Green Art for the Green Line

As I walked along University Avenue from Western Avenue to Lexington Parkway during the Open Streets event a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that all the people and activities were centered around the Green Line station areas at Western, Dale, Victoria and Lexington, where there were local ethnic shops and restaurants, arts and crafts for sale, activities for children, and neighbors greeting one another. In contrast, the blocks between stations seemed incredibly long. Even though it was a beautiful day, there was very little to see along the way. There were no displays in store windows, no sidewalk cafes, no attractions to encourage people to walk from one station to the next. The Green Line trains passed by from time to time, the sidewalk was newly paved and lined with smallish trees that will someday provide shade and greenery, and there were a few colorful murals on the sides of buildings, but mostly it was pretty bleak and dull.

Having worked on the Stops4Us campaign to add stations at Western, Victoria and Hamline, I knew it was only a half mile between stops, but the walk seemed interminable, even though it was a beautiful day. I wondered how we might enliven the avenue, so that it would draw people to walk, linger, and discover new delights along the way. It seemed as if it would take a long time and a lot of work to transform the spaces between stations.

Then, today, in my e-mail, the answer arrived. A friend from the Frogtown neighborhood forwarded this set of images to Carol Swenson, at the District Councils Collaborative, and she forwarded them on to me and others. In the e-mail, they were referred to as “graffiti”, but I would prefer to call them Green Art.

When I finally tracked down the original source of the collection, I found it was Sara Udvig, Executive Director of the Summit-University Planning Council, who is also an artist. I’m hoping to get more information from her about the images next week and will pass it on streets.mn readers. Stay tuned.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to commission local artists to fill the blank walls and sidewalks between stations along the Green Line with a parade of Green Art that would change with the seasons?

blue doorgreen balloongreen ostrichbreakfast timepigtailed gardeneryoung gardenerbikin' alongraking leavescurb gardencheerleadercamel trainpick a flowertree with leaf in winterwinter vision

 

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3 Responses to Green Art for the Green Line

  1. JBL October 6, 2014 at 7:43 pm #

    Many of these are wonderful (and this post is complemented nicely by the recent post about art in the Green Line stations). I wonder, for some of them, whether they “work” in person or only from the very particular angle of the photo.

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    […] the usual comment activity on a chart as the plane geeks discuss what flies in and out of MSP).  Green Art for the Green Line paints possibilities for growing art along the Green Line with examples from elsewhere; Green Art […]

  2. Sunday Summary – October 19, 2014 | streets.mn - October 19, 2014

    […] temporary street art as a way to beautify the Green Line and keep it captivating (See Parts I & II of Green Art for the Green Line, […]

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