MN Original : Episodes


MN Original is weekly series produced by Twin Cities Public Television. Each week, the series showcases the depth and breadth of Minnesota’s creative community and introduce viewers to the many original artists who produce extraordinary work right here in Minnesota. Click the links below to watch a show and learn more about the artists.


#241: Wurlitzer Theater Organ, Cheryl LeClair-Sommer, Shá Cage + E.G. Bailey: Spoken Word Artists Shá Cage + E.G. Bailey, The Fitzgerald Theater’s Wurlitzer, Pastel Painter Cheryl LeClair-Sommer + Chinese Pipa Player Gao Hong with Butterfly. October 10, 2011

Jeremy Messersmith + Alison Scott: A Minnesota Original Special: Minnesota Original’s first one-hour music special features performances by two of Minnesota’s fastest rising musical stars: Jeremy Messersmith and Alison Scott. June 27, 2011

#240: Minnesota Opera’s Resident Artist Program, Kairos Dance + Low: Young singers learn language, style and movement in The Minnesota Opera’s competitive Resident Artist Program. Featuring the late 101 year-old troupe member Ida Arbeit, Kairos Dance showcases the healing power of dance against the trials of aging. Jane Frees-Kluth plots a seat between two cities. Duluth indie-rock group Low performs at First Avenue. June 16, 2011

#239: Penumbra Theatre, Todd Cameron + Farewell Milwaukee: He founded Penumbra Theatre in 1976. Artistic Director Lou Bellamy celebrates Minnesota’s most storied African American theater. Minnesota filmmaker Sarah Jean Kruchowski’s shorts explore themes of disappointment and yearning. Todd Cameron fires unique glass and metal artworks. Inspired by their Midwest roots, Farewell Milwaukee performs. June 2, 2011

#238: James Sewell Ballet, Haley Bonar + Mark Olson: Dance visionary James Sewell’s unique choreography of classical and contemporary ballet has inspired audiences for more than 30 years. House of Balls has been an institution in the Minneapolis Warehouse District for twenty years. Sculptor Allen Christian opens up his quirky universe. Founding member of the Jayhawks, Mark Olson performs songs from his second solo album. Singer/Songwrter Haley Bonar performs as song from her album “Golder”, inspired by time she spent in Portland, Oregon. May 26, 2011

#237: Poetry Slam, Lyra Baroque Orchestra, The Tex Pistols Band: Two-time National Poetry Slam champions, members of Saint Paul’s competitive spoken word team wax poetic. Renowned Soprano Maria Jette and Lyra Baroque Orchestra rehearse in Lowertown’s new performance space for Early Music, The Baroque Room. And The Tex Pistols Band performs. Plus, Terry Gydesen and Brock Davis. May 19, 2011

#236: The Children’s Theatre Company, Adam Turman + The Neighborhood Trio: Peter Rothstein directs The Children’s Theatre Company’s very first production of “Annie”. The story about the redefinition of family is as relevant today as it was in the 1930s when film and stage adaptations were drawn from the popular comic strip. Illustrator Adam Turman’s work is bold, colorful and eye-catching. Known for his art prints of iconic city landmarks, cycling scenes and pinups, Adam’s distinctive style has promoted bands, businesses and charities all over town. The vibraphone, lap steel guitar and upright bass make up the unique instrumentation of The Neighborhood Trio. May 12, 2011

#235: Dan Wilson, Duniya Drum and Dance, Nancy Carlson + Joe Chvala: Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter and producer Dan Wilson creates a new song for his next solo album. From the initial inspiration to the final mix, Wilson takes us through his artistic process in this intimate look at how a song is born. The infectious energy of Duniya Drum and Dance keep African […] June 16, 2011

#234: Science Museum, Robayat, Trampled by Turtles + Lars Martinson: The Science Museum of Minnesota preserves cultural treasures in its Ethnology Collections. Robayat performs music indigenous to Persia, Turkey and central Asia. And Duluth natives Trampled By Turtles perform at First Avenue. Plus cartoonist Lars Martinson. April 28, 2011

