Perci Chester – Sculptor

Marlon James – Author

Artist Day Jobs: Season 2 – Call For Submissions

MN Original‘s web series, Artist Day Jobs, is returning for a second season and we need your submissions!

Are you an artist (or do you know of one) who works an interesting day job to support your artistic endeavors? Are you a painter who is also a prize-winning dog show handler? Or maybe you’re a choreographer who also farms corn? Or perhaps you’re a photographer who works as a train conductor?

Give us a shout.

Our team is interested in capturing video and photos of artists at work which will be a part of our web series premiering on and Facebook during the summer of 2016.

If you’re an artist who would like to be featured, or you’d like to nominate someone, send an e-mail to with “Artist Day Jobs” in the subject line for consideration.

And in the meantime, catch up on episodes from Season 1 below:

MN Original Presents: An Evening With The Washburn Blackbox Acting Program

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Join us May 19 in TPT studios for an evening of theater and discussion.

MN Original and Twin Cities PBS invite you to join us at TPT’s Street Space to enjoy an evening of original theater with the Washburn High School Blackbox Acting Program.

Washburn students will perform their original play, “Untold Stories,” which explores issues including domestic abuse, racism, Islamophobia, and anxiety. Following the performance, students will engage the audience in a discussion about the issues raised, the use of art as a tool for social justice, and how activism can continue beyond the classroom.

This event is free and open to the public, but tickets are limited and reservations are required to attend. Click here to reserve your tickets by Thursday, May 12th.

Event Details
When: Thursday, May 19, 7 – 9 p.m.
Cost: Free Admission (but please reserve a ticket here)
Location: Twin Cities PBS, 172 4th Street East, St. Paul, MN 55101 (Click here for directions)

Be sure to check out Washburn Blackbox Acting Program’s recent feature on MN Original below:

New MN Original Episodes Premiere January 3!

A new season of MN Original is finally here! Our weekly arts series returns for a seventh season with features on a whole new batch of talented local artists.

Tune in Sundays at 6 and 10 p.m. on TPT 2 starting January 3 to see new episodes featuring more than 50 Minnesota artists, musicians and arts organizations.


Pictured: Greta Claire, Paul Peterson, James Brenner, Theater Latté Da’s production of Sweeney Todd

The January 3 season premiere is set to feature 2015 Man Booker Prize winning-author Marlon James, renowned public artist and sculptor James Brenner and Indie-folk musical-duo The Ericksons.

Additionally, look for features on actor Tyler Michaels, a performance from Shapiro & Smith Dance, gunpowder and pyrotechnics artist Lisa Friedrich and many more.

With the new season also comes new sound for our episodes thanks to students from McNally Smith College of Music!

This exciting partnership between MN Original and the College gives students professional experience to create original music for television by contributing to the series’ music library. The new compositions really complement our artists’ work!

As always, new episodes of MN Original and individual segments will be available on, and through connected streaming devices like Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire.

We can’t wait to share this new collection of stories showcasing what makes Minnesota’s arts community so special.

Know of a Twin Cities artist we should feature next season? Let us know by filling out our Artist Submission Form here!

And don’t forget to connect with us on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram


Buy Local This Season With MN Original’s Holiday Gift Guide


This holiday season, why not give the gift of art? From prints, to jewelry to books, there are plenty of ways to support local artists and give a gift that is extra unique and special.

Scroll through to find some gift ideas from a few MN Original alums. Of course, we could only include a handful so if you’ve got more ideas, feel free to share by leaving a comment or letting us know on Facebook and Twitter!



1. “A Brief History of Seven Killings” by Marlon James, $17

The Minneapolis-based author just won the prestigious 2015 Man Booker Prize and will also be the first artist featured in the upcoming season of MN Original on January 3, 2015.

2. Coffee Art painting, $10-500

Angel Sarkela-Saur created this original “Coffee Palette” Coffee Art® painting. It features coffee dripping into a cup with a brush on the saucer used to create the works.

Watch Coffee Art on MN Original here.

3. Headpiece with roses by Karen Morris, $295

Milliner Karen Morris’ wine-colored cocktail headpiece with handmade roses, feather and crinoline trim is perfect for the style-consious person in your life.

Watch Karen Morris on MN Original here.

4. 2016 Calendar by Amy Rice, $40

Great gift idea for your gardener, conservationist or outdoor loving friend or family member.

Watch Amy Rice on MN Original here.

