Roseville MN Homepage

News Flash


Posted on: September 7, 2023

Acclaimed Mosaic Artist to Create Towering Art Installations at Harriet Alexander Nature Center

Mosaic Artist to Create Towering Art Installations at HANC

The mid-morning sun filters into mosaic artist Lori Greene’s colorful Snelling Avenue studio.

Lori gazes down at her latest work in progress on the table in front of her: a beautiful doe and her fawn created with hundreds of precisely placed ceramic tiles.

Mosaic artist Lori Greene works on her newest installation for Harriet Alexander Nature Center.With the help of a generous donor, the City of Roseville has commissioned the acclaimed mosaic artist to create three 15-feet-tall mosaic cairns to be placed around Harriet Alexander Nature Center. Each cairn will feature animals that represent the three natural areas – marsh, prairie, and forest – that make up the 52 acres surrounding the nature center.  

It's slow and painstaking work.  Mosaic artist Lori Greene works on her newest installation for Harriet Alexander Nature Center.

“This piece, what I have right here, has taken me five days,” Greene explained. “I always start with the hardest part, so the eyes are always the first thing I do. The doe’s eyes probably took me an hour. I was trying to figure out how they should look so they are looking at you and also communicate: get away from my baby.”  

In modern times, cairns are eye-catching landmarks built to mark trails and significant locations. These cairns will guide visitors to the nature center.

Greene’s work is displayed all over the country and across the Twin Cities. Two of her larger-than-life mosaics grace the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport. She has public art displays in cities ranging from Baltimore to St. Louis Park. Green created the Survivors Memorial at Boom Island Park in Minneapolis, which is the nation’s first, permanent, public memorial to honor survivors of sexual violence.

“Boom Island is my most important work. I am a survivor and I was asked by a survivor to work on the project,” she said.

Greene said she agreed to take the Roseville commission because she was drawn to the natural family-friendly setting and the different surge of emotions this project will evoke. Greene said she explored HANC with her children when they were young.

“I wanted to do something that was beautiful and about nature. I tend to do a lot of things that are trauma focused. This is not trauma focused. It’s healing for me. I hope it will be for others. I hope it’s also fun for kids and adults too.”   

Falcon Heights residents and nature center volunteers John and Kris Robertson-Smith donated the funds for the cairns, in coordination with the nonprofit Friends of Roseville Parks. They hope the art will draw more visitors to the nature center.  

“In my opinion, the nature center is a hidden gem, well deserving of more attention,” writes John Robertson-Smith in a letter to the city. “The intention of this project would be to increase the awareness of HANC in a unique, artistic, and community-centered manner.”  

Greene grew up in Minnesota with a plethora of cultural influences and values that still guide her work. Greene is multiracial including African American, Native American- Mississippi band of Choctaw, and Caucasian. Her father Dewey Greene was a founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in the 1960s, which fought for Civil Rights.

“His life was in danger. The Ku Klux Klan was after my father so he came to Minnesota and registered white college students to go down to Mississippi to help with voter registration,” Green said. ‘It was the Freedom Summer of 1964.”

While she was always into art, Lori originally dreamed of being a doctor. She was pre-med at the University of Minnesota.  

“I took a year off, biked across the country and decided to go to art school,” she said.  

She earned a bachelor’s degree with an emphasis on textile art from California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, Calif. She earned her master’s degree from the Maryland Institute of Art. There, she began creating beaded life-sized sculptures using tiny seed beads. She enjoyed the work but found her eyesight was faltering.  

“I was starting to lose my eyesight from doing such intense focused work. I thought I need to do something the same, but different,” Lori said.  

That’s when she pivoted to mosaic.

“I started dumpster-diving for tiles, plates, and old ceramics. They didn’t sell colored tile anywhere,” she said. “I got a commission right out of graduate school to do a mosaic sculpture for an art park in Baltimore.”

Lori said the time-consuming nature of her art actually drew her deeper into the work. She scores, nips, and arranges thousands of individual miniature tiles creating dramatic works of art portraying people, animals, plants, and landscapes.

“I really like this intense laborious process. I like to work hard,” she said. 

She returned to Minnesota and eventually built up her business Mosaic on a Stick, located in St. Paul. She also continued to travel. She spent three months in Ghana and a year in Mexico. She said she is pleased that her work is being displayed and cherished in suburbs and well as city centers.  

“I want public art to be available everywhere,” she said. “A lot of people feel intimidated by art, I want people to walk by a piece of art and think: ‘oh that’s cool!’ I want people to be interested and to be curious and ask, ‘What is that? How is that made? Could I do that?’”

Lori does offer classes, work space for other artists, and even small take-home kits for anyone interested in exploring mosaic artwork.  

Lori said she is also thrilled that Roseville wants to display her mosaics and her distinct multicultural perspective.  

“If you don’t see people who look like yourself, you don’t know that you can do that thing. I never had a teacher of color until I went to college,” she said.  