#233: Youth Performance Company, Noah Hoehn + Willie Murphy: Youth Performance Company has been empowering young people through the arts since 1989. Noah Hoehn layers harmonica and marimba tracks on his live looping system. He’s been playing the blues since the 60s, produced Bonnie Raitt’s debut album and was inducted into Minnesota’s Music Hall of Fame along with Bob Dylan and Prince. Willie Murphy performs. Plus: Video artist Scott Nedrelow and figurative artist J M Culver. April 21, 2011

#232: David Rathman, Annie Larson + Charmin Michelle: David Rathman’s work with water color and ink features masculine subjects like sports, cars and cowboys. Evan Baden’s Illuminati series captures a generation bathed in light from laptops and smart-phones. Jazz vocalist Charmin Michelle performs. Plus knitter Annie Lee Larson, letterpress artist Robyn Stoller Awend and tile maker Josh Blanc. April 14, 2011

#231: Leon Hushcha, Lisa Elias + Caroline Smith: Painter Leon Hushcha challenges artists to create collaborative works for his Guest Art Series. Metal artist Lisa Elias makes a public drinking fountain for Downtown Minneapolis. Caroline Smith and the Good Night Sleeps perform at First Avenue. Plus: Husband and wife vaudeville team Lloyd Brant and Rosie Cole . April 7, 2011

#230: Minnesota Historical Society, Sharra Frank + The Honeydogs: The Minnesota Historical Society’s Collection of more than 6000 Minnesota paintings, prints, and drawings showcases the history of our state through its art. Sharra Frank creates a mosaic with thousands of pieces of hand-cut colored and gold leafed glass for The Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis. Together since the early 90s, their soulful rock music continues to evolve: The Honeydogs with lead singer/songwriter Adam Levy perform. And fiber artist Randy Walker. March 31, 2011

Prairie Mosaic from Prairie Public Television: A patchwork of stories about the people and places that contribute to the arts and culture in Western Minnesota. Brought to you by Prairie Public Television. March 29, 2011

Off 90: Celebrating Arts, Culture and History in Southern Minnesota: This special edition of Off 90 takes an in-depth look at the rich tapestry of arts, culture and history in SE Minnesota. Brought to you by KSMQ in Austin, Minnesota. March 29, 2011

Common Ground: Celebrating Our Stories: This special edition of Common Ground from Lakeland Public Television delves into the creative process taking place in the Great Lakes region of Minnesota. March 29, 2011

Northern Legacy: Arts and Heritage: Powerful history, vibrants arts and rich culture are all part of the story of NE Minnesota. WDSE in Duluth showcases them all in this special edition of The Playlist. March 29, 2011

Pioneer Country: People and Places: This special edition of Postcards from Pioneer Public Television opens the door to the arts, culture and history in SW Minnesota. March 29, 2011

#229: Celebrating Minnesota: Arts, Culture and History: MN Original: A Legacy Celebration is a look back at the rich diversity of Minnesota’s history, art and culture. March 24, 2011

#228: Ten Thousand Things, Chank Diesel + The Bad Plus: Ten Thousand Things brings compelling theater to audiences who have limited access to the arts. Custom font maker Chank Diesel spells out what it means to be an ‘Alphabetician’. World renowned jazz trio The Bad Plus performs at the Dakota Jazz Club. And, installation artist Sonja Peterson. March 3, 2011

#227: Scott West, Aditi Kapil + Tapes ‘n Tapes: Scott West creates dramatic work alongside Cloud Cult on stage and in his studio. She has Bulgarian and Indian parents and was raised in Sweden. Playwright, actress and director Aditi Kapil’s production about immigrant experience is based on her own. Plus: Brittany Foster, Lynn Speaker, and the often blogged-about alternative rockers Tapes ‘n Tapes perform. February 24, 2011

