Browse the 2022 Exhibit

Be Part of Something Bigger, a Growth Collage (2022)

The Virtual Exhibit: The virtual exhibit opens on Juneteenth (June 19). Check back often as submitted pieces will be added as they are received until the extended deadline on July 8.

Community Voting: To vote, visit the virtual gallery and choose your favorites from each category. Voting begins July 11 and ends on July 17.

Artists winning prizes were announced on July 19.

Voting closed July 17, 2022 at Midnight.
Thank you for your votes and for your support of these artists.

♪Artist who received awards

♪ Jessica Shao

Adult Student

Artist Bio

I’m a piano student of Jose Uriarte and also teach piano to young beginning students. Although I am a student of music, I love art in all its forms. My favorite mediums are soft pastels, watercolor, and charcoal

Artist Statement

This piece is about the vulnerability of growth and change—the feeling of stepping outside of what is comfortable in order to find hope in something new. Medium: soft pastels


Vulnerability by Jessica Shao

Kris Potter

Adult Student

Artist Bio

My Mother told me when I was young, that if I was in choir I would always have friends. This has been true! Music has not only provided friends but it has brought joy into my life. It has allowed me to communicate via singing and connect via the language of song. Even during these last difficult years for us humans, it has brought me solace and peace. I feel lucky that as an older singer I have found ways to strengthen my voice and increase my knowledge of music. Music is a treasure for me, free and always available to access and revel in. My submission tells the story of using music to connect yet once again, this time with my new Granddaughter!

Artist Statement

When I first heard that a choir had spread covid to its members I knew we were in for trouble. I knew I wouldn’t be able to gather with my singing friends, or my treasured teacher or be able to sit in an audience and hear singers far more talented then me. But technology, not my favorite thing, saved me and I am sure countless other singers. I sang with Eric Whitacre, my lessons continued uninterrupted, recitals ramped up via zoom, I was gifted opera tickets to onsite opera…. where via zoom I was able to directly talk with a professional singer in New York City and hear about a professional singer’s experience during the pandemic and ask her questions about her practice as a singer…( hint: she runs and sings her entire role to make sure she can do it on stqge!) And then hear her perform and listen to the composer explain her work. A pandemic gem as I have called them. But even with all of that, it is painful to see a year slip by as I age. I ache for the performers who were all set to sing on Broadway who had a year stolen from them. A year of singing, a year of income, and in some cases a year of health. I am grateful to be healthy, to be vaccinated, and to see our world slowly open up, share vaccine and singers again take the stage. As an amateur singer, I am thrilled to share the gift of song with Granddaughter.

The Musical Bridge

The Musical Bridge
The Musical Bridge

Kris P.


The year 2020 will always be very special to me, because it was the year I became a Grandmother. Becoming a Grandmother is a very interesting thing, because it is a role that you do not choose, it chooses you. To become a Grandmother in the year 2020 was even more interesting, because the virus that visited us humans created swirling rivers of division among people and families. As we learned very quickly it was very important for people to stay as far away from other people as possible to slow the spread of this brand spanking new virus. Slowing it down, gave researchers the chance to figure this new visitor out, to devise vaccines and to create or discover medicines that would assist people as they tried to recover from being infected. So at a time when you want to draw close to your child, the moment when they themselves are becoming a parent, it was most important to stay away from your child. I can still feel the ache in my chest of knowing that to keep our adult children safe, we literally had to remove the bridges of connection between us for a period of time, that ultimately stretched into a year. The only bridge we had was the digital one, and the snail mail one, and in my case the food bridge! I baked up a storm mailing breads, cookies, energy bars, and Scandinavian crackers. As the months stretched on, I learned to make sourdough from scratch and turned out loaves that were then mailed to our kids.

And then the day we became Grandparents. Our son, waited in a hospital parking lot for news of his own child’s birth, having shown up at the hospital doors with allergy symptoms, and the hospital having limited rapid tests resulted in his hearing the news of his daughter’s birth via his smartphone. It just so happened that we were on the phone with him when he heard the news, he was a Dad and we were Grandparents.

How to connect with this little girl, our Granddaughter? The pandemic swirling around us keeping the rivers of separation full to the rivers banks. An in person visit deemed unsafe for all concerned. I fretted, and searched for ways to connect, to reach out, to let this little girl know she was loved and cherished by her Grandmother. I think of all the things I wanted her to know about me, of all the things I wanted to pass on to her, it was my love of music. The joy I get from singing, the calming influence of song. The digital world provided the trusses for a musical bridge to our littlest family member. I began recording children’s songs, that fit the season or expressed my love. Classics like Eensy Weensy Spider all the way to 5 Little Monkeys Jumping On The Bed with hand motions. I often recorded after my regular MacPhail vocal lesson, it was an outgrowth of my musical study and a way to use my voice during a time when the choirs I usually rejoiced in were closed down. My other traditional place to sing, church, was only meeting via zoom and only recently began allowing in person congregational singing and very limited solo singing.

