a diptych of two young men, both with dark hair and beards, staring directly at the viewer

Tom Bierlein and Mike Curran


Area of Concern

Through this grant, Bierlein and Curran plan to organize a public program that includes a site-specific installation, community workshops, and a publication centered around the emerald ash borer (EAB)—an insect introduced to Minnesota in 2009 that will soon cause the near-extinction of ash trees. The program will invite artists and audiences to engage with the broader theme of “living through extinction,” expanding perspectives on interrelated issues such as climate change, displacement, and legacies of capitalism and colonialism.

Mike Curran (he/him) is from Portland, Maine, and moved to the Twin Cities in 2014 to attend Macalester College. His arts writing has been published with Mn Artists, MPLSART, Public Parking, and TEMP/Reviews, and his most recent curatorial project was Normal Residential Purposes, a pop-up exhibition space he organized out of his backyard. He has contributed to a number of habitat restoration projects along the Mississippi River, which have deeply informed his artistic practice. // Tom Bierlein is a Minneapolis-based sculptor and gardener cultivating spaces to encourage awareness within our environment. These spaces, simultaneously sculptures, gardens, and architecture, elevate the relationships between viewer, material, and place, showing the world not as a singular thing, but a series of ongoing relationships. Holding a B.F.A. from Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Tom has created public works at Franconia Sculpture Park, Belwin Conservancy, and has exhibited at Silverwood Park and with the Art Shanty Projects.

Forecast has been offering early-career artist grants supported by Jerome Foundation since 1989. In addition to funding, Forecast is dedicated to providing professional development and learning opportunities designed to assist emerging artists as they experiment/ hone their practices, and cultivate careers in the field. Forecast mid- and early-career grants are designed to support independent projects, leadership development, professional development, risk-taking, multidisciplinary approaches, and collaborative problem-solving in the field of public art.