2023 Early-Career Project Grantee | $8,000
Growing Healthy Communities
Lea aims to create a large-scale collaborative mural project promoting community health and wellness in rural northern Minnesota. It will be installed at the Itasca County YMCA in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, designed and painted with input from youth in the Y’s childcare programs. The finished mural will celebrate local food and healthy communities while enriching the surrounding neighborhood with a highly visible piece of public art.
Lea Friesen is an artist based in rural northern Minnesota. She received an MFA in printmaking from Illinois State University and a graduate certificate in holistic health from St. Catherine’s University. Her art practice has always had a strong basis in community engagement, including multiple interactive public art projects. In the last few years, her focus has narrowed to collaborations that support spiritual, communal, and physical ways of healing. Lea’s passions include energy work and mindfulness practices which she uses to enrich the collaborative art process. She approaches this process through conscious attention to one’s state of being and the energy we bring to each other’s space to allow for more authentic creative connection. Friesen strives to be a part of healing for rural Minnesota through continually returning to love as a guiding intention for social and structural change. Friesen is creating a whimsical large scale outdoor mural in collaboration with local children that celebrates the YMCA community garden through focus on local food independence and connection to the environment.
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.