West St. Paul Awarded $10,000 Grant for Art Park

Thanks to Amore Coffee for their support.

The currently empty Art Park at the corner of Butler and Oakdale won’t be empty for long. The Minnesota Regional Arts Council recently awarded West St. Paul a $10,000 grant for a community art project to create a mosaic sculpture.

The Project

St. Paul artist Lori Greene will lead the project, which will include a series of community events to gather input and create a mosaic column. Community members will share ideas on the feeling of the final piece and then help paint designs and glue tile pieces. A subcommittee of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee applied for the grant and is working to coordinate details.

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the timing is up in the air. Initially, community events would have started in May or June, but now they’ll be pushed back depending on when gatherings are allowed again. It could be late summer or pushed back into the fall/winter.

The grant funds need to be spent by the end of June 2021, so one way or another, the project will be completed by then.

The grant requires $2,500 in matching funds, so there will be a fundraiser closer to the actual events ($500 of that has already been contributed by the South Robert Street Business Association).

Art Park History

The art park was originally created in 2016 when a vacant lot was donated to the city. But a lack of funds kept the city from doing more than putting in sidewalks and a bench.

Last summer, West St. Paul artist Carolyn Swiszcz and Kevin D. Hendricks, founder of the West St. Paul Reader (yes, that’s me), organized a neighborhood meeting at the park to brainstorm ideas. The Parks and Recreation subcommittee grew out of that meeting and has worked with the City to finalize ideas, write the grant, and apply for funding.

This project is envisioned as a first step to bring art to the Art Park and to West St. Paul. The idea is that this piece will serve as a catalyst and the Art Park can become a place where more art happens.

You can support West St. Paul Reader by becoming a patron.

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