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Creatives, entrepreneurs unite in MidModMakers Showcase May 6-8

(St. Paul, MN) April 27, 2016 – MidModMen+friends, the Twin Cities retailer of vintage and modern home furnishings, is celebrating the power of creative makers and entrepreneurs with an in-store showcase May 6 to 8.

The MidModMakers Showcase features two visual artists, a craftsman who transforms salvaged materials into functional furniture, and a creative entrepreneur who designs lampshades, lamps and light fixtures.

The 2016 MidModMakers are:

Each maker will bring new creations to the MidModMakers Showcase – artwork, lighting and furniture that is being made available for the first time.

The 2016 MidModMakers Showcase schedule:

MidModMen+friends offers a classic modern mix of home furnishings grounded in clean, functional design with plenty of leeway for bold statements through art and found objects, strong color and unexpected combinations. The store carries a changing portfolio of furniture for every room, with pieces individually selected and rejuvenated or professionally restored according to need. City Pages recently named MidModMen+friends “The Best Place to Buy Furniture” in its 2016 Best of the Twin Cities roundup. Visit the store at 2401 University Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55104. Follow MidModMen on MidModMen on Instagram, MidModMen on Facebook, MidModMen on Twitter and


Lisa is a St. Paul-based visual artist who works across media, from paintings and iPad drawings to textiles and animations. Her lyrical imagery and unexpected combinations of color and shape have made her work a favorite at MidModMen+friends for three years. Lisa’s work also has been seen at the American Swedish Institute, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and MinnAnimate.

My process is a combination of external inspirations – like nature, colors and light – and my own internal imagination. It’s like a river of ideas and interpretations that flows on an intuitive level. One way to tame and successfully navigate that river is to create around a theme, like a collection of places, an aspect of nature or music. Or to achieve a pre-determined outcome, like when I’ve created for the American Swedish Institute (Amp Up Exhibit in 2015), Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and MinnAnimate.

I work comfortably in several media. Painting murals and stage backdrops and fine art painting are things I’ve done for a long time. In 2011 I begin to use technology – an iPad – to create new pieces. My new digital easel offered the interesting challenge of endless possibilities, but also the ability to easily apply my art to prints and textiles. I’m also up for new processes, so in 2015 I started dyeing canvases in indigo and stretching them. I always circle back to painting, though, because it’s my first love and because I feel that sometimes it’s only paint and brushstroke that can capture and bring to life my ideas.

Find Lisa’s work in rotation and available at MidModMen+friends, The Golden Rule, American Swedish Institute, Kopplin’s Coffee, Corazon, digs, Uptown MN and several out-of-state retailers. Visit her web site at Follow her on

Josh combines his expertise in fabrication with an affinity for industrial modern decor to create unique, functional furnishings from salvaged materials. They include live edge wood coffee tables and bar carts forged from old tool caddies and bowling alley flooring. He’ll feature a number of new creations in the showcase including lamps made from vintage ice augers.

I’ve been a furniture creator and refinisher for five years. My inspiration at the start was simple: I was transitioning from an apartment-dwelling 20-something into a home-owning 30-something. Suddenly, I became interested in the quality of my space and the things I had in it.

I had worked for years as a welder/fabricator and naturally gravitated toward an industrial style, especially with the pieces I created. Mid-century modern became my next focus because I could see the possibilities of mixing the two in a way that was seamless and complementary.
Now that I’ve had success with both custom industrial and mid-century modern, I’m even more focused on blending the two styles. My goal is to find a balance between the high design of the 1960s with salvaged industrial and organic materials. I personally celebrate the original design – rather than the patina – of the furniture I create and restore. I believe that industrial can still feel clean and vintage can still be immaculate.

Find Josh’s work at MidModMen+friends and directly through him for custom pieces. Follow him on and

Lex Winger founded ModiLumi Lighting to create new retro-inspired lampshades and pendants, bringing exceptional vintage lamps back to useful life. ModiLumi creates its own designs and fabricates every shade in its Saint Paul Park, MN facility. ModiLumi is now expanding its offerings to include re-imagined vintage modern lamps paired with custom-designed shades.

Modilumi is an offshoot of a graphic arts business started in my mother’s basement in 1987. There are some common threads between the two businesses. The most dominant is taking an honest, straightforward approach to customer service. Some of my co-workers have been with me for over 20 years now and we all truly enjoy making lampshade masterpieces.

“So, how did you ever get into the lampshade business?” That’s a question I get asked often, but I try not to spend too much time explaining my obsession with lighting. It’s a personal passion that I’ve been able to leverage into a business that gets customers genuinely excited about having something custom made.

The process is of designing and making new shades – and now lamps – has a real excitement to it. It’s a process of experimentation, of incorporating a customer’s needs into a design and of anticipating what will resonate with customers tomorrow and the day after that. The reward comes in two ways: the first time you light up a new piece and see it glowing and then the positive response we get from customers once they’ve gotten their shade or lamp.

This is a business of constant invention and adaptation and creative problem-solving – and just sheer creativity. What’s not to be passion about!

ModiLumi creations are available locally at MidModMen+friends and nationally at

John-Michael, based in New York City, creates original paintings inspired by classic mid-century modern designs, with specialties in cubist skylines and  brutalist sculpture. Each piece is built on a core design concept and he renders it in different palettes – and with a slightly different result – each time. He also  has adapted his original paintings to be applied to textiles, and has a line of throw pillows available.

I’ve been interested in mid-century design for years, before I even knew what it was called. I remember buying my first Adrian Pearsall lamp when I was 18 to take to college just because I thought it was cool. Who knew I had such good taste? My inspiration comes from the abstract art of the era. I’ve always been an admirer of the brutalist skylines and landscapes.  I enjoy using a combination of broad strokes of color and shape to create interesting pieces for people to incorporate into the mid-century decor of their homes.

I’ve been painting off and on my whole life. This series of brutalist landscapes was begun within the past year, and the pillows inspired by the artwork are brand new. I’ve always just painted for myself and for friends. My collaboration with MidModMen is my first foray into commercializing my artwork.

Find his work at MidModMen+friends and on Easy at

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