Cedar-Riverside may see new public art

Abigail Tetzlaff, Managing Editor, Photo by Silvia Cha

The West Bank Business Association (WBBA) put out a call for artistic proposals in early February and will soon deliberate over possible projects April and May. The organization seeks to integrate permanent public art on Cedar Ave. and throughout the West Bank area. The organization has partnered previously with Augsburg to work on pop-up
exhibitions in the neighborhood.

According to the “Minnesota Daily,” the project will be funded through the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council and is also seeking funding from the National  Endowment for the Arts. The WBBA hopes to fund between 20 to 25 artists who will bring “culturally relevant” art to the streets of Cedar-Riverside.

Allen Christian, a local artist interested in contributing to the project, told the “Daily’s” Carter Blochwitz, “It would be interesting to do  a series of [benches] along Cedar related to the culture in the area.”
The WBBA provided workshops and information sessions in early February at the
Brian Coyle Center. In all, the project wants to use art accessible to residents and visitors as a way to promote belonging and neighborhood identity.

Other initiatives implementing system-based and public art have been seen impeccable success in the Twin Cities. In Saint Paul, there are approximately 90 stop signs with stems shaped like a flowers dotting corners in Hamline-Midway, MacalesterGroveland and others. The signs were installed in 2014. Saint Paul also etches “sidewalk poetry” into the concrete around the city.

In Minneapolis, there are over 300 individual exhibits in public places according the municipal website. The city built a series of digital guides for locating the art around town.
Whether as benches, murals, stop signs or something new, life in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood might soon feel more artful.

This article first appeared in the Friday, March 23, 2018, Edition of The Echo.