5. Art Coloring Book by Chuck U, $20

Who says coloring books are just for kids? Not us. And not Chuck U who has created a 31-paged book of his intricate and imaginative prints — all black and white and waiting to be filled in with your own colorful patterns. (Note: the first run of coloring books sold out quick so don’t miss out on grabbing yours while they’re still available!)

Watch Chuck U on MN Original here.

6. First Avenue print by Mike Welton, $17 – 20

Oil painter Mike Welton’s digital prints of iconic Twin Cities landmarks would make any Minnesota enthusiast smile. We especially love this one of First Avenue.

Watch Mike Welton on MN Original here.

7. I Heart MN necklace by Emily Johnson, $145 – 195

Who wouldn’t want this part of their jewelry collection? Emily Johnson’s Minnesota-shaped design is hand-cut out of sterling silver with a 14k red gold heart over the Twin Cities.

Watch Emily Johnson on MN Original here.

8. “Adrift” by Greycoats, $9

Literature and mythology inspire the atmospheric music of the Anglo-rock quartet Greycoats. The band’s recent album, “Adrift,”  combines “unsurpassed artistic mastery with the dazzling enchantment of a lunar voyage.”

Watch Greycoats on MN Original here.

9. MN Original Commemorative Print by Adam Turman, $25

We might be biased, but this MN Original commemorative print by Adam Turman would look great on an empty wall or desk space. The 18×24″ print features the Twin Cities skylines behind a roving Minnesota landscape. Only 150 prints of this design have been made and each is signed and numbered.

Watch Adam Turman on MN Original here.

10. The Wedding Is Off print by Greg Gossel, $45

We can’t get enough of Greg Gossel’s colorful pop art prints available in a choice of color options and styles. Each print is signed and numbered by Greg in an edition of 150 prints.

Watch Greg Gossel on MN Original here.

Don’t forget to share more great local gift ideas in the comments or on our social media pages (Facebook, Twitter).

Look out for the new season of MN Original airing Sundays at 6 and 10 p.m. starting January 3, 2016!

Join MN Original At Art Attack 2015

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On Saturday, November 7, MN Original, will partner with public artist Greta McLain’s Good Space Murals team to bring interactive art-making to Art Attack, Northrup King Building’s annual open studio and gallery crawl.

Join us in the heart of the Northeast Minneapolis Art District as we create a community-made and inspired mini mural, to be eventually installed at the iconic arts building.

Plus, a MN Original screening area will be available to watch past episodes while you rest your feet between perusing all the art!

All abilities and ages are welcome. For more information on the artist, visit

Event details:

Art Attack 2015
Saturday, November 7, 2015
Northrup King Building
1500 Jackson St. NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
12 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Watch Greta McLain on MN Original below:

A Writing Soundtrack By Marlon James


Minneapolis-based writer Marlon James is having a big month after winning the prestigious 2015 Man Booker Prize for A Brief History of Seven Killings, his novel inspired by the attempted assassination of Bob Marley in the 1970s.

MN Original was thrilled to film with Marlon earlier this month for an episode set to premiere in January 2016. Our crew followed him around to some of his favorite Twin Cities spots including Cheapo Records, a place he frequents at least once a week.

Writing to a soundtrack is important to Marlon who told us, “Music is a huge part of the creative process for me. Maybe it’s a Jamaican thing but so much of what we do is to music.”

So what does the award-winning author like to listen to while he writes? We asked him to name some artists who were on rotation while working on A Brief History of Seven Killings.

So put on your headphones and scroll down for a a selection of Marlon’s writing playlist:

Miles Davis


King Tubby

Captain Beefheart

Augustus Pablo


PJ Harvey

Peel Sessions

Look for Marlon James on a new season of MN Original premiering January 2016 on Twin Cities PBS.

MN Original Artists Featured In Vikings U.S. Bank Stadium

Vikings Artist Collage

Many might consider the Vikings U.S. Bank Stadium a work of art in and of itself. And when the doors open in 2016, fans will be able to take in an array of artwork and installations from 34 Minnesota artists − many of whom are MN Original alums.

The stadium will feature about 500 artworks including roughly 200 commissioned paintings, sculptures, digital and installation pieces.

The Star Tribune reports “all projects will be new designs specific to the stadium. Plans range from realistic portraits of players to impressionistic landscapes, abstractions, mosaics and custom-designed Vikings shields and helmets.”

