Winners Announced for Great Minerva Banner Mural Contest

The five winners of the “Great Minerva Banner Mural Contest” have been selected.  Each winning artist will receive $250 and is allowing their painting to be used on one of the five banner murals to be installed on buildings in downtown Minerva this spring.  The five winners are: Heather Connor, Diane Betz Granger, Joan Henninger, Michelle Mulligan, and Anna Rather.

“We want to celebrate the work of Minerva artists,” says ArtsinStark CEO Robb Hankins. “So we are going to blow up these paintings really large and start mounting them on buildings along Minerva’s historic Market Street.  “The Great Minerva Banner Mural Contest” is part of 20/20 Vision — a project of the Village of Minerva and the County Arts Council that uses arts and history to revitalize downtown.

1) Heather Connor grew up in the Minerva countryside loving to draw the natural world that surrounded her. Wanting to pursue her art interests, she became an art educator at United Local Elementary School. She draws, paints, and inspires creativity in young minds. Heather’s artistic focus is nature and landscape painting along with portraiture and interior design.  Her work Autumn Road is acrylic on canvas.

2) Diane Betz Granger can’t remember a time when she wasn’t drawing, especially portraits of people and animals. She has been the Stark Metropolitan Housing Authority’s Arts and Crafts Coordinator and the Cleveland Post Office’s first artist in the Marketing and Communications Division.  Diane found a new level of joy when she began teaching art classes to students of all ages 24 years ago.  Her work Majestic Animals is acrylic on canvas.

3) Joan Henninger has lived most of her life in Minerva, Ohio, and began art lessons at age 14.  She taught for 32 years in the Minerva Local School District.  “My oil painting is generally realistic,” says Joan, “I find the visual world around me to be a place of wonder and amazement, and I want my art to reflect this.”  Her work Poppies is oil on canvas.

4) Michelle Mulligan has spent the better part of her adult life raising a family with her husband, but has always managed to find an outlet for her creativity.  “I try to paint as often as I can,” says Michelle, “not only as an outlet for the gift God has placed in me, but also as a means to refine that gift and for the immense pleasure the whole process brings.”  Her work The Kid is oil on canvas.

5) Anna Rather believes she was born with a paint brush in her hands.  In Houston, Texas  she studied art in high school, then went on to get multiple art degrees from the University of North Texas, Ball State, and The San Francisco Art Institute.  Anna makes all kinds of art: surreal ocean imagery, abstract works using Legos as stamps, collages, dismantled electronics transformed into art, and visual diaries that capture the stories of her life.  Her work Diary Portrait 39 is finger printing, drawing, paint, and ink on paper.

20/20 Vision Minerva was created in 2012 by a task force chaired by Pat Miller.  The goal by the year 2020 is to transform the three blocks downtown from Hart Mansion to West Line Street into a tourism destination called “Minerva’s Market Street.”  There locals and visitors can experience Minerva history while enjoying fun shops and eateries.  20/20 Vision Minerva is an economic development project of ArtsinStark and the Village of Minerva. To see a copy of the entire 20/20 Vision Minerva plan, please visit

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