#226: Zoran Mojsilov, Lisa Nankivil + Machinery Hill: Yugoslavian-born Zoran Mojsilov makes large-scale sculptures out of stone, steel and wood. Lisa Nankivil builds intricate layers of color and texture to create her luminous oil paintings. Plus: Heart of the Beast artistic director Sandy Spieler and music from Machinery Hill. February 17, 2011

#225: Steven Cohen, Midwest Art Conservation Center + Cantus: Rock stars give photographer Steven Cohen a backstage pass to capture them in concert and behind the scenes. Paintings conservator David Marquis painstakingly restores treasured works of art from all over the world at the Midwest Art Conservation Center. Plus: Fiber artist Nancy Mackenzie and renowned vocal chamber ensemble Cantus performs. February 10, 2011

#224: Michal Daniel, Emily Johnson + Chastity Brown: Michal Daniel often performs in a theater but watching photographer Michal Daniel capture his spectacular images of stage productions is as entertaining as the show itself. Dance-maker Emily Johnson combines personal stories and powerful movement in her thought-provoking performances. Born and raised near Memphis, Chastity Brown is inspired by country, gospel and blues. She and her band perform in tpt’s Studio. February 3, 2011

#223: Kinji Akagawa, Mary Ellen Childs + Charlie Parr: Award winning public artist and arts educator Kinji Akagawa shares the stories behind 3 of his sculptural constructions. Composer Mary Ellen Childs creates visual and body percussion pieces that unite music, dance and theater. Plus: Metalwork by Kristen Arden and music from country blues musician Charlie Parr. January 27, 2011

#222: MNO’s Mixed + Multi Media Artists: On this special edition of Minnesota Original…A collection of stories from several of Minnesota’s visual artists who combine different materials to form Mixed and Multi Media. Brock Davis created 365 original pieces in a year-long project called “Make Something Cool Every Day”. Mary Griep spends more than a year recreating some of the world’s most sacred spaces in massive collage drawings. January 21, 2011

#221: Michael Kareken, Jody Williams + Rogue Valley: Painter Michael Kareken finds beauty in the organic chaos of discarded paper, bottles and junked cars. Tiny prints of invertebrates bound on tiny pages are part of “Small Orders”, the latest collection of work by Book Artist Jody Williams. Rogue Valley performs “Red River of the North” from their first in a series of 4 albums about changing seasons. Plus: The costumes of Ethnic Dance Theater and body percussion group Crash perform. January 13, 2011

#220: Ta-Coumba Aiken + Nirmala Rajasekar: Painter and public artist Ta-coumba Aiken’s work is inspired by African masks and dance. Multi media artist Laura Hallen’s process involves arranging marshmallows and tu-tus under plexi-glass. World-renowned South Indian Classical musician Nirmala Rajasekar performs with her ensemble. Plus: Glass artist Josephine Geiger and photographer Paul Nelson. January 6, 2011

#219: Zak Sally, Inside the Weisman + Mayda: Cartoonist Zak Sally writes, illustrates and publishes his own underground comics. The MCAD professor’s latest series is “Sammy the Mouse”. As the Weisman Art Museum closes to complete its expansion project, Registrar Laura Muessig ensures precious works of art remain protected. Folk musician Peter Ostroushko performs “Maycomb Alabama” at the Cedar Cultural Center. And, her pop songs blend funk and R&B. Korean-American musician Mayda performs. December 30, 2010

#218: Carolyn Swiszcz, Alexs Pate + John Gorka: Deserted strip malls and other neighborhood icons are subjects in Carolyn Swiszcz’s paintings and videos. In his first memoir, fiction writer Alexs Pate anticipates reconnecting with his estranged son. Plus: Visual artist Amy Rice, and Red House Records’ Folk Singer and Songwriter John Gorka performs. December 23, 2010