We’re excited to see so many local names represented in this stadium project. When you head to a Vikings home game, be sure to look for work from the following MN Original alums:

David Rathman – Watercolor and Oil on Paper/Canvas 


Carolyn Swiszcz – Acrylic Paint, Quick Printmaking


Gary Welton – Acrylic Oils on Paper and Canvas


Michael Sweere – Recycled Materials Mosaic Artist


Greg Gossel – Pop Art Mixed Media


Shawn McNulty – Contemporary Paintings on Canvas


Featured in the upcoming season 7 of MN Original:

Leslie Barlow – Oil Painting

Lisa Friedrich – Gun Powder Stencils

Peyton Scott Russell – Large-Scale Graffiti-Style

MN Original Recognized With Five 2015 Upper Midwest Regional EMMY® Awards


TPT and MN Original team members at the 2015 Upper Midwest Regional EMMY® Gala

MN Original is proud to have been honored with five 2015 Upper Midwest Regional EMMY® Awards across a variety of categories.

Thank you to the many artists and organizations who have worked with our team over the past year to showcase and advocate for the Twin Cities arts community.

Keep reading to find a list of MN Original episodes, segments and individuals honored with a 2015 Upper Midwest Regional EMMY®.

Magazine: Minnesota Original: Jeffrey Hatcher¸ And The Professors¸ Alexa Horochowski and David Bowman


Interview/Discussion: A Pet Photographer in Her Own Words


Community/Public Service (PSA) – Single Spot: The Legacy Funded Work of Minnesota Public Television

Editor – Program (Non-News): Ryan Klabunde

Photographer – Program (Non-News): Brennan Vance Director of Photography


Preview: The History Theatre’s ‘Glensheen’ Opens Oct. 3

Opening October 3 at the History Theatre, “Glensheen” is a dark musical which tells the story of a 1970s family tragedy in Minnesota.

“Glensheen” is written by Jeffrey Hatcher with music and lyrics by Chan Poling.

Click here to find ticket information.

Stay tuned for a future MN Original profile with Artistic Director Ron Peluso featuring his work to tell real stories about Minnesota history.

MNO on the Go: Sept. 13 – 20


MN Original wants to help you get out in the community and experience art throughout Minnesota.

Visit each week this summer to find various events and happenings from  MN Original alums. Then get out there and support some art!

Genealogy of Happenstance at the Guthrie Theater

Sept. 17 – 20

There’s a book for what to expect when you’re expecting, but where’s the volume “What to Expect Before You’re Expecting”? When Minneapolis writer and Minnesota Fringe veteran Allegra Lingo and her wife, Amy, decided to start a family, this is the book Allegra wanted to read. Except it didn’t exist. So Allegra wrote it. In her Guthrie debut, Lingo creates a show the Star Tribune called “masterfully done, with equal parts rollicking humor, clever turns of phrase, lurking pathos and, ultimately, affirming joy” as she wrestles with what it means to be ensconced in the journey to conceive a child when she herself will only be connected by the genealogy of happenstance. Sometimes, making a baby takes more than just the birds and the bees.

Click here for more info.

Midwest Soap Factory Biennial: superusted

Sept. 12 – Nov. 1

The Soap Factory Biennial , superusted, is a Midwest exhibit including 5 states and 17 artists. Artists featured include Alexa Horochowski , Andrea Carlson, Areca Roe, Carlos DeGroot , Clarence White, Dyani White Hawk Polk, Jennifer Rogers, Jessica Christy, John Fleischer, Laura Primozic, Lindsay Smith, Mandy Martinson, Margaret Pezalla-Granlund, Phil Olmstead, Pritika Chowdry, Shana Kaplow and Sonja Peterson. The exhibit opens on September 12 and closes on November 1.

Click here for more info.

Cornbread Harris & His Quintet

September 18, 6 – 8 p.m.

Catch legendary Twin Cities blues player Cornbread Harris perform with his quintet every Friday from 6 – 8 p.m. at Loring Pasta Bar in Dinkytown.

Click here for more info.

Nirmala Rajasekar’s “Sounds of the Ancient” at Indian Music Society of Minnesota

September 13

“Nirmala Rajasekar’s fall tour of ‘Sounds of the Ancient’ Sept 13 at 5 pm with Indian Flute Maestro on the Bamboo Flute Pandit Ronu Majumdar and the two stars of Indian percussion from India –Muruga Boopathi (who is on the MNO video with me) on the two headed drum Mridangam and Ajeet Pathak on Tabla.”

Click here for more info.