Artist Bios

Magdalena Kaluza

Magdalena Kaluza is a queer/mestizx Maya K’iche’ writer, youth worker, and emerging puppeteer (they/them) based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The daughter of a refugee/immigrant and a working class activist, Magdalena’s work focuses on intergenerational trauma and healing, calling upon Mayan cosmovision,  historical memory, and earth’s awe-striking magic. Magdalena is a longtime member of Palabristas, Minnesota’s latinx spoken word collective, and a new member of Monkeybear’s Harmolodic Workshop – the first BIPOC puppetry organization in the United States. Magdalena has hosted writing workshops for adults and youth and performed at venues across Minnesota. Magdalena is a step-parent, loves to garden, is often on bike, and has been a community organizer for over a decade. Magdalena grew up in Phillips and their second home is in the highlands of Guatemala.

See jewelry Magda makes:@artequiej

Mattie Weiss

Is a veteran trainer, artist and movement builder, with roles ranging from union organizer to racial justice researcher and writer, ballot initiative campaign director to community muralist, illustrator to curriculum designer, campaign strategist to author.

She co-authored and -illustrated How to Get Stupid White Men Out of Office, and illustrated several reports for RaceFoward. She worked for six years at Wellstone Action as the director of training programs, and now serves as Vice President at The Management

Center, which supports social justice organizations to get better results. Mattie has worked on a number of justice-focused art pieces, from murals at  Little Earth of United Tribes, to a visual food-justice timeline, to graphic recordings of community convenings,

to giant portraits for a collaborative project on Black lives. Mattie is a white woman, mom to two exuberant boys and passionate about making, contributing to and witnessing beautiful things.

Claudia Valentina

Claudia Valentino (Clau) came from Argentina to Minneapolis in 2009 and started working with Greta McLain in 2011. She learned the craft of painting and mosaics with Greta Mclain and started working as a project leader in 2014 at GoodSpace murals. There she learned many techniques and especially focused on over and under painting and color theory. She also found the beautiful challenge of working with the community and that is one aspect of her profession she most appreciates. She developed and grew as a muralist for 7-8 years with GoodSpace Murals and was apart of many community projects, of which she is very grateful.

In Argentina, Clau spent three years studying expression. At the National University Institute of Art (IUNA) in Buenos Aires, she studied corporal, a contemporary dance technique that expresses emotions through body movements. Clau also studied documentary photography at the Association of Argentine Graphic Reporters (ARGRA).

Juliette Perine Myers

Juliette Perine Myers is a multimedia artist who has a deep passion for using art as a tool for building community, empathy, and compassion. She identifies as a queer, mixed-race Chinese-american artist, and she has been drawing and creating art for as long as she can remember. Her primary mediums of expression are painting, printmaking and mosaic art, and through her work she explores themes of interconnectivity, the human psyche, and the relationship between the personal and the political. A California transplant, Juliette moved to Minnesota in 2013 to get her degree in Studio Art and Psychology at Macalester College, and she now resides in the community of South Minneapolis. She uses her art for political activism, organizes events rooted in arts and social justice, and works as a studio assistant to local mosaic artist, Lori Greene. Juliette is humbled and excited to be a part of the Artist Cohort, and to be a part of creating this mural in the Phillips neighborhood.

Check out julietteperinemyers.com, and Juliette’s art Instagram: instagram.com/juliettepm_art/

Katrina Knutson

Katrina Knutson was born in South Minneapolis and raised on working class ethics, progressive politics, and hip-hop culture. Since then, she has worked, painted and lived across North America, studying art and looking for inspiration under bridges, on the streets, and in galleries. But no matter how far she travels, Minneapolis will always be home.

She spent 6 years at Minneapolis’ Interact Visual and Performing Arts Center, working with adult artists with disabilities as a painting and drawing instructor and curating the Inside Out Gallery. Katrina is a founding member of both Tantrum Art Collective; a group of local, urban, social justice and community focused artists and Riot Crew; a collective of painters, designers, photographers, and emcees, with artists in Toronto, San Francisco, London, Mexico City, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis.

Katrina designs and teaches workshops and classes in and around the twin cities and across greater Minnesota, working with people of all ages at galleries, art centers, hospitals, libraries, and schools. She is an active community muralist and works on her own studio art, especially during the long cold winters. 

The connection between justice, creating, building, teaching, learning and sharing is central to the way Katrina lives her life and what she hopes to accomplish in her work.

Check out Katrina’s Instagram: instagram.com/katrinak612/

Missy Whiteman

Missy Whiteman (Northern Arapaho and Kickapoo) understands her work to be a voice for her ancestors to foster a deeper understanding and to cultivate positive change. While based in part on traditional cultural ways and ideas, her work also addresses themes of loss in relation to larger cultural forces and the rebirth process of healing and redefinition of cultural identity.

