Nourished Artists = Nourished Community
Your Whole Foods Co-op is proud to support the Twin Ports’ art community. We believe that having a beautiful as well as functional building meets our ENDS Statement in being part of “a healthy community.”
Each month, a local artist’s work is featured in the seating areas at both the Hillside and Denfeld stores. To date, the work of over 300 local artists have been displayed and admired by Co-op customers and staff.
Denfeld Brewer Ridge Overlook
Steveboyyi doesn’t know when he was born. Brought to a children’s home in Uganda, Africa at the age of around nine months, he grew up without the knowledge of his name, his parents, birthday, or even the presence of a family. Steveboyyi had been making art since the age of 13 and at the age of 20, he began gathering bits of trash from the streets and incorporating it as color in his artwork. His art became a living, breathing, meta-cognitive portrait of everyday life in Kampala. His artistic themes reflect a longing for family integrity, the constant struggle for survival and evoke the raw essence of street life common throughout Africa.
“I base the pictures on my life and the lives of most of the African children who grow up on street and have talents which can be helped to become better people in the world,” says Steveboyyi.
Steveboyyi was given the opportunity to visit the USA and participate in his first ever solo exhibition. Upon returning to Uganda, Steveboyyi lost vision in his right eye. He continues to create artwork but finding any paid work has been a challenge for him. Still, he spends much of his time volunteering as a teacher at youth centers and brainstorming outreach ideas for Dream of Duluth, the organization he hopes to someday launch to platform stories from the streets of Uganda and the world at large.
Hillside Brewery Creek Overlook
Nina has been in the role of teacher and student for more than forty years. Following a twenty-six year teaching career, she is now launching a full time endeavor into creative work. Former teachers; Paul Friesen, Tom Kerrigan, Gail Kendall, Tom Coleman, Bill van Gilder, and Rimas Vis Girda are some of the teachers who have had a lasting impact on her work . Nina has had her ceramic work displayed at the Stones Throw Gallery, Arts Center of St. Peter in Minnesota, and numerous Prairie Lakes Regional Art Exhibitions, where she has garnered awards and recognition. Previous to moving to Minnesota, Nina exhibited in shows in Cincinnati, Ohio and in Houston, Texas. Nina has operated Clay Works by Nina since 2006.
If you are interested in displaying your art at either of our stores please contact the Brand Department at firstname.lastname@example.org
In anticipation of our move to our Hillside location, our Board of Directors set aside funds for an outdoor art display. This artwork was intended to be a permanent installation for the public good on the store exterior.
After a process with a jury of the Management Team and the Board of Directors, local artist Ron Benson was chosen. His design, incorporating recycled glass (most of it from the demolished Two Harbors High School), nontoxic coloring agents and a water theme made this particular design stand out. It was clearly representative of our ENDS, both in design and material use.
In the fall of 2008, the recycled glass mural was installed on the east end of the store, wrapping around the entrance area. A contest was held by Mr. Benson to allow a Co-op Owner to name the piece. In January 2009, the name selected was “The Great Lake,” submitted by Bonnie Summers.
“I believe that there is potent symbolism in water. It is elemental–all life and good health is dependent upon it. We have the good fortune of living next to the largest body of fresh water on the planet. We have a choice, we can live sustainably with respect for the earth, air, and its waters and be wise consumers, too.
I am an environmentalist. I believe there needs to be a cultural shift to organics and sustainability in all aspects of our lives. Anything that can increase awareness of this need should be implemented. My recycled glass mural will draw positive attention to Whole Foods Co-op and its ethos.”
-Ron Benson, artist
Two mosaics are installed on the interior of the east wall of the Co-op. They can be viewed as customers wait to check out.
These mosaics are the work of Knife River artist Laura Stone. This was a three-year project completed in the fall of 2008. The pieces, entitled “Fruiting” and “Seedling” represent the idea that energy is at the heart of all things. Except for the material cost, these pieces were donated in the cooperative business spirit.
“Color to color; from one piece of glass to the next — a visual energy unwinds from unseen centers of endless generation. I have put my past experience looking and drawing mosses, viola blossoms, apple trees and reflections to work as I did the meditation drawings that the mosaics are based on. Italian glass called smalti is the material cut using tools called hammer and hardie.”
– Laura Stone, artist
The mosaics were developed with the assistance of Charlie Bauer, Deanna and Randy Ellestad, Sandy Bissell, Lawrence Jones, Steve Carlson, Brad Nelson and Alex Comb and an Arrowhead Regional Arts Board Fellowship Grant.