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GRETA MCLAIN


COMMUNITY AND PUBLIC ART.

YES!

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GRETA MCLAIN


COMMUNITY AND PUBLIC ART.

YES!

GRETA MCLAIN has over 10 years of mural making experience spent exploring the ways that art can bring communities together, the power of visual language to activate voice, and the potential of art as a vehicle for hands-on organizing and educating. She has traveled to South America and Europe studying new and traditional mural techniques. She has created projects in and around Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Memphis, Philadelphia, Argentina, Mexico, and France. 

GRETA has shown her deep commitment to her South Minneapolis community with over 30 murals and 15+ community projects in the Twin Cities. She earned her BA from University of California Davis, and her MFA from Minneapolis College of Art and Design.


By undertaking mural projects in areas experiencing racial, economic, or cultural tension and disconnect, bonds of friendship are fostered among those formerly viewed as strangers, as a diverse cross-section of community members work together in the ideation and creation of the mural/mosaic.

Greta works directly within the education system through artist residencies. There, she works with children and youth to build a vision for their futures, their school, and community. Students engage with and contribute to their learning environment in a positive way by becoming active participants in the design and creation of a mural/mosaic located in their own school.

Designed for installation in public spaces, commercial works are informed by the history and vision of the community in which they are situated, as well as Greta's experience designing images which bring people together and elevate spaces with a rich and positive energy.

 


Download Greta's CV here

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GALLERIES


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GALLERIES


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PROCESS


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PROCESS


THE COLLABORATION between space and artist, community and construction, can take many forms depending on the project. Inevitably it includes a close collaboration between me as the artist and those closest to the project to gather history, ideas, and images. These conversations are the key to the development of a site/content specific working maquette for the finished mural.
— GRETA

IDEATION, DESIGN, FABRICATION

With a background in Chicano  muralism, collaborative print and art making processes, and an interdisciplinary Master of Fine Arts (MFA), Greta has gathered a diverse toolbox of mural techniques, which she deftly employs so that each project is responsive to the skills and interests of the communities she works with, while at the same time creating a high quality work of art with rich visual aesthetics.
 

COMPLETION

Greta creates in areas experiencing disconnect through cultural isolation and racial/economic segregation and has seen the ability mosaic/mural projects have to address these kinds of critical issues. When finished, the work stands as a public reminder that people can and did come together to create something for everyone to share. They act as daily reminders that a different way of being and relating is possible.

IMPACT ON BROADER AUDIENCES

The work transforms blank, non-descript walls/spaces into celebrations of the people, places, histories, challenges, and riches that exist in the communities surrounding the murals. In this way, people who are simply passing through are invited to see the narrative of the neighborhood from the perspective of the people who call those places home.

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PRESS + AWARDS


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PRESS + AWARDS


AWARDS


2014    City Pages, Minneapolis—Best Mural: Central Identity Project

2010–2011    Fellowship recipient through the Bush Foundation and Intermedia Arts. Creative Community Leadership Institute, Twin Cities, MN.

 

ARTICLES


 

VIDEO


From MN Original, an award winning weekly arts series celebrating Minnesota’s creative community. This episode: Muralist and mosaic artist Greta McLain uses her public artwork to bring communities together. (2014)

 

From Twin Cities Daily Planet: The Central Identity Project was a community mural project from Green Central Community Education in the Central Neighborhood in South Minneapolis, lead by artist Greta McLain. (2013)

From School Matters, a monthly TV show highlighting all the great things happening in Minneapolis Public Schools. Students from Green Central and residents from the central neighborhood worked together with artist Greta McLain on a series of community workshops and forums to create a monumental mural, The Central Identity Project, on the outside of the Green Central School. (2013)