Public Arts St Paul celebrates second annual Western Sculpture Park Festival


On September 15, a sunny Saturday afternoon, Public Arts St Paul kicked off its second annual festival at Western Sculpture Park at noon. Dozens of artists and volunteers set up tents and prepared art supplies on tables waiting for young people to come and enjoy artistic creativity. 

One artist helped children to draw pictures.

Public Arts St Paul is a non-profit organization which “engages artists in shaping the form and experience” of St Paul. Sculpture Park was founded in 1998. John Hock, who is the curator of Sculpture Park and also the creator of the bright colored megaphone on the site (titled Democracy Speaks) cooperated with Public Arts and encouraged many artists to create their sculptures in the park. Sculpture Park mainly operates to provide children an open, safe and creative space. Since 1998, Public Arts holds free art workshops every summer, and every year around 500 children come to the park and learn about the sculptures in park and create their own art. 

An abstract structure centered in Park was created by Mark Di Suvero who got National Medal of Arts from President Obama in 2010.

Last year, Public Arts decided to start an annual festival celebration. On this day, Public Arts would find artists and provide art supplies to let children experience the creativity of arts. There were about 15 tents and each tent was led by one artist and several volunteers to help the young participants. Every tent represented different forms of arts, such as painting, custom design, paper box origami, drum beating, and ping-pong game and so on. Young participants had many choices to spend the whole afternoon at park. 

Bruce Black, a volunteer for this event, said he came here because his son participated, too. He was helping a young participant to make the costume.

Christine Podas-Larson, the president of Public Arts said, “All we want to do is create a safe and creative space for our neighbors and kids. And we pay artists to do this.” 

Dane Winkler, an artist from New York made a painting machine for this event and he helped to hang up the paintings that children made.

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