Many of Missy’s short films incorporate, Indigenous language, teachings, and values and have screened for audiences ranging from intertribal to local urban venues, like The Walker Art Center to national venues, such as National Geographic All Roads Festival. Whiteman is a recipient of The Sundance Native Lab Fellowship and Jerome Fellowship for her short film project The Coyote Way: Going Back Home.

Rooted in the arts at an early age, Missy was raised in an artistic home. Her biggest influence is her father, Ernest Whiteman, who taught her how to envision the world as an artist. Missy Whiteman’s upbringing in Minneapolis, Minnesota gave her the opportunity to learn and grow in her artistic abilities because of her relationships with other Native artists and filmmakers of various social and ethnic backgrounds. Missy has been given the ability to communicate in many different mediums and carries a diverse background in filmmaking, visual art  and photography. Her work has been exhibited locally as well as overseas.

Missy continued her pursuit of the arts when she attended the Minnesota Center for Arts education where her artistic and healing creative process was first developed. She later attended the Minneapolis College for Art and Design for Filmmaking and Photography where she continued developed her skills as a media artist and filmmaker.  

Today, as well as being a filmmaker, Missy is also a film and media consultant with Independent Indigenous Film and Media (IIFM). The production company’s mission is to help educate, empower media self-sufficiency by providing digital media production, video training and visibility for communities, organizations, and youth.  As a digital media and producer and consultant, she also partners with larger institutions and organizations, specializing in digital media workshop facilitation, video screenings, film & video programming/curation, public speaking and artist residencies.

Check out Missy’s Social Media: instagram.com/missy_whiteman/ & facebook.com/missy.whiteman.3

Camila Leiva

Camila Leiva aka MITA, started painting murals in the streets of her hometown of Santiago, Chile alongside community organizers and artists that taught her about the power of public art to denounce and reflect what was happening in their communities, nation and world. Carrying forward this tradition of grassroots political murals, Camila co-founded in 2013 a feminist mural collective with two friends called “Colectivo Amancay,” after reflecting on the lack of women muralist painting in the streets of Santiago. Arriving in Minneapolis two years ago, drawn by her Minnesota roots to connect to this territorio, Camila is over the moon excited to be part of the POV mural team and can’t wait to learn from and connect with the Phillips community. Camila also works as popular educator and is passionate about comics, mixing colors, figuring out how to heal trans-generational trauma and talking on Whatsapp calls with her sister Elisa.

Check out Camila’s on Instagram: instagram.com/mitadibuja

Nell Pierce

Nell Pierce grew up in California and Maine, and is now based in Minneapolis. She is primarily a visual artist focused on depicting people through college, acrylic painting, and murals, and she is part of two art collectives that strive to use art in the service of social justice movements. She also loves to organize in her communities, bring people together around food, write, dance, and spend time in nature. She’s been teaching/facilitating in the arts (dance, visual, and theater) since 2007, working with people of all ages in summer camps, nonprofits, prisons, and public schools in the US and abroad. In her work with others, she focuses on using creative tools to question, break down, and build personal and collective narratives. She believes that art can be a powerful tool for self and social reflection, healing, critique, and change. She thrives off of connecting with others, and is sustained as an artist by the relationships within and surrounding her work.

Check out Nell’s Instagram: instagram.com/nellpierce/

James D. Autio

James D. Autio is a Twin Cities visual artist, poet and educator. Autio’s writing has appeared in Texas Review, Conduit, Yellow Medicine Review, North American Review, Drunken Boat, Ditch, Poemeleon, and many other journals. His paintings, photographs, woodblock prints, and charcoal drawings have appeared in shows at All My Relations Gallery, Intermedia Arts, Minnetonka Center for the Arts, Marshall Area Fine Arts Council, Owámni Falling Water Festival, and the MN State Fair.

Autio began as a painter and explored numerous other media before turning primarily to poetry. His literary work was strongly influenced by his experience and perspective as a visual artist. Later, he returned to visual art without giving up his daily writing routine. The newer visual work includes portraits, animals, Ojibwe spirit entities, and experimentation with mixed media. Autio enjoys daily walks around Minneapolis neighborhoods, and often alongside the river and lakes. He always has his camera on hand to capture interesting moments and scenes.

James D. Autio is a recipient of fellowships from Hamline University and the Vermont Studio Center, and awards for his art, poetry, essays, and short plays. James is an enrolled member of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe.

See James D. Autio’s artwork at http://www.mnartists.org/jameaut