Our Artists

Cris Franchevich

Cris Franchevich is a visual artist and architect originally from Brazil and living in Minneapolis since 2000 with her husband and their two daughters. 

She sees the city with the eyes of an "andarilho", a Portuguese word meaning the wanderer. Her art is made similar to how her journeys are made; walking to step away from the comfort zone of the studio and seeking new experiences. 

Cris navigates between the realm of figurative work, sketching with watercolors on-site to develop it into abstraction and use oils mixed with cold wax in the studio.

Along with her art making, Cris Franchevich teaches watercolor workshops locally and abroad. 

Wenwen Liao is a professional experimental animator and artist. In addition to producing her own art, she is the lead designer and animator at both Jukko and Global Gaming Initiative.

Wenwen grew up in a seaside city in the south of China where she started developing her artistic tastes. She was influenced by her father who was an artist specializing in chinese painting. She followed her passion for art by going to the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing where she graduated in animation and film. She furthered her studies by moving to the United States and attended the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) where she got her Master of Fine Arts. 

Wenwen’s art uses simple and elegant colors to create pure and beautiful moments. She attempts to bring warm, loving and innocent feelings to the viewer that is full of positive energy and kindness.

WenWen Liao

Tony Cheng

My name is Tony Cheng. I’m a sketchbook artist calling Minnesota my home since 2000.

My sketches are spontaneous attempts to record and intimately understand subjects that spark my interest and curiosity. I welcome any opportunity to pick up my pen and fill a page in my sketchbook for any subject but my favorite ones of late have been urban scenes and human figures. I’m interested in recording life or places where life happens.

I primarily use pencil, ink and watercolor in my sketchbooks. I love the vibrancy and unforgiving permanence of ink. I’ve learned to appreciate the unpredictable life watercolor seems to take once it touches paper.

I sketch for myself and my sketches are kept in my sketchbooks. This has given me the freedom to experiment and have fun with the practice. Sketching has also allowed me to slow down and to be more present in the here and now.

Changlin Liao was an art teacher at Zhuhai High School in China for forty years. He was also a secretary general in both the Chinese Painting Art Committee and Zhuhai Education Association.

In China, he and his friends are enthusiasts of sketching and went through the country to capture many beautiful scenes on paper. With his many years of experience, he published a book of sketches popular in Zhuhai titled Love of TangJia. Its popularity led to many requests from people asking him to teach them how to sketch. This compelled him to publish TangJia Folk Residence Ink Painting Tutorial.

Since 2016, he has been spending half of the year in the United States with his family and continues his passion for sketching there. He manages to go out sketching every week and has added many beautiful pictures into his sketchbook. While doing so, he has met many wonderful people in the United State who share his passion.

Changlin Liao

Kar-Keat Chong

My life experiences have always been highly informed by the rich heritage and culture of my hometown. I grew up honing my sketching and painting skills on the vibrant streets of Penang, Malaysia, where multi-racial communities co-exist and live in harmony. I am a visual story teller who seeks to capture the atmospheric quality of a specific place or activity at a particular moment. The art I create is my emotional response to this phenomenon-always striving to be honest and realistic in my interpretations.

Through sketching and painting, it makes me pause and be present, truly observe with keen eyes, and understand my subject matter at a more refined level. My profession as an architect has enhanced my ability to shift quickly from various subject matter-whether it is drawing a large street scene or sketching very minute details.

I primarily work with watercolor, pen and ink, and colored pencils. The use of various mediums allows me to choose which vehicle is most suitable for creating sketches that evoke a sense of spontaneity and energy with little effort. In my studio work, I further experiment with media, to create work that is a direct reflection of my memory and emotional feelings towards a specific place.

I hope through my artwork, I can inspire others to slow down from our fast-paced lives to pause and truly appreciate the beauty that surrounds us each and every day.

Working in the Twin Cities as an architect and Urban planner, Juan Carlos is originally from Bolivia and started sketching almost 3 years ago. His sketches begin with a simple idea based on what inspires him during his travels. The direction a painting takes is greatly influenced by the spontaneous quality of his media, the watercolor, combined with ink, most of the time. This intrinsic quality of the media lends excitement to his creative 

experience, keeping the process stimulating.

Juan Carlos Franchevich

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