Who We Are

Artist-led + Collaborative + Public Art and Design

Works Progress Studio is an artist-led LLC based in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. Led by husband-wife Collaborative Directors Colin Kloecker and Shanai Matteson, Works Progress engages an expansive network of artists, designers, organizers, researchers, advocates and other creative people to realize imaginative public art and design projects rooted in place and purpose.

To inquire about collaborating with Works Progress, say hello!

Shanai Matteson, Collaborative Director

Shanai is a writer, artist and arts organizer who leads and supports collaborative public art and design projects. She's interested in work at the margins of established fields and practices, and believes that edges and intersections provide fertile ground for artists and designers to learn and create, with and in community.

In addition to her role as Collaborative Director of Works Progress Studio, Shanai writes about artists and engagement, produces and directs documentary films, and consults with a wide range of organizations. Shanai is the Artistic Director of Public Art Saint Paul's City Art Collaboratory, a fellowship program for artists and scientists working with and on the Mississippi River and other ecologically-focused public art and engagement projects. In 2013 Shanai was awarded a Bush Fellowship to pursue her artistic and environmental leadership work.

Shanai grew-up in a small town on the Mississippi River in Northern Minnesota, and studied creative writing at the Perpich Center for Arts Education before attending the University of Minnesota for Cultural Studies and History of Science. She spent the first 6 years of her professional career as a Public Program Curator at the Bell Museum of Natural History, where she fell in love with environmental science, systems thinking, and social ecology. See her full CV on LinkedIn

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Colin Kloecker, Collaborative Director

Colin is an artist, designer and filmmaker who works at the intersection of civic engagement and public art-making. He loves projects that invite participation, inspire new connections, encourage self-reflection, and enable collaborative meaning-making. He believes we can create more resilient, playful, and supportive communities by daylighting and nourishing knowledge and creativity where it already exists.

Colin was a 2011 Fellow in the Creative Community Leadership Institute at Intermedia Arts, and was awarded a 2014 Metropolitan Regional Arts Council Next Step grant to make a short film with employees of the Metropolitan Wastewater Treatment Plant in Saint Paul. Everyday he strives to see beautiful possibilities in the systems of the city and to make interventions and provocations in our collective civic imagination.

Colin grew-up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he studied visual art at Milwaukee High School for the Arts. He moved to Minneapolis in 2001 to attend the University of Minnesota's College of Design, where he received an undergraduate degree in architecture. After graduating, he worked for 5 years at Cermak Rhoades Architects, a small firm with a focus on affordable and supportive housing in the Twin Cities metropolitan region, one inspiration for his own decision to start a socially-focused studio business. See his full CV on LinkedIn.

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Works Progress Collaborators

Over the past five years we’ve been fortunate to work with a wide range of people and organizations, from individual artists and designers, to arts non-profits, neighborhood groups, city governments, philanthropic foundations, educational institutions, and businesses. Frequent collaborators are marked with an asterisk.


Aaron Dysart*
Adj Marshall
Adrienne Doyle
Alliance for Metropolitan Stability
Allison Herrera
Amanda Lovelee
Amoke Kubat
Andy Sturdevant*


Bell Museum of Natural History
Ben Shardlow
Brady Clark
Bush Foundation


Center for Science, Technology & Public Policy (University of Minnesota, Humphrey School of Public Policy)
Carrie Jennings
Center for the Humanities (University of Wisconsin, Madison)
Charlotte Street Foundation (Kansas City, MI)
Cleveland Neighborhood Association
Coffee House Press
Common Field
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art


Daniel Dean*




Good Work Group




Intermedia Arts


Katie Hargrave
Kulture Klub Collaborative


Luminary Center for the Arts (Saint Louis, MI)


McKnight Foundation
Metropolitan Council
Mike Haeg / City of Mt. Holly, MN
Minneapolis Arts Commission
Minnesota Center for Neighborhood Organizing
Minnesota Historical Society
Mississippi National River & Recreation Area (National Park Service)*
Mississippi River Fund*


Nexus Community Partners
Northern Lights.mn
Northside Residents Redevelopment Council


Padelford Riverboats
Phipps Center for the Arts (Hudson, WI)
Plains Art Museum (Fargo, ND)
Press Street (New Orleans, LA)
Public Art Saint Paul*


River Life*
Roopali Phadke


Saint Anthony Park Community Council
Saint Paul Parks & Recreation
Saint Paul Public Libraries
Sarah Peters
Sarah Schultz
Sean Smuda
The Shoebox Gallery
The Soap Factory


Timothy Foss
Troy Gallas
Twin Cities Public Television


Walker Art Center




Zoe Prinds-Flash*