Coronavirus Updates

Learn about all we're doing to respond to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Read More

Former Phoenix Employee Shares Story

Learn about a former Phoenix staff who is sharing her passion for art and how Phoenix shaped her future.

Years ago, bright-eyed college graduate Lori Greene walked into Phoenix, eager to learn all she could about disability services. Little did she know, those memories and lessons she learned would last a  lifetime as she became an advocate for those who are marginalized.

Lori began working at Phoenix in the late 80s in the former main building Phoenix owned. Right out of college, she was determined to make a name for herself, so she worked two jobs just to get by. She worked the evening shift in the blue unit at Phoenix, so she could work at her art studio during the day—her ultimate passion.

“Phoenix was definitely one of my favorite jobs,” said Lori. “You know, I grew up with a father who had a brain aneurysm, so I was used to being around people with disabilities. At Phoenix, I could just be myself. I didn’t have to pretend to be anyone else. It’s a serious job, but we sang … It was just fun.”

After a few years at Phoenix, Lori decided to venture out and pursue her passion for art. Fueled with a love for mosaics, a passion for the community, and the support of family and friends, she made her dreams come true. Lori proudly opened her new art studio, Mosaic on a Stick, in 2004.

“I wanted to start it because there was no place like it,” said Lori. Their mission is to create artwork that is deeply intertwined with the community by recognizing and celebrating the diversity and cultures who call Minnesota home, and to provide access and opportunities for anyone to practice creativity.

Today, Mosaic on a Stick offers a community art space anyone can go to to create their next masterpiece. They offer all the supplies you could need – tile, stone, stained glass, mirrors, plates, and dishes. They also have quality supplies for sale and teach mosaic classes to anyone who is interested (pre-COVID era).

Due to COVID, Lori and her team have had to alter their plans this year, focusing much of their time now on public health pieces. She’s been recognized countless times for her masterpieces out in the community! In fact, Kare 11 featured HER mosaic art recently in a segment on the nation’s first permanent memorial to survivors of sexual violence.“I work with a lot of school groups and people with disabilities, so I continued a lot of what I did at Phoenix,” said Lori. “I spent a lot of quality time with the residents. Working at Phoenix Residence taught me so much about how to be a good human. The residents were their authentic selves, which allowed me to be my authentic self; that is a great gift. Thank you Phoenix Residence staff and residents!”

And as the world comes full circle, she hopes to bring that awareness to the community through her art gallery. “At Mosaic on a Stick, we celebrate, honor, and engage with voices of marginalized people and maintain our values as an art studio that aims to be socially responsible while providing art for everyone to appreciate.”

To learn more about Lori and Mosaic on a Stick, please visit www.mosaiconastick.com/.