smiling Geno Okok

Geno Okok

2021 Mid-Career Project Grantee | $10,000

A Beautiful world

Geno Okok will paint a large public mural entitled A Beautiful World on a massive wall between Crest View Elementary school and Kensington apartments in Brooklyn Park, MN. The mural will tell a visual story of the community and its residents and contain positive images like musical instruments, inspiring quotes and visuals of kids of all backgrounds playing together. Okok selected this location because it is close to the elementary school [the artist] attended.

Geno Okok moved to the United States from Nigeria at the age of seven and his passion for drawing and painting was already there. 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 the Advisory Council for the Center for Innovation. He recently completed a public art piece at the Brooklyn Park plaza next to Hennepin County Library with youth artists. The story and art was feature on Fox 9 News, Star tribune, CCX Media News, and other media outlets.

The McKnight Foundation generously enables Forecast to provide Professional Development Grants for mid-career artists seeking to expand their work in the field of public art. 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.