#217: Cy Thao, Linda Christensen, Jack Pavlik + Sophia Shorai: A community activist and a former MN state representative, Cy Thao takes us through his epic series of 50 paintings documenting The Hmong Migration. Linda Christensen has been carving butter busts of Princess Kay of the Milky Way at the Minnesota State Fair for over 30 years. Jack Pavlik makes moving sound sculptures with flexible steel and technology. She was born in Zimbabwe and grew up in Minneapolis. Jazz singer Sophia Shorai performs. December 16, 2010

#216: Terry Gydesen, Bao Phi + “Spider” John Koerner: Terry Gydesen is a documentary photographer whose images tell the personal stories of some of Minnesota’s political figures and celebrities. He is a two-time champion of the Minnesota Grand Poetry Slam. Vietnamese-American spoken word artist Bao Phi performs. The masters of old blues inspired legendary folk guitarist and songwriter, Spider John Koerner. December 9, 2010

#215: Ali Selim, Wendy Knox + Charles Lazarus: Director Ali Selim talks about his award-winning debut feature film, Sweet Land, set in Minnesota. Everyday Poems for City Sidewalks is a project created by Saint Paul’s Public Artist in Residence Marcus Young and friends. A longtime member of the Minnesota Orchestra, trumpeter and composer Charles Lazarus performs with his ensemble. Plus: Artistic Director of Frank Theatre, Wendy Knox. November 18, 2010

#214: Alec Soth, Bounxou Daoheuang + The Suicide Commandos: Photographer Alec Soth’s first U.S. survey of his compelling images premieres at Walker Art Center. Bounxou Daoheuang, originally from Laos, preserves her culture’s traditional art of weaving. In the late nineteen seventies, The Twin Cities’ first punk rockers were also among the first on the on the national scene. The Suicide Commandos perform. Plus: Plein air painter Joe Paquet. November 11, 2010

#213: Celebrate The Art of Craft: On this special edition of Minnesota Original, we celebrate the art of craft with encore presentations of some of Minnesota’s favorite artists. November 5, 2010

#212: Wing Young Huie, Tom Nechville + Christine Rosholt: Photographer Wing Young Huie celebrates a University Avenue neighborhood with hundreds of images in his public art installation. Tom Nechville’s custom banjos are designed to improve tone and projection using fewer parts than traditional models. Plus, dancer Carl Flink and jazz singer Christine Rosholt performs. October 28, 2010

#211: Michael Sommers, Danny Saathoff, Minneapolis Guitar Quartet + Alison Scott: This week on mn original, we explore Michael Sommers’ work as Artistic Director of Open Eye Theatre. Kinetic sculptor and jewelry maker Danny Saathoff deliberately chooses each component for its function in his finished pieces. Plus, music from Alison Scott and the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet performs. October 21, 2010

#210: Calpurnia Peach, Jason Gerling, David Lefjowitz + Debbie Duncan: Calpurnia Peach is the fashion label run by local textile designers Ashley Wokasch and Luci Kandler, known for their colorful, original screen-prints. Jason Gerling plays the drums on a specialized kit he invented. David Lefkowitz explores our perception of natural and human-built environments in his work. And, the Twin Cities? “First Lady of Song,” jazz singer Debbie Duncan performs. October 14, 2010

#209: Lightsey Darst, Mike Wohnoutka, Circus Juventas + The Pines: Dance, nature and the world around us inspire the musings of poet and dance critic Lightsey Darst. We see process behind the creation of Mike Wohnoutka’s enchanting children’s book illustrations. With the greatest of ease, youth soar during a performance of Circus Juventas. And, music from nationally-renowned folk band The Pines. October 7, 2010

#208: Keri Pickett, Sedra Bistodeau and Sally O’Reilly + Roma di Luna: Keri Pickett connects with her subjects, capturing the essence of tradition and culture and in her photographs. 15 year old violin prodigy Sedra Bistodeau studies with renowned musician, Sally O’Reilly. The ethereal blue grass and gospel inspired group, Roma di Luna performs. September 30, 2010

