Painter & Illustrator

Tell us a little bit about the place you chose in Hennepin County that inspires art and ideas for you. Why did you choose this place?

This was my first public mural with Creatives After Curfew in August 2021. The Northside Gardens in North Minneapolis is special because I’ve lived and worked in the area for many years.The artwork was assisted by the local youth and was inspired by interviews from community leaders. Overall it was a great learning experience as I got a chance to learn about community engagement and try a new medium on a larger scale.

How has the pandemic impacted your artistic practice?

This pandemic has presented several obstacles for me and my family including illness, work furlough, financial instability, and overall stress. As an emerging artist, I am at a precarious place in my path where each choice has an impact on the viability of my practice. Access to materials, space, and time have also become more of a challenge over the last year.

"As a black male and a father, I want my artwork to contribute to the discussions happening around the changes in our neighborhoods.

My goal is to tell the story of our community through this challenging time by showing the diverse cultures and perspectives present in our city. For people to see themselves in the artwork through shared stories and traditions."

If you could create public artwork anywhere in Hennepin County, what would you create and where?

I would install a series of fragmented murals along an area with high visibility such as Hennepin Ave. The mural will contain several pieces that come together as you are moving along Hennepin Ave. To highlight the challenges our community faces such as policing of black and brown neighborhoods, mental health and potential for change. Each mural will illustrate a piece of the larger story, regardless of the viewer's direction.

What is the biggest challenge you face as an artist?

Finding inclusive spaces that care about artists to showcase my artwork. Trying to achieve stability as an artist without having to sacrifice my instincts and creative freedom. | @philipowashere

View Philipo's Gallery