Who We Are
Artist-led Collaborative + Public Art and Design
Works Progress Studio is an artist-led LLC based in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. Led by husband-wife Collaborative Directors Colin Kloecker and Shanai Matteson, Works Progress engages an expansive network of artists, designers, organizers, researchers and other creative people to realize imaginative public art and design projects rooted in place and purpose.
To inquire about collaborating with Works Progress, say hello!
Shanai Matteson, Collaborative Director
Shanai is a writer, artist and arts organizer who develops, leads and supports collaborative public art and design projects. She is interested in work at the margins of established fields and practices, and believes we need to create more opportunities for artists and designers to learn through collaborations with and in community, across creative and cultural boundaries.
In addition to her role as Co-Director of Works Progress Studio, Shanai writes about artists and engagement, produces and directs documentary films, and consults with a wide range of organizations. Shanai is the Artistic Director of Public Art Saint Paul's City Art Collaboratory, a fellowship program for artists and scientists working with and on the Mississippi River and other ecologically-focused public art and engagement projects. In 2013 Shanai was awarded a Bush Fellowship to pursue her artistic and environmental leadership work.
Shanai grew-up in a small town on the Mississippi River in Northern Minnesota, and studied creative writing at the Perpich Center for Arts Education before attending the University of Minnesota for Cultural Studies and History of Science. She spent the first 6 years of her professional career as a Public Program Curator at the Bell Museum of Natural History, where she fell in love with environmental science, systems thinking, and social ecology. See her full CV on LinkedIn
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Colin Kloecker, Collaborative Director
Colin is an artist, designer and filmmaker whose work explores the intersection of civic engagement and public art-making. He loves working on projects that invite participation, inspire new connections, encourage self-reflection and enable collaborative meaning-making. He believes we can create more resilient, playful and supportive communities by daylighting and nourishing knowledge and creativity where it already exists.
Colin was a 2011 Fellow in the Creative Community Leadership Institute at Intermedia Arts, and was awarded a 2014 Metropolitan Regional Arts Council Next Step grant to make a short film with employees of the Metropolitan Wastewater Treatment Plant in Saint Paul. Everyday he strives to see beautiful possibilities in the systems of the city and to make interventions and provocations in our collective civic imagination.
Colin grew-up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he studied visual art at Milwaukee High School for the Arts. He moved to Minneapolis in 2001 to attend the University of Minnesota's College of Design, where he received an undergraduate degree in architecture. After graduating, he worked for 5 years at Cermak Rhoades Architects, a small firm with a focus on affordable and supportive housing in the Twin Cities metropolitan region, one inspiration for his own decision to start a socially-focused studio business. See his full CV on LinkedIn.
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Works Progress Collaborators
Over the past five years we’ve been fortunate to work with a wide range of people and organizations, from individual artists and designers, to arts non-profits, neighborhood groups, city governments, philanthropic foundations, educational institutions, and businesses. Frequent collaborators are marked with an asterisk.
Alliance for Metropolitan Stability
Bell Museum of Natural History
Center for Science, Technology & Public Policy (University of Minnesota, Humphrey School of Public Policy)
Center for the Humanities (University of Wisconsin, Madison)
Charlotte Street Foundation (Kansas City, MI)
Cleveland Neighborhood Association
Coffee House Press
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
Good Work Group
Kulture Klub Collaborative
Luminary Center for the Arts (Saint Louis, MI)
Mike Haeg / City of Mt. Holly, MN
Minneapolis Arts Commission
Minnesota Center for Neighborhood Organizing
Minnesota Historical Society
Mississippi National River & Recreation Area (National Park Service)*
Mississippi River Fund*
Nexus Community Partners
Northside Residents Redevelopment Council
Phipps Center for the Arts (Hudson, WI)
Plains Art Museum (Fargo, ND)
Press Street (New Orleans, LA)
Public Art Saint Paul*
Saint Anthony Park Community Council
Saint Paul Parks & Recreation
Saint Paul Public Libraries
The Shoebox Gallery
The Soap Factory
Twin Cities Public Television
Walker Art Center