Avenues of the Arts have theaters, art galleries, open mikes and studios, as well as access to award-winning restaurants and other cultural attractions. Which makes Phillips an ideal location for the newest one in Minnesota! Phillips is more culturally diverse than any community in Minnesota. It has more murals than any other neighborhood. It is home to the world-renowned In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater, All Nations Gallery and restaurants from all over the world.
St. Paul’s Lutheran is working with partners in the neighborhood to build the Phillips Avenue of the Arts, an outgrowth of their Semilla Program. “Semilla means seed in Spanish,” Artist-in-Residence Greta McLain says, “we have been planting seeds of hope through our mosaic planters and murals throughout Phillips as a way to re-brand our community as a community of beauty, creativity and hope.”
St. Paul’s Semilla Program has taught mosaics to over 1750 people in Phillips and throughout the metro area. They have taken the project to over 20 different groups and organizations—from Phillips to the suburbs and outstate—with a special emphasis on reaching those who do not usually receive quality arts learning opportunities. These include the Autism Spectrum Program at Hans Christian Andersen School, the Multiple Sclerosis Achievement Center in St. Paul, Our Saviour’s Housing, Normandale House, St. Paul’s Home, Banyan Foundation and several block clubs in Phillips. “We have found that mosaic is a wonderful art form for building community and breaking down barriers”, Rev. Patrick Cabello Hansel, co-pastor at St. Paul’s says. “It is a set of skills that can be learned by almost anyone, and the act of sitting together around a table working on art lends itself to conversation.”
The first leg of the Phillips Avenue of the Arts will go from a major new mural on the La Mexicana building at Bloomington and Lake to the Avalon Theater one block west, then up 15th Avenue to St. Paul’s, home of the Semilla Project. Future legs will connect Andersen School, Waite House and other organizations in the neighborhood. The art along the Avenue will include murals, mosaic planters and sculptures, banners and poetry and performance places.
Experienced artists and novices alike are invited to participate in the creation of the La Mexicana mural and the other art along the Avenue. An open, free studio night is held every Wednesday from 6:30 to 8:00 pm at St. Paul’s, 2742 15th Ave. South. For more information, E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or “Like” us at “Semilla Project” on Face Book. The mural and the Avenue will be dedicated at “A Taste of Phillips” October 25 and 26.
Get a sneak peek of the mural at “The Great Fiesta” at St. Paul’s, September 7 from 4-8 pm. Live music (including Sister Species), Mexican and Scandinavian Food, silent auction, vintage clothing sale, and display of youth photographs from their upcoming show “Under Construction”
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund; and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding is from the City of Minneapolis Innovative Anti-Graffiti Program.