So, music floating over the internet became the bridge to my first connections with my first Granddaughter. The bridge was completed this year, two years after the pandemic began, when fully vaccinated and boosted and tested, we recently visited my son and his daughter. As I played piano (another pandemic skill I resurrected) and sang, she sang with me. Our voices wove together in song oh so naturally. Her high thin preschool voice and my old, old full soprano voice.

Together, in person, in love and in music.

♪ Katherine F.

Young Student – Age 8

Artist Bio

My name is Katherine Feng, I am 8 years old and I attend Wayzata Greenwood Elementary. I am a 4-year piano student of Susan Sophocleus and started to learn the viola. I just passed Crescendo level 6 in piano. I have also learned rhythmic gymnastics for 3 years. I like reading, drawing and traveling.

Artist Statement

In this drawing I wanted to show my love of music and how it has helped a lot of people grow. The flowers are blossoming because of how music can impact our life. The sound of music flows through our world turning into happiness. To me, I feel music can change feelings. Music is powerful

Growing With Music

♪ William F.

Young Student – Age 12

Artist Bio

William Feng is 12 years old and will start 8th grade at Wayzata West Middle School in September. A previous 7-year student of Susan Sophocleus, William currently studies piano with Richard Tostenson. He has also studied Viola with Richard Marshall and Bailey Poesnecker for 4 years and composition with Sarah Miller for 3 years. William is very passionate about music and has won awards such as second place in the National Federation of Music Clubs junior composer’s contest and the MacPhail Concerto and Aria competition twice. In his free time, William likes to read, cook, and bike.

Artist Statement

Resilient Life demonstrates the resilience of life on Earth as it learns to cope with new challenges every day. The piece opens with a simple motif in the strings that resembles a heartbeat. This heartbeat gets passed around throughout the piece, never stopping until the end. In that time, the “life”, or the other instruments, play different melodies which flow into each other and never stop, or “die”. This shows that no matter what hardships life faces, it will always find a way to keep growing.

Resilient Life

Resilient Life by William F. .

Evan P.

Young Student – Age 16

Artist Bio

I have been playing piano for 9-10 years. In the winter I ski every week in different areas. I enjoy games and have been getting into PlayStation games recently. I also have taken up archery and violin recently.

Artist Statement

I have been playing piano for so long, and during quarantine, I wanted to start dabbling in composition to stretch myself in music theory, which allowed me to grow as a musician. On a larger scale, music evolves and changes with people over time. As a result, the types and amount of music will always grow

The Last Waltz

The Last Waltz by Evan P.

♪ Yue Wu

MacPhail Faculty (submitting as an amateur)

Artist Bio

I am a music therapist at MacPhail and am deeply touched by my clients and their families. Their stories and emotional journeys are full of color and worth being told. Where others may see discouragement and disability, I see hope and the unique gifts my clients bring to the world. The most rewarding part of my job is witnessing the growth of my clients through their hard work and the appropriate support and intervention they receive. Reflecting on my own background growing up in East Asia and the stigma that people with disabilities have, both here and around the world, I want to share these people’s stories and let other families who are affected by disabilities know that they are not alone, and that their lives are worthy of being included, appreciated, and valued.

Artist Statement

People with disabilities, especially those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, are often left out of the social justice discussions. Our multi-sensory event, Light in the Well, which included a live orchestra, had a sold-out performance at MacPhail this past fall. After the performance, we interviewed the featured families as well as the audience. This video is a nutshell of their experiences. The participating families observed significant growth in their children as these featured individuals shared their own stories and performed alongside professional musicians under the spotlight. Our after-show impact interviews of the audience revealed that they felt the event gave them a deeper understanding of and appreciation for people with disabilities. The audience came expecting to be entertained;they left being educated and emotionally touched. The children with disabilities, their families, and the audience all laughed together, cried together, and shared their common life struggles, joys, and hopes. The long-term goal of Light in the Well is to provide therapeutic growth opportunities for people with disabilities in real life settings, as well as to provide educational opportunities for people without disabilities to grow in their knowledge and support of the disability community. Since our society is incomplete without people with disabilities, as well as the inability to grow without education, support, and opportunity, I believe that Light in the Well provides a much-needed opportunity for social and community growth.

Growing Through Light in the Well

Bryer Mickelson

Adult Student

Artist Bio

I just graduated highschool and I love to write music. I try to do local gigs here in Austin like playing at bars and peoples houses. I’ve been playing music my whole life but just this year started writing my own music.

Artist Statement

This song describes how I use to feel when I first moved into town and was trying to make new friends at the highschool. Thought the song it describes the troubles of making new friends and the bridge is the resolution of finally rising up.

Phoebe M.

Young Student – Age 13

Artist Bio

My name is Phoebe, I’m 13 years old, and I’m going into 8th grade at Andersen United Middle School. In the winter, I ski with the South High Nordic team, and I also enjoy hiking and camping. I’m a piano and cello student at MacPhail, and I play in the GTCYS youth orchestra. Some of my hobbies include reading, drawing, and music. I’ve always enjoyed listening to classical music, and over the past couple of years, I’ve really gotten into heavy metal.

