A performer smiling in front of a multicolored painting.

A colorful moment from The Art of Me with Merrick. Photo by Jason Bucklin.

Artists from Upstream Arts and Merrick collaborated on an original Art of Me performance on Thursday, February 28 at 4pm. After 18 weeks or working together, building ensemble, experimenting in the creative process, and expressing who they are through multiple artistic disciplines, the cast shared an incredible show. As one audience member put it, “It was great to see all of the people expressing themselves in their own ways, and the joy each person had.”

Here are some highlights through photos:

Two performers gesture on stage with the words "Friends, Family, Us" projected behind.

“The Art of Me: Friends, Family, Us.” The name of the show captured the spirit of connection and conviviality that ran throughout the evening. Photo by Jason Bucklin.


Performers singing, one holding a guitar, one holding a microphone for the third to sing.

Performers sang together, mirroring each other’s songs and rhythms. Photo by Jason Bucklin.


Three performers dancing.

Performers introduced a Pirate dance as part of a scene involving the high seas. Photo by Jason Bucklin.


Two performers, one with microphone and another with a guitar.

One of the performers sang Amazing Grace, accompanied by the guitar. Photo by Jason Bucklin.


A performer with a drum interacts with a performer with a tambourine.

Two performers conversed through rhythm and drums, one of the recurring themes of the evening. Photo by Jason Bucklin.


A singer and guitarist smile at each other.

Two performers enjoyed collaborating on an improvised song, moving through melody together. Photo by Jason Bucklin.


A performer offers a second performer the option of purple or orange paint.

Performers danced their way one by one to a canvas, where they collaboratively painted the music. Photo by Jason Bucklin.

Abstract red and purple painting

Each performer chose a color and added their interpretation of music, movement, and moment to the canvas.

Blue and green abstract painting

The entire ensemble simultaneously created two very different paintings to the same song and motivation.

All of the performers gathered center stage, singing together.

The show ended with a grand finale of song: The sound of music makes me laugh. Photo by Jason Bucklin.

Thank you to everyone who came out to witness the show and celebrate the talents of this remarkable cast!

Click here to see a video of the entire Art of Me performance.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
Thank you to the staff at Merrick, Inc. whose grantwriting secured this funding.

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You can also be part of making groundbreaking work like this possible! Click here to invest in future events and performances with Upstream Arts.