Artists’ work to decorate village’s historic downtown buildings


Minerva’s historic Market Street buildings will receive an “artist’s touch” in the near future.

Five winners have been chosen in the “Great Minerva Banner Mural Contest”. The contest” is part of 20/20 Vision – a project of the village of Minerva and the County Arts Council which will use arts and history to revitalize downtown. 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 winners are:

  • Heather Connor – 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. Her artistic focus is nature and landscape painting along with portraiture and interior design. Her work, “Autumn Road”, is acrylic on canvas.
  • Diane Betz Granger – 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 Cleveland Post Office’s first artist in the Marketing and Communications Division. She 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.
  • Joan Henninger – Henninger has lived most of her life in Minerva and began art lessons at age 14. She taught in Minerva Local School District for 32 years. “My oil painting is generally realistic,” she said, “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.
  • Michelle Mulligan – 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,” said Mulligan, “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.
  • Anna Rather – Rather believes she was born with a paint brush in her hands. In Houston, TX, she studied art in high school then went on to earn multiple art degrees from the University of North Texas, Ball State and The San Francisco Art Institute. Rather 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.

“We want to celebrate the work of Minerva artists,” said Robb Hankins, ArtsinStark CEO, “so we are going to blow up these paintings really large and start mounting them on buildings along Minerva’s historic Market Street.”

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 St. into a tourism destination called “Minerva’s Market Street.” Locals and visitors can experience Minerva history while enjoying shopping and dining. 20/20 Vision Minerva is an economic development project of ArtsinStark and the Village of Minerva.

To see the plan, visit