St. Paul Artist Jordan Taylor's Work to be Featured on MPR 50th Anniversary Calendar

Minnesota Public Radio today announced the winner of its 50th anniversary commemorative calendar contest. Jordan Taylor, from St. Paul, was chosen from more than dozens of entries statewide.

A native of Hutchinson, Minn., Taylor is a freelance visual artist and active musician in the Twin Cities. Taylor graduated from the University of Minnesota Duluth in 2009 and served as an AmeriCorps volunteer before moving to St. Paul a few years ago.

An avid MPR News listener, Taylor says he drew on what has been his own "Minnesota" experience when creating the piece. He explained that if he were ever far away and tried to visualize what is iconic about Minnesota life, this would be the scene that comes to mind.

"I think for a lot of Minnesotans, Minnesota Public Radio is the link that keeps us connected, which is why I added the line 'from Winona to Warroad,'" Taylor explained. "And of course, the image needed a little Minnesota kitsch with a tablecloth pattern in the background."

Part of Taylor's inspiration for the piece came from our state's deep connection to water and lake culture. "I think Minnesotans think of 'the lake' like New Yorkers probably think of Central Park," Taylor said. "It's a physical place but it's also largely mental. It's a constant presence in the back of our mind, and knowing it exists as an escape keeps us sane." Taylor added, "Of course, I acknowledge that not all Minnesotans are fortunate enough to have the time or resources for this type of leisure. I am fortunate to have the chance to be inspired by the experience I describe."

The art will be featured on MPR's 50th anniversary commemorative calendar, which will be used as a membership thank you gift and will be displayed on the website throughout the year. Taylor will receive a $2,500 honorarium.

A panel of judges including representatives of the Minnesota arts community and MPR on-air personalities and staff selected the winner, after a public vote that narrowed the submissions down to 12 finalists. More than 1,000 people voted online as part of the selection process. The judges were: Megan Johnston, executive director, Rochester Art Center; Anne Dugan, executive director, Duluth Art Institute; Roger Cummings, chief cultural producer and co-founder, Juxtaposition Arts; Christina Chang, interim director and curator, Perlman Teaching Museum.; Ali Lozoff, director, MPR 50th Anniversary; Matt Becker, digital producer, MPR membership; Alison Young, host, Classical MPR; and Marianne Combs, senior arts reporter, MPR News.