#207: Beatrix*Jar, John Largaespada, Gary Korlin + Mandragora Tango: Bianca Pettis and Jacob Aaron Roske are the Sonic explorers Beatrix Jar, bending circuits of discarded toys to make music. John Largaespada manipulates photographs to create composite images, interpreting scenes from classic literature. Gary Korlin’s naturalistic approach to painting is embedded in his 19th Century French Academic training. And, Mandragora Tango performs. September 23, 2010

#206: Kate DiCamillo, Frank Big Bear + The Jayhawks: Newbery award-winning children’s author Kate DiCamillo shares her thoughts about childhood and what inspires her to write. Visual Artist Frank Big Bear tells stories with unusual shapes and a vivid palette. And, The Jayhawks perform at First Avenue to celebrate the re-release of their first album after 25 years. September 16, 2010

#205: Craig David, Ivy Loughborough + No Bird Sing: Public Artist Craig David created murals for the new Twins stadium. His latest installation is a nine-ton sculpture at the U of M. Pulling hair, strand by strand, is an art form for Guthrie Theater Wig Master Ivy Loughborough. And, the Hip Hop Artists of No Bird Sing perform. September 9, 2010

#204: Scott Lloyd Anderson, Josh Koestenbaum + Alison Scott: Scott Lloyd Anderson is a plein air painter known for his suburban scenes and powerful images of the 35W bridge reconstruction. Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Cellist Josh Koestenbaum works hard to keep his body and his instrument in tune. And soulful singer/songwriter Alison Scott performs at the Dakota Jazz Club. September 7, 2010

#203: Steven Epp, Brock Davis + Douglas Ewart: Long time Twin Cities actor Steven Epp has mastered the art of farce and quick-change. Brock Davis is a mixed media artist whose recent project was to make something cool everyday for one year. And, Douglas R. Ewart and Inventions perform. August 26, 2010

#202: David Goldes, Interact Center + Davina and the Vagabonds: David Goldes creates and then photographs striking still-lives of physical phenomena. Interact Center gives actors with disabilities the opportunity to express themselves creatively. And, Davina and the Vegabonds perform at the Dakota jazz club. August 18, 2010

#201: Seitu Jones, Marilyn Garber, Steve Heitzig + Peter Himmelman: Family inspires the work of visual artists Hunter Powell and her grandfather Seitu Jones. Art and science come together in Marilyn Garber’s watercolor botanical art. We catch up with Emmy-Award winning composer Steve Heitzig at his home in St. Paul to learn the secrets of his songwriting process. And, singer/songwriter Peter Himmelman performs songs from his newest album. August 9, 2010

#115: Richard Abraham, Curio Dance, Kelly Marshall + Jeremy Messersmith: Landscape Painter Richard Abraham examines light and proportion in his work. Dario and Giselle Meiji are brother/sister choreographers blending many forms to create Curio Dance. Kelly Marshall is a textile artist and weaver who designs using math and intuition. And, Jeremy Messersmith performs at the Cedar Cultural Center. July 29, 2010

#114: Doug Beasley, Andy Ducett + The Suburbs: Photographer Doug Beasley captures what is sacred in every day life. Andy Ducett’s body of work combines elaborate drawings and mixed media installations. And, we remember Bruce Allen, the legendary guitar player from The Suburbs who passed away in December, 2009. July 22, 2010

#113: Warren Mackenzie, Ragamala Dance + The Starfolk: We visit potter Warren Mackenzie in his Stillwater studio where he shapes clay into simple, functional pieces, as he’s done for more than 60 years. Through an ancient southern Indian dance form, Ranee and Aparna Ramaswamy of Ragamala Dance, interpret worship of sacred waters. Plus, music from pop-folk group The Starfolk. July 15, 2010

#112: Virgil Leih, Joe Horse Capture + Mankwe Ndosi: Virgil Leih turns 2000 lb. rescued tree trunks into enormous, carved sculptures. We examine objects in the permanent Native American Art collection at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts with curator Joe Horse Capture. Plus: Mankwe Ndosi and friends combine theater, music and spoken word and create an original improvised performance. July 8, 2010

