Art Opening: Wendy Benson in Art of Possibilities

image2Congratulations to Art Shoppe Collage and Mixed Media Artist Wendy Benson, who is participating in the  2015 ART OF POSSIBILITIES: the Courage Kenny International Art Show & Sale.

Opening Reception

Opening Reception: April 30, 2015, 5:30-8 p.m.

Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute
3915 Golden Valley Road,Minneapolis, MN 55422.



Artist of the Day Todd Miller, Photographer


I was born and raised on the shore of Lake Superior in Duluth, MN.  I’ve lived in Minneapolis since 1984.  In these past thirty years I’ve shot images of iconic landmarks and famous sites in various cities and countries.  Always fascinated by architecture and nature, but mostly by color and texture.

Manhattan From the Brooklyn Bridge, 2012

Manhattan From the Brooklyn Bridge, 2012

Awards and Shows

My work has earned a 5th Place, three 3rd Place and last year 1st Place for Manipulated Photography by the American Arts Awards as juried by 25 national galleries.  My work is permanently displayed in the lobby of the Uptown Theater, Mpls. MN, in the conference room of Target Corp. Mpls, MN, in the Recreation Center of Loring Park, Mpls. MN, as well as other professional settings.  I exhibit my work in two-four locations monthly and have donated many pieces to charities for fundraising.

Hobby into Passion

I strive to present positive and lighthearted messages in my work.  Simplicity and balance are very important in the composition of my work.  I have met so many wonderful people through the sales and on-line input I receive and am grateful to be able to enjoy watching what once was a hobby become a passion.

Todd Miller
Facebook: phoTODDgraphy

Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis, 2011

Lake Calhoun, Minneapolis, 2011


Twins Stadium Construction 2009

Twins Stadium Construction 2009

 Current shows  Pizza Nea, my work hangs there ongoing.  Espresso Royale Dinkytown, my work hangs there through April.


Artist of the Day Megan Funk, aka Starry Night Beadworks

StarryNightBeadworks_jewelry5Starry Night: Jewelry from antique pocket watches and natural stones


In the beginning

At age 11, I decided to take my beading skills public and go into business for myself. I chose the name Starry Night based on my favorite Van Gogh painting at the time.

Changes with time

Over the years my design skills changed and evolved greatly. I tried everything from peyote-stitch pouches and loom weaving to elastic wristbands, and from hand-rolled sculpey beads to hand-lacquered fall leaves. One little problem always nagged me, though… how could I justify creating so many “new” things in a world already overstuffed with them?

Green design

After nearly a decade and a half of exploration (and a college hiatus), I found new inspiration and new determination to succeed as a jewelry designer in the area of “green” design. Finally, a way to justify creation: by renewing things that already exist! Equally serendipitous was the connection I discovered between my long-ago chosen business name and my current medium…

I create jewelry from antique pocket watch parts and natural stones using wire-wrapping techniques; many of the watches I use (most dating from the 1860s-1930s) were born in Van Gogh’s era!

New ways with metal and stone

These days I spend a whole lot of time in the “office” creating watch-part jewelry and coming up with new designs. Wire-wrapping has been my focus lately, and I enjoy developing complicated new ways to join metal and stone through wrapping alone. It’s important to me not to destroy the integrity of the antique timepieces that I work with by gluing, cutting, or soldering.


When not designing, I’m researching! Behind every pretty (watch)face I want there to be depth and meaning as well. With each piece of jewelry I provide a card that details the meaning of the stone, the materials used, and the date the watch was made (if known).


Artist (Writer) of the Day Amoke Kubat

Missing Mama
Missing Mama

 Missing Mama: My Story of Loss, Sorrow and Healing

I learned that I have internalized grief and sorrow as intrinsically as I have internalized racism, sexism, classism, and other forms of oppression. I was on a healing journey. This is my story.

 Writer, artist, community elder and Life Coach

Amoke Kubat, M.Ed, is a writer, artist, community elder, and Life Coach. She is a Minnesota Special Education teacher holding licenses in Learning Disabilities, Cognitive Developmental Delays, Emotional Behavior Disorders, and Early Childhood special Education.

