Artist Initiative

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund
Emily J. Donovan Carney AKA Emily Donovan
Recipient Type
Start Date
March 2015
End Date
February 2016
Activity Type
Counties Affected
St. Louis
St. Louis
Project Overview
Artist Initiative
Project Details
Using plant-based dyes, Donovan will create work based on regional flora, in her batik style painting. The Minnesota growing season will be explored with the assistance of community gardeners and the work will be shown at a Twin Cities gallery or nature center.
Competitive Grant Making Body
Board Members and Qualifications
Ardell Brede: Mayor of Rochester, elected 2002.; Peggy Burnet: Businesswoman, art collector, and community volunteer. Chair of the Nominating Committee, Smithsonian National Board. Trustee, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Vice Chair, Minnesota State Arts Board.; Michael Charron: Dean of the School of the Arts, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. Chair, Minnesota State Arts Board.; Rebecca Davis-Lee: Touring pianist, piano and music theory teacher; Wendy Dayton: Arts and community leader and philanthropist.; Sean Dowse, Executive director, Sheldon Theatre. Board member for Minnesota Music Coalition, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, and Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, Treasurer, Minnesota State Arts Board.; David Glenn: Executive director of the Minnesota Project, ceramic artist; Ellen McInnis: Director of Twin Cities government relations, Wells Fargo. Member of Bottineau Boulevard Partnership. Vice Chair, Minnesota State Arts Board.; Thomas Moss: Consultant to nonprofits and government agencies; Janice Sivertson: Gallery owner and visual artist
Advisory Group Members and Qualifications
Moira Bateman: Contemporary visual artist, utilizing mixed media and fiber to create sculptural and site-specific art; Elizabeth Devine: Jewelry designer and lettering artist, Southeastern Minnesota Visual Artists co-op board member; Justine Di Fiore: Hospital worker and visual artist; Andrew Maus: Executive Director, Minnesota Marine Art Museum, Winona; Daniel Mondloch: Painter, muralist, and art teacher; Asako Nakauchi: Sculptor and installation artist, instructor, University of Wisconsin-River Falls; Jessica Shaykett: Librarian, American Craft Council; Frederick Somers: Award-winning pastel artist and painter, art instructor; Liza Sylvestre: Visual artist and educator
Conflict of Interest Disclosed
Legal Citation / Subdivision
Laws of Minnesota 2013, Chapter 137, Article 4, Section 2, Subdivision 3
Appropriation Language

ACHF Arts Access

2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Other Funds Leveraged
Direct expenses
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

The artist will prepare to exhibit a collection of work that explores her paper and dye technique in collaboration with community gardeners for a gallery setting that is open to the public. Fuller exploration of natural dyes as a media and colorant will be obtained and documented with the expansion on environmental practices and knowledge of a community. 2: Funds will provide time to prepare, research and seek partners in collaboration. It will further the exploration of plant based media for other artists and expand on environmental aspects. Comments and advice of the gardening collaborators will be collected, documented and published on my blog for others to learn from and at its final presentation, the exhibit will ask for the audience feedback to assess attendance.

Measurable Outcome(s)

Donovan created ten large-scale batik style paintings that use natural dyes made in collaboration with local gardeners. This work will be shown as a solo exhibit. The completed collection of Emily’s paintings and the documentation of her natural dye process visually record the success of this project. The work represents collaboration with the community, a sustainable approach to art-making and the exploration of natural color and dye. Emily created over 50 natural dyes to use in her art and documented the process with photography. She recorded her visits with gardeners, collecting sample swatches of each dye, and noted which dyes where used in each of her paintings. She also found a venue to exhibit the final works and her process that will be presented to the public. 2: Emily shared her knowledge about natural dyes and her growth as an artist, online and in-person, with great responses from the public. Emily kept track of the number of people she visited as well as those who attended her various events and quantified her audience online by web analytics. Over the course of the year, she reached over 300 people in person and learned that her website/blog had over 30,000 visits. Emily found that many are reading her insights on her blog, but had a better exchange in person where people could see the work first-hand. She looks forward to more in-person presentations that allow for question and answer. From this, she will be able to better share the information the public seeks to publish online.

Description of Funds
Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Donovan Carney
Organization Name
Emily J. Donovan Carney AKA Emily Donovan
(651) 895-2987
Administered By
Administered by

Griggs Midway Building, Suite 304,
540 Fairview Avenue North,
St. Paul, MN 55104

(651) 539-2650 or toll-free (800) 866-2787
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