Artist Statement

When it comes to classical music, I’ve always gravitated towards the dark, heavy, and dramatic styles (Beethoven all the way), so when my dad introduced me to metal bands like Iron Maiden, Metallica, and Slayer, it was a natural fit. Metal is often stereotyped as just being loud, fast, and aggressive, (which it often is, not gonna lie) but there is also so much incredible musicianship, composition, and melodic elements- many similarities to classical. Apocalyptica, a metal band comprised of four cellists, opened my eyes to the endless possibilities of what I could do with my instrument, and play metal on my cello.
This piece I recorded is a cover of my favorite Metallica song, Orion. (highly recommend you check out the original) During the spring and summer last year, I wrote and recorded a two-part arrangement, for myself, on cello, and I used iMovie to edit the two recordings together. I did pretty much everything on my own. It was my first time doing anything like this, and it definitely was a challenge, but I learned a lot and it really helped me grow as a musician.


Orion by Phoebe M.

♪ Finneas H.

Young Student – Age 17

Artist Bio

I am a 9 year marimba student at MacPhail I have studied with Eric Strom, and most recently, Bob Adney. I was a member of the MacPhail Percussion Ensemble and the Minnesota Boy Choir for two years. Although I have been studying and performing music for most of my life, this past year I truly feel like I have fallen in love with it in a new way.

Artist Statement

This piece holds immense emotional value for me. It is based on the poem ‘desiderata’. When I first heard strive to be happy, I absolutely loved it and wanted to play it. When I finally got the music, I learned part of it, but then got busy and stopped practicing. On the first day of summer vacation, my grandfather died of leukemia. That day I spent hours practicing, and finished learning the song as a way of processing his death. I was able to work through the change in my life through music. I was able to take all of the emotions I was feeling, and use them to make something beautiful. This song helped me get through the death of my grandfather. This piece is something I can always come back to as I grow. It will always have a story. Its title has been, and will always be, a good reminder of what to do when growing through struggle. Strive to be happy.

♪ William Murray Brown

Adult Student

Artist Bio

I am an adult student at MacPhail, taking voice lessons with Mikyoung Park. I recorded an album of songs a few years ago, and I’m slowly working towards a second album.

Artist Statement

I recorded this song before I started taking voice lessons. Since then, I’ve learnt a lot about how to use my voice, so when I look back on this old recording now, I can hear the growth I have made. The song’s subject is also about growth: looking forward, being positive, and being resilient in the face of changes in the world around you.

Deep Sea (The Gleaming)

Deep Sea (The Gleaming) by William Murray Brown

Beth Nault-Warner

Adult Student/MacPhail Staff

Artist Bio

I’ve painted on and off since college, taking long breaks and coming back, then leaving again. Paintings and photography have always attracted me. I love color, line, shadow, and light. In another life, I’m sure I’m either throwing paint on a canvas…or maybe touring with my band. I didn’t paint during the pandemic. It seemed like too much. Not sure what is up with that. It was nice to have a reason to start back up.

Artist Statement

This is acrylic on canvas with a rough base of plaster mixed with glue (18 x 24). I start with the texture and then layer on the color. It’s hard to see in a photograph. I’ve always wanted to work with black but it’s difficult. It mixes in with everything. It looms. But I wanted to take a stab at it and explore shades of grey. I feel like it’s a statement of what we’ve been through in the past few years. A lot of muck but with some bright spots.

I do use brushes, but mostly I use my fingers and anything with a textured edge. This piece has some gloss to it (again, hard to see in a photo) and the gloss and matte play well together. Not sure I like it yet, but it’s growing on me.

Ever Changing Mood by Beth Nault-Warner

♪ Elysa Hays

MacPhail Staff

Artist Bio

I am an amateur artist of many mediums. I enjoy trying different artistic forms of expression and learning new things. My attempts at self-expression include: poetry, drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, gardening, playing the marimba, drumming, and nail art. 

Artist Statement

I recently admired the way a friend of mine described the “ancestor tree stump” they were tending in their yard. I have been cultivating a new life for the former silver maple in my backyard for several years, and it has recently come into bloom in an inspiring way. When I moved in, the tree was a tall and prominent figure, providing shade and shelter. It wasn’t long before I knew it had seen its better days, and soon I had it cut down. Due to some unforeseen circumstances (possible metal embedded in the growth of the tree trunk!) I couldn’t get the stump ground down, and I was left with a giant, clunky tree stump in the middle of the yard. Over many years of trying ideas and seeking motivation and inspiration to revitalize the space that felt so empty, I finally see the most amazing transformation in this ancestor tree stump. I took this picture after planting marigolds in honor of my grandpa and placing new trinkets gifted to me by my mom on a lovely summer solstice night.

Summer Solstice Fairy Garden

Summer Solstice Fairy Garden by Elysa Hays

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