She was born Patricia Ann Davis in Los Angeles, California in 1950 into a family of educators and entrepreneurs. In 1953 her mother’s tragic death began her nomadic lifestyle. She revolved through many caretakers and many schools. Teachers instilled in her a passion for reading, writing, learning languages, and travelling.

London and Heidelberg

Amoke’s curiosity lead her to live in London and Heidelberg in the early 70’s. In London, using her southern roots cooking and sensibilities, she opened up a Free Café, serving Bar-B-Q, beans and cornbread. She was also an artists’ model, Tea Lady, and News Film Librarian. Amoke acted in an independent film, and married a man from (then) Czecholovakia. She returned to the USA to raise a family.

Back to school

After a variety of work that included The German National Tourist Board and The Los Angeles Olympics, Amoke returned to school to earn undergraduate degrees in Feminist Studies and Creative Writing, and Masters in Special Education. She taught for the Los Angeles and Pasadena Unified School District. She loved working for middle and high school students with learning and physical disabilities. It was her work with preschool and kindergarten students at Barton Elementary School in Long Beach that Amoke found her sweet spot.

She would get a Specialist Credential for Early Childhood special Education from California state College at Dominguez Hills in 2000. She also moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Work with special needs children

In the mid-90’s Amoke worked as a Consultant to Early Childhood Day Care and Home providers addressing the needs of children identified as having special needs. Amoke began to write and published in the Association for the Education of Young Children’s publication, NEWS.

In 2004, Amoke founded Respondability, Inc. As a graduate of the Twin Cities META INSTITUTE, she provided life coaching services as a certified NLP, HNLP, Master Hypnotist and Reiki practioner.


In 2008, Respondability, Inc transformed into the umbrella company for LIVINGWOMB CEREMONIES and YO MAMA: The Mothering Mothers Institute.

LIVINGWOMB CEREMONIES provides holisitic wellness services to women through rituals that evoke the divine feminine energies. YO MAMA: THE MOTHERING MOTHERS INSTITUTE creates opportunities for increasing health literacy through art and education. It is “Where Healthy Mothers Raise Healthy Children”.

In January and April, 2010 Amoke published in the Recovering the Self: A Journal of Hope and Healing.

First book

In February, 2012, RESPONDABILITY, INC published, Missing Mama: My Story of Loss, Sorrow and Healing. It is her first book. It is the first in a trilogy about loss, grief and recovery


Learn more at

Artist of the Day Wendy Benson

Tranquil Waters

Tranquil Waters

 Wendy Benson — Collage & Mixed Media Bookmarks



 Wendy writes:  I design collage bookmarks sold directly and at The Art Shoppe at MGM.

Growing up on several beautiful acres of land greatly influenced my love of nature as reflected in my artwork. I dedicate my art to my parents and all those who have been influential to me. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Broadcast Production and Studio Art from the University of Minnesota.

Arts & Other Interests: I usher at various theaters in Minneapolis including The Cowles Center and I am a member of the Basilica Altar Guild.

Arts Shows/Galleries: Courage Kenny Juried International Art Show,  Gamut Gallery Raging Art On, Powderhorn Art Fair, Honoring Women Worldwide Garden Party vendor. Downtown Congregations to End Homelessness art event supervisor. Flow Northside Arts Crawl exhibitor. VSA art show assistant.
Accepts Commissions:  I designed a collage bookmark for the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis.

Find Wendy!

Wendy Benson’s collages will be exhibited in the 2015 ART OF POSSIBILITIES: the Courage Kenny International Art Show & Sale
April 30 – May 22, 2015.

The Opening Reception for the 2015 show is April 30, 2015, 5:30-8 p.m. The public is welcome!

New location: Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute, 3915 Golden Valley Road,Minneapolis, MN 55422.



