A West St. Paul art project that’s been more than a year in the making was installed today in the art park at the corner of Oakdale and Butler. The mosaic column created by artist Lori Greene is called “A Community Cairn” and features the input and work of hundreds of people in the community.
“I hope people come here and find some joy,” said Greene. “I hope they explore—there are so many different voices on this piece, and there’s little spaces of magic.”
A sub-committee of the Parks and Recreation Committee has been working on this project since last summer. They applied for and received a $10,000 grant from the Minnesota Regional Arts Council and then raised $2,500 in matching funds from local residents, businesses, and organizations. They worked with Greene to get input from the community and create the piece, along with Greene’s assistants, Juliette Myers and Adrienne Sherman.
The project involved the community through engagement events this summer and fall, including an online video and survey to gather input and then several art creation events when the community was invited to help create the work. Community members painted quilt squares that became part of the mosaic design and wrote on tile pieces that are featured in the work. Several local assisted living facilities also participated, with seniors getting the opportunity to write on tile pieces as well. All told, nearly 200 people took part in this community project.
“We had a really good turnout, especially considering the time we’re living in,” said Greene. “People were really enthusiastic. I really just wanted to bring healing.”
There will be an event celebrating the project on Sunday, November 8 at 3 p.m. at the park. Wear a mask and remember to maintain social distancing.
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