Category Archives: Artists

Knight Foundation, Knight Cities Challenge Info Session @ CHAT



The Knight Foundation​’s Knight Cities Challenge is now accepting applications that address the question: WHAT’S YOUR BEST IDEA TO MAKE SAINT PAUL MORE SUCCESSFUL?

From a pool of $5 million, we’re looking to award funding at the city, neighborhood and block level, and all sizes in between. Knight Foundation is hoping to attract a wide variety of applications from: activists, architects, artists, block captains, city officials, designers, educators, entrepreneurs, hackers, institutions, nonprofits, organizations, planning professionals, restaurant owners, social workers—everyone is welcome.

If you would like to learn more about the Knight Cities Challenge, you’re invited to attend an in-person community informational and roundtable discussion at the CHAT Studio on Thursday, October 15th, 2015 from 5-6PM.

We’re located at 995 University Ave W. Suite 220 Saint Paul MN 55104 (directly above Destiny Cafe)

Bring along a friend or two!

RSVP here:

For more information, visit

IN CONVERSATION: An Artist Talk with Kao Lee Thao, Tou Yia Xiong & Sieng Lee




Illustration, Graphic Design, Animation, Sculpture, Installation, Public Art. These are the varied artforms practiced by three Hmong American Artists whose work holds a common tendency to push boundaries while honoring cultural roots. Join and listen as they present their work, and converse about the current and future state of Digital, Technology-Based, and Public Art in the Hmong Community.
In Conversation; An Artist Talk with Kao Lee Thao, Tou Yia Xiong & Sieng Lee
When? Thursday, November 19 at 7PM
Where? CHAT Studio 220, 995 University Ave (Second Floor), Saint Paul, MN
This is a free event. All ages are welcome.
Light snacks and beverages will be served.
RSVPing is recommended.  Do so @
ABOUT KAO LEE THAO: Kao Lee Thao began her journey when her mother crossed the Mekong River while she was cradled in her womb. Her family escaped to America in 1976 with only $5 in their pocket to begin a new life; settling in La Crescent, Minnesota. Kao Lee’s arrival to the world created another journey for her mother across the Mississippi River to give birth in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Water and travel have become central ideas in her paintings. Her work is infused with an expressively fluid style that allows viewers to travel into the past and see the echo of Hmong folktales, themes, and patterns passed down verbally from generation to generation in the Hmong culture.
“Art is an inspired Echo of human existence.”
For more information about Kao Lee Thao, visit
ABOUT TOU YIA XIONG: Tou Yia Xiong is an illustrator and designer working across multiple creative disciplines. He has experience in graphic design, game development, and product design. By day he is an award-winning children’s toy designer at The Manhattan Toy Company. By night, he is a creative ninja, doing freelance work, exploring art community engagements, and tinkering on personal and collaborative projects. When he is not creating, he enjoys playing frisbee with his dog Momo!
For more information about Tou Yia Xiong, visit
ABOUT SIENG LEE: Sieng Lee is a graphic designer and current MCAD graduate student. His focus is on identity and utilizing the principles of graphic design, such as empathy in his self exploration through art.
Recently Sieng was one of the featured artist who participated in a local art show called The Travelers, displaying his work with other contemporary Hmong American artist in the twin cities metropolitan area. Sieng poses many cultural questions of identity and existence to young Hmong Americans such as himself who are in the midst of cultural transition.
For more information on Sieng Lee, visit
ABOUT CHAT: CHAT exists to nurture, explore and illuminate the Hmong American experience through artistic expressions. CHAT envisions a vibrant community where Hmong American artists are inspired to share their perspectives, valued for their creative contributions, and empowered to challenge life’s boundaries.
For more information about CHAT, visit
ABOUT Northern Lights is a roving, collaborative, interactive media-oriented, art agency from the Twin Cities for the world. It presents innovative art in the public sphere, both physical and virtual, focusing on artists creatively using technology, both old and new, to engender new relations between audience and artwork and more broadly between citizenry and their built environment.
Northern Lights supports global and local artists working particularly at the intersection of disciplines to freely create new work that excites the senses, explores ideas that matter, and re-imagines ways of energetic engagement among artists, institutions, sites, and audiences.
For more about, visit
Brought to you by Center for Hmong Arts & Talent (CHAT),, and the Jerome Foundation.