Announcing the Connections Mural at Folwell School!

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In partnership with Folwell School, Performing Arts Magnet, and the Corcoran Neighborhood Organization (CNO), SENA is thrilled to announce the start of a public mural project that will be installed on an exterior wall of Folwell School in the summer of 2015. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Folwell School, located on a border street (E. 36th St.) between the Corcoran and Standish neighborhoods, was reopened in 2012 as a K-8 school after the former middle school had been shuttered for several years. Many neighbors still do not know about these changes at Folwell, and the mural project is a great opportunity for community engagement and interaction with the school.

Mural artist Greta McLain will create a large (2,000 sq. ft.!), painted mural through a series of community events held this winter and spring. Greta will work with community members to visualize the connections that unite the school, neighborhoods, and community. She is examining three themes that will influence the mural’s design:

  1. What things cause us to disconnect from one another? (Such as language or cultural differences)
  2. How do we connect to each other? What things/qualities/conditions bring us together? (Such as parenting, age, identity, beliefs)
  3. How can we further connect? What would a world look like where we all felt supported and connected to one another?

More about the Artist

Greta McLain has 10 years of muralmaking experience. She earned her BA degree from the University of California Davis and her MFA degree from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and she has traveled in South America and Europe studying new and traditional mural techniques. She has created and painted mosaic murals throughout the Twin Cities and in Argentina, Mexico, France, Memphis, and Philadelphia. McLain was awarded “El Fuerte de Barragan” for Artistic and Community Excellence for the mural Construyendo el Futuro with artist Melina Slobodian in December, 2009 in Ensenada, Argentina. One of her murals, the Central Identity

Project, was voted Best Mural 2014 by City Pages. Greta has also worked on mural projects at South and Roosevelt high schools.

To see more of her work, check out www.gretamclain.com and www.gretamclain.tumblr.com.

Three design events are scheduled in 2014 to collect community feedback on the mural’s design. The first was held at the CNO Cook Off on Nov. 19. The next two are in the Standish Neighborhood. Please come out to contribute to the design at either one of these community events:

  • Dec. 7, SENA Holiday Tree Lighting, 4:00 to 6:00p.m. at A-Tree Service (1849 E. 38th St.)
  • Dec. 18, before the evening concert at Folwell School (3611 20th Ave. S.)

If you are interested in submitting your design input but unable to attend the design events, submit your ideas via e-mail to ghmclain@gmail.com.

Greta will start mural fabrication in February. The mural will be created using an innovative, indirect mural technique called the “parachute cloth method.” This technique allows her to build the mural not on a wall but on tables, with community and school participation. The material will be painted at school and community events in the spring, and installation will take place in the summer. When complete, the Connections Mural will be installed on the exterior of Folwell School to stand as a large and beautiful reminder of what brings neighbors together.