personal experiences. With every stroke she leaves behind a window into her soul, hoping to spark inspiration in others to transport viewers to a world of fantasy, reminding us not to forget what imagination can accomplish in life.
Read Thomasina’s Bio
Thomasina Topbear is a self-taught Oglala Lakota & Santee Dakota muralist. She is a member of the international all-female paint crew “Few & Far Women” and helped co-found City Mischief Murals, an all Black, Indigenous, and Pacific Islander mural collective. Thomasina has organized a number of local and national community-based murals focusing on youth, women & Indigenous artists. Thomasina’s influences come from her Oceti Sakowin culture and graffiti-style type lettering. She uses murals to express her feelings on community, social justice, spirituality, feminism, and togetherness.
Minnesota State Fair is one of the largest and best-attended expositions in the world. Showcasing Minnesota’s finest agriculture, art and industry, the Great Minnesota Get-Together is 12 Days of Fun Ending Labor Day. The fair is self-supporting and has not received state government funding since 1949. The 2022 Minnesota State Fair will run Aug. 25 through Labor Day, Sept. 5. Visit mnstatefair.org for more information.
Forecast Public Art is a non-profit arts organization founded in 1978 by and for artists working in public space. Based in Saint Paul, Minn., and working both locally and nationally, Forecast connects artists with cities, institutions, and communities to courageously tackle the vital issues of our time. Forecast partners with decision-makers and stakeholders on arts and cultural planning efforts and supports public artists with funding, training, and opportunities to create partnerships and advance their public art careers. Forecast also helps others find, select, curate, fund, and commission public artists. Forecast emphasizes access for artists of color, indigenous artists, and groups that are traditionally excluded.
Minnesota State Fair Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit committed to helping the State Fair continue to thrive as a leading cultural and educational organization for years to come. The partnership between the Minnesota State Fair Foundation and the Minnesota State Fair has fueled more than 20 years of improvements to buildings and programs across the fairgrounds.
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