#111: Wing Young Huie, Irish Dancers + The Small Cities: Six miles of photographs become an urban gallery along University Avenue in Saint Paul. Wing Young Huie celebrates this neighborhood through hundreds of images in his installation. World class Irish Dancer Cormac O’Se and his top students head to Scotland for the international Irish dance championships. Plus: Music from The Small Cities. July 1, 2010

#110: Keri Pickett, Calpurnia Peach, Carei Thomas + Matthew Rucker: Keri Pickett connects with her subjects, capturing the essence of tradition and culture and in her photographs; fashion designers Calpurnia Peach create the look for local band Caroline Smith and the Goodnight Sleeps; and music from Carei Thomas and Neighborhood Ensemble. Plus, painter Matthew Rucker. June 24, 2010

#109: Maren Kloppmann, MN Youth Symphonies, The Red Pens + Richard Abraham: This week, we profile talented ceramic artist Maren Kloppmann along with her husband, 89.3 The Current DJ Mark Wheat, the Minnesota Youth Symphonies, and art rock duo Red Pens. Plus, an “original short” with painter Richard Abraham. June 17, 2010

#108: TU Dance, The Jewelry Makers + Peter Ostroushko: Artistic directors of TU Dance Toni Pierce- Sands and Uri Sands talk about making dance accessible; Three Jewelry makers and a painter get community, friendship, and encouragement through their shared studio in the Northrup King Building; Plus Peter Ostroushko performs live at The Cedar Cultural Center. June 10, 2010

#107: HighPoint Center for Printmaking, Martin Dosh, Central Touring Theatre + Minnesota Philharmonic: This week’s show features Highpoint Center for Printmaking, looper/percussionist Martin Dosh, student actors from Saint Paul Central High School, and The Minnesota Philharmonic. June 3, 2010

#106: Maria Bamford, Scott McGlasson, Margaret Pazalla-Granlund + The New Standards: Comedienne Maria Bamford, music from The New Standards, visual artist Margaret Pezalla and furniture designer Scott McGlasson. May 27, 2010

#105: Darin Back, Foot in the Door, Michael Schmidt + Maria Isa: We chat with photographer Darin Back as he snaps polaroids of musician Alison Scott, and we visit some artists in the massive Foot in the Door show at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, including metal sculptor Rabi Sanfo. Plus: Painter Michael Schmidt, and Minnesota’s Latina Hip Hop starlet Maria Isa celebrates being a “Sota-Rican”. May 20, 2010

#104: Kao Kalia Yang, Ruggero Allifranchini, Kelly Marshall + Bryan Nichols Quartet: Hmong author Kao Kalia Yang, SPCO Assistant Concertmaster and violinist Ruggero Allifranchini, visual artist and director of mnartists.org Scott Stulen, weaver Kelly Marshall, music from Bryan Nichols Quartet May 13, 2010

#103: Rhea Pappas, Ann Wood and Dean Lucker, David Royce + P.O.S: We’re going underwater with photographer Rhea Pappas, taking a close look at magical mechanical sculptures created by Ann Wood and Dean Lucker, and bobbing our heads to Minneapolis Hip Hop Artist P.O.S Plus, a visit with glass blower David Royce. May 6, 2010

#102: Mary Griep, Evan Baden, Ananya Chatterjea, Lunalux + Nachito Herrera: Visual artist Mary Griep, photographer Evan Baden, choreographer Ananya Chatterjea, printmaker LunaLux, and music from Cuban pianist Ignacio “Nachito” Herrera. April 29, 2010

#101: Alec Soth, Heather Doyle, Joe Paquet, Seiji and Kenji Cataldo + Twilight Hours: Minneapolis photographer Alec Soth, metal sculptor Heather Doyle, music from the Twilight Hours, MacPhail Center for the Arts students Seiji and Kenji Cataldo, and a visit with St. Paul-based Plein Air painter Joe Paquet. April 22, 2010

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