Artist of the Day Allie Hafez


Jewelry Artist Allie Hafez writes:

My creative expression is based on these basic principles:

Seraphinite, seed beads on suede backing

Seraphinite, seed beads on suede backing

  1. most projects have to be portable, so I can work on them any time or place that an opportunity presents itself.
  2. most of the necessary tools and equipment have to be small and multi-purpose (not just for my art), and available from more than just art-supply or other specialty stores.
  3. most of the materials I use must be fairly forgiving. That is, I need to be able to back up to an earlier part of the process, or even start over, without wasting materials. I have a vision impairment; plus I can’t make my hands do what I see in written directions or patterns, nor learn from someone else’s demonstration. Until I do it myself, I won’t “get it”. I just have to improvise from my “mind’s eye” and use trial and error to do what I think I see. Therefore, rendering an idea into a finished piece is always an adventure in uncharted territory.


I get inspiration from nature, fabrics, textures, manufactured objects and “out of the blue.” I like to recycle/re-purpose a variety of materials into my art, especially in ways that aren’t obvious to the viewer.

Like many artists, I consider being creative as essential for my emotional well-being. As an Occupational Therapist, I have seen first hand how effective the artistic process can be in helping people overcome challenges and achieve personal goals.

Combining art skills and Occupational Therapy knowledge

I hope to combine my skills as an artist and Occupational Therapist to help people with disabilities in developing countries participate in and contribute to their communities’ development of local arts and crafts businesses. I have a particular interest in paper-based designs, for functional as well as decorative use, and especially if the paper is being recycled in the design process. I have taken courses in “Cardboard Carpentry,” which uses specialized techniques for producing affordable adaptive furniture and assistive devices for people with disabilities.

I blog about my art and things that catch my interest at

Artist of the Day Mary Arnston


Mary Arnston, whose business name is Mary Ellen Designs, writes….I have been designing and making jewelry for about 8 years.  I use macramé with many of my designs.  I like to use many mediums besides beads.  I use silk, nylon cord, ribbon and leather.  I am always looking for the unusual bead bead to highlight my pieces.  She accepts commissions — especially for team-color leather bracelets.P1010015

And more!

Artist of the Day Kathleen Crook

Kathleen says…

My work has been described as whimsical, painterly and fun. Functional ceramics, but not boring! Recently, I have been doing more abstract painting on vessels with colored slips. I am also influenced by an Italian glazing technique called, Maiolica. My greatest happiness comes from seeing my work in someone’s cupboards when I visit.

 Kathleen is member of the Vine Arts Center in Minneapolis.

Artist of the Day Heather Tinkham

Heather Tinkham Car-art-bead

Heather Tinkham Car-art-bead

From Heather:

I see the act of making as a human need that speaks deeply to our unique and wonderful souls. At its best, art is a way to bring more beauty, joy, honesty, and authenticity in to a world that is increasingly busy and chaotic.

Art for our bodies and our homes.

My work extends the idea of art destined for gallery walls in to our everyday lives, as Artwear for both our bodies and our homes.



Art’s vital life lessons

Art as a practice includes vital lessons about experimentation, learning, failing, expression, discovery, analysis, and observation that share much with the sciences. My education has spanned IT, business, theater, and organizational behavior, allowing me to see firsthand the overlap in skills among fields that are typically seen as opposites. I pull as much from my doctoral training in research as I do from my communications and design exercises in theater when I explore new ideas in my art. For me, life is about the balanced systems of opposites that sustain growth and evolution rather than any single best solution.

Heather Tinkham Earrings

Heather Tinkham Earrings

Mixed media. Mixed Materials. 

That view, combined with years of study in media ranging from metal to clay to fibers, has led me to mix materials as needed to express the feelings and ideas that make up my pieces.

I love supporting other artisans and makers, so I also incorporate hand spun and hand dyed fibers from small producers as well as lampwork and ceramic art beads. I feel that each of these layers adds to the richness and complexity of the pieces, reflecting the way life evolves and we emerge as individuals.

Artist of the Day Megan Moore

Prairie Smoke and Birch

Prairie Smoke and Birch

Artist Megan Moore has been working in Minneapolis since 2002. You can find her studio in the Northrup King Building (#423), and she shows her work at art fairs as well as in several stores around the Twin Cities. Her work is inspired by nature and explores composition, pattern, and color. In 2014, she illustrated the children’s book Antler, A: A Cabin ABC book, written by local author Hadley Barrows—it is available for purchase at the Art Shoppe. View her work and find a list of upcoming events and shows at

Leaves and Fishes

Leaves and Fishes