This past winter, over 200 artists trained to do collaborative public art projects as a part of
It's a creative placemaking initiative for the coming Central Corridor
light rail transit line.
The workshops have seen more than double the level of participation that was anticipated for their first year by Springboard for the Arts
, which is administering the initiative, according to Laura Zabel, who leads the organization.
“It’s a demonstration of the demand and interest in artists engaging the community,” she says, adding that emerging and established artists from a wide variety of disciplines have gotten involved.
Once artists go through the training, they can apply for grant money to do collaborative projects along the Central Corridor. Already, a number of mural projects have come out of the project, along with a concert series and more. “We’re really starting to feel the momentum,” she says.
For example, Leonardo’s Basement
in Minneapolis is working with the Avalon School
in St. Paul to create something it’s calling “sculptural mobile units,” which will travel to various events.
A new business at Frogtown Square
in St. Paul, which isn’t ready to go public yet, worked with Irrigate to organize a workshop called, “Make it Mysterious.” Artists designed temporary murals for the space. It led to “really cool visual pieces that animate that corner,” and the business is building on it, says Zabel.
The various art events draw people to the corridor, which is especially important as construction is ramping up again, she says.
Irrigate is open to suggestions; on its website, it has a map where people can identify spots where art is needed. “I’ve seen people saying, here’s this ugly wall or huge dead tree, or available green space,” she says. “People know that artists think of all those things as opportunities.”
Source: Laura Zabel, Executive Director, Springboard for the Arts
Writer: Anna Pratt