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The Milligan Studio Artist Bio

The Milligan Studio believes that Public Art celebrates and remembers. It binds us to a place with beauty, and grace. Sometimes, it even gives us hope.

Based in Belfast, NI and St Paul, MN, the international collaborative has worked closely with a wide variety of communities and their councils, governmental and education concerns, in addition to architects, builders, structural engineers, historical preservationists, and city planners to create Public Art in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, and Paris. Recent commissions include “Cloud Horse,” the first Public Art roundabout for the state of South Dakota, and the upcoming “Sovereign,” a 14’ (H) x 8’ (W) bronze and glass figurative sculpture honoring the Seminole Tribe for the State of Florida.

At the heart of the practice is a husband-and-wife partnership. Sculptor Alan Scott Milligan is well-known for the Samuel Beckett Chess Set, which was exhibited in the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris, France and throughout Europe. Historian and Visual Artist Dr. Nicole Mary Milligan, writing as N.M. Kelby, is also the critically acclaimed author of eight poetic novels including The Pink Suit (Little, Brown), White Truffles in Winter (W.W. Norton) and The New York Times bestseller In the Company of Angels. A Yaddo fellow, she has been translated into 21 languages worldwide.

Distinguished graduates from Bath Spa University, one of Europe’s premier Art Colleges, the two have received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Bush Foundation, PEN America, Jerome Foundation, both the Florida and Minnesota State Arts Board and are part of the Arts@MSP Artist Roster, facilitated by the Minnesota Airport Foundation.

Studio Assistant Mohamed Abdirizack Mohamed, a former High School basketball star, was born in Cape Town, South Africa and began his mentorship with the Studio in 2021.

Composer Danny Diamond is a musician and researcher with a background in Irish traditional/folk music, currently based between Minneapolis, USA and Dublin, Ireland. Well-known for his work as an individual fiddler, and with the neo-trad group Slow Moving Clouds, his composition for Altitude, Il y a (there is), was inspired by the laughter of the actual children who were given “altitude” by Mayor Carter’s program.

YWCA St. Paul will display Altitude, an interactive art piece by The Milligan Studio, celebrating the City of St. Paul’s People Prosperity Pilot. This piece will be unveiled to the public on December 7 at YWCA St. Paul.

Artists Respond: People, Place, and Prosperity is a project of the City of Saint Paul and Springboard for the Arts, supported by Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation and The Kresge Foundation. See more:

Dr. Nicole Mary Milligan ( is a fiscal year 2021 recipient of a Creative Support for Individuals grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature; and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.