“It’s the People” public art project
It’s the People is a major outdoor public art project of Hennepin Theatre Trust inspired by the people whose experiences and stories create the unique vibrancy of Hennepin Avenue. It pairs Minnesota-based fine arts portrait photographers with subjects to be featured on building-side photo banners, aiming to capture the heart and soul of the Twin Cities.
Now in its fifth year, Hennepin Theatre Trust is proud to feature a new cohort of local photographers to capture this vibrancy and display it in larger-than-life portraits that will join existing murals and public art projects within the District.
This run of It’s the People will feature artists and art groups from the Twin Cities, nominated by their photographers, who have made a positive contribution to the community through their work. Each portrait will share the theme “Network of Mutuality” coinciding with the theme of WAKPA, presented by Public Art St. Paul, June 24 – September 16, 2023. The run of show for the banner project is July 2023 through June 2024.
It’s the People supports Minnesota photographers in establishing and expanding their portfolios and careers. Our artists range from emerging to well established; some have never had a gallery show, while others have their work in major collections and museums. As a public art program, It’s the People serves to elevate both artists and subjects through a collaborative process designed to tell stories and engage the viewer in better understanding the complexity and richness of our community. The resulting portraits create bold narratives that highlight our interconnectedness, strength and resilience. This project would not be possible without the support of Clear Channel Outdoor, who graciously supports and encourages our community-building public art initiatives.
The portraits are being displayed throughout the Twin Cities on Clear Channel Outdoor billboards and in downtown Minneapolis on large-scale banners hanging at the following locations:
- Hennepin Theatre Trust, 900 Hennepin Ave.
- The Saloon, 830 Hennepin Ave.
- The FAIR High School for Arts, 10 South Tenth St.
- The historic Pantages Theatre, 710 Hennepin Ave.
- Mayo Clinic Square, 600 Hennepin Ave.
- MacKenzie Pub, 918 Hennepin Ave.
Participating artist projects:
Amy Sundby Jeanchaiyaphum believes photography, like art, is universal. With more than 20 years of national and international experience, a BFA from the University of Minnesota, her creative skills and talents are deeply rooted.
Drew Arrieta is a visual storyteller and artist whose work tells stories about resistance, reimagining our world and the magic of joy. His work shines a spotlight on people and their resilience.
Jared Fessler has enjoyed photography for as long as he can remember. . He took a photography film class back in high school, but photography did not really come back to him until post-secondary education when he was trying to figure out what he was going to do next.
Kristine Heykants is a digital media artist with a curiosity about the influence of patriarchal traditions on women’s lives. She has long used varying genres of photography to examine gender roles and their presentation in history, religion and the media, as she seeks to provide a counterpoint to the mainstream narrative.
R. J. Kern is a Minneapolis-based artist whose work explores ideas of home, ancestry and the sense of place. Inspired by master painters of the 19th century, he embraces the heightened expressivity of natural and artificial lighting techniques paired with tableaux narration.
Andres Perez is a Mexican-American artist exploring identity and culture through photography. Native to Acapulco, Guerrero, he moved to Minnesota at the age of 18 and started working professionally as an artist in 2015.
Christopher Selleck has spent the last twenty years working in and around the art scene of Minneapolis. In the past few years, his projects have focused on the idea of identity construction, using sports and masculinity as a lens to view identity.
Shun Yong is a fine art photographer and multidisciplinary artist. A fear of loss, generational trauma and curiosity motivate him to take photographs. Shun’s work investigates his identity as a second-generation Chinese immigrant in Malaysia as well as a new immigrant to the U.S.