Lori will be working on the murals at the Wild Rice Festival at HANC from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sept. 16.

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Home

Highway 36 Public Meetings March 2024.

Share your Feedback for Hwy 36

Posted on: February 28, 2024
MicrosoftTeams-image (72)

Help Name Roseville’s New Park

Posted on: February 23, 2024
MLK volunteer event 2024.

MLK Day Natural Resources Event

Posted on: January 9, 2024
City offices, including the License and Passport Center, will be closed on January 1 for New Year’s

City Offices Closed Jan 1

Posted on: December 21, 2023
2024 City Budget and Tax Levy Approved.

2024 City Budget and Tax Levy Approved

Posted on: December 6, 2023
A "Thin Ice" sign at Lake Bennett in Roseville's Central Park.

Caution: Thin Ice at Central Park

Posted on: December 5, 2023
Metro Tranist G-Line comment period ending soon

METRO G Line Comment Period Ends Nov 6

Posted on: October 30, 2023
Pollinator Friendly Fall Yard Care Tips

Pollinator Friendly Fall Yard Care Tips

Posted on: October 26, 2023
What type of water service do you have?

The City of Roseville needs your help!

Posted on: October 19, 2023
Commitment to Connectivity, The City of Roseville continues to build more pathways.

Commitment to Connectivity

Posted on: September 25, 2023
Community Pride Roseville at 75

Community Pride – Roseville at 75

Posted on: July 20, 2023
Fireworks safety reminders

Fireworks Safety Reminders

Posted on: June 28, 2023
Rosefest road closures 2023

Rosefest Road Closures

Posted on: June 21, 2023
Volunteer Spotlight: Carol Hansen

Volunteer Spotlight: Carol Hansen

Posted on: April 6, 2023
Living with Coyotes

Living with Coyotes

Posted on: April 3, 2023
Minnesota Recycling Works. A woman holds a bin full of recyclables.

Minnesota Recycling Works

Posted on: March 20, 2023
Roseville Tree Sale preview is now open.

2023 Spring Tree Sale Opens March 1

Posted on: February 7, 2023
2023 Budget Finalized and Approved

2023 City Budget Finalized and Approved

Posted on: December 20, 2022
Please join us for a community visioning event on January 10.

Community Visioning Event Jan. 10

Posted on: January 10, 2023
People ice skate at the Guidant John Rose MN OVAL.

Roseville Winter Fun

Posted on: November 30, 2022

City Offices Closed November 24 and 25

Posted on: November 25, 2022
"Winter in Roseville" with a picture of a snowplow in the background.

Winter In Roseville

Posted on: November 14, 2022

Volunteer Spotlight: Jessica Raygor

Posted on: November 10, 2022

Trick-or-Treat Safety Tips

Posted on: October 31, 2022

2023 Budget Update

Posted on: October 27, 2022

Free Drive-Through Grocery Event

Posted on: October 24, 2022

Help Rename Pocahontas Park

Posted on: October 13, 2022
Give blood at Roseville Fire Station on October 21 and receive a $10 gift card.

Give Blood and Receive a $10 Gift Card

Posted on: October 13, 2022

Sign up for Healing Gardens Guided Tour

Posted on: September 22, 2022

2022 Roseville Election Results

Posted on: September 21, 2022
City Appoints Two New Commissioners

City Appoints Two New Commissioners

Posted on: September 21, 2022
Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer Update

Posted on: August 30, 2022

Understanding Your Utility Bill

Posted on: August 31, 2022

2022 Election Candidate Forums

Posted on: August 24, 2022
Hispanic Heritage Month Graphic with designs

City Recognizes Hispanic Heritage Month

Posted on: August 26, 2022

2023 Budget Discussions Move Forward

Posted on: August 23, 2022

Community Corner: Reservoir Woods

Posted on: August 31, 2022
three volunteers pose for photo while planting red and green flowers along Lexington Avenue in Rosev

Lexington Ave In Bloom

Posted on: July 8, 2022
water faucet

Annual Water Quality Report Released

Posted on: June 30, 2022

Mapping Prejudice in Ramsey County

Posted on: June 16, 2022

Juneteenth Celebration - @ The ROG

Posted on: June 16, 2022

Free Kids Gardening Classes

Posted on: June 2, 2022

City Appoints Three New Commissioners

Posted on: March 23, 2022

Council approves new precinct maps

Posted on: March 29, 2022

Q&A with Fire Chief David Brosnahan

Posted on: March 4, 2022
Open to Business photo

Roseville is Open to Business

Posted on: January 19, 2022
  1. Roseville MN Homepage

Contact Us

  1. Roseville City Hall

  2. 2660 Civic Center Drive

  3. Roseville, MN 55113

  4. Monday - Friday
    8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

  5. Phone: 651-792-7000

  6. Email Us

Arrow Left Arrow Right
Slideshow Left Arrow Slideshow Right Arrow