Meet the Staff

Meet the some of the folks who work behind-the-scenes at Ricardo Levins Morales Art Studio.

Elaine "Marigold" Avery - Minister of Finance at RLM Art StudioElaine “Marigold” Avery is our Minister of Finance. Her special talents include singing, DJing (as in mixing records) baking, gardening, carpentry and cabinetmaking. Marigold is dedicated to social justice and building a more democratic society. Working at RLM Arts, she draws on her collective experiences from The Wireless Virus free radio collective (Milwaukee, WI), the Free Radio Twin Cities Collective, Arise! Bookstore and the Seward Cafe. She has an Associate of Applied Science in Cabinetmaking and certificates in Small Business Accounting from Minneapolis Community and Technical College. She’s also a mom.

Sheila Nezhad - Minister of the Interior at RLM Art StudioSheila Nezhad is our Minister of the Interior, providing the shop with administrative support. When not at the shop, Sheila works as a consultant, helping social justice organizations with program evaluation, research, and project management. Sheila is a fan of detailed list-making, small dogs, and high-femme flora. Outside of paid work, Sheila serves on the board of the Lyndale Neighborhood Association and organizes for a police-free future with MPD150.


Jeff Nygaard - The Button Man at RLM Art StudioJeff Nygaard is The Button Man at RLM Art Studio, making all of the pin-back buttons that you see on the website, as well as all sorts of custom buttons for use in organizing drives, campaigns, rallies, and almost any special event or occasion you can imagine.  He also makes stickers, magnets, and a variety of other promotional/organizing products.  But, beyond buttons…

Jeff is a working-class intellectual of Norwegian, German, and Irish heritage who grew up in a small town in southern Minnesota.  Jeff has been an activist, writer, editor, and teacher based in Minneapolis for the past 40 years, and has worked at a variety of jobs, including work as a snow shoveler, courier, grocery store worker, and cab driver.  Since September of 1998 he has published his own free newsletter on media, politics, and culture called “Nygaard Notes: Independent Periodic News and Analysis.”  His work has appeared in the Star Tribune, Z Magazine, Counterpunch, Access Press, and various other publications.

E-mail subscriptions to Nygaard Notes are free, and paper subscriptions are available for the cost of printing and mailing.  Find subscription information on the web at, or email Jeff at nygaard (at)

Friends of RLM Arts

Photographer: Khin, @frostedyellowwillows

Tori Hong. is a visual artist whose work investigates the threads between personal, intergenerational, and community healing. In order to create meaning out of the often ambiguous, disrupted, and generative spaces they occupy, Tori creates narrative-driven drawings, murals, and zines. Tori has worked with organizations such as the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Hope Community, and ACLU-MN. You can find Tori’s work on Instagram @Tori.Hong or online