A public art project committee has selected Works Progress Studio to produce public art for the new Arlington Hills Community Center. This highly anticipated facility, which features a library and recreation center, is currently under construction and will open in spring 2014 at 1200 Payne Avenue in Saint Paul.
About the Arlington Hills Community Center and public art project
The Arlington Hills Community Center will be a 40,000 square foot facility comprising a Saint Paul Public Library branch, teen digital media lab, Saint Paul Parks and Recreation center with gym and fitness center, and community meeting rooms.
The Arlington Hills Community Center public art project committee solicited proposals from qualified artists interested in bringing people together in new ways to explore the stories of the East Side community. The committee included representatives from Saint Paul Public Library, Saint Paul Parks and Recreation, the Payne Phalen District Five Planning Council, and the Saint Paul community.
The City of Saint Paul's Public Art Ordinance establishes that City capital projects involve artists from the earliest stages of planning and throughout project design and implementation. The ordinance calls for one percent of eligible project costs to be used for public art.
About Works Progress Studio
Works Progress is a public art and design studio led by Colin Kloecker and Shanai Matteson. The duo has produced a variety of public art projects, from visual art installations, to film and video, as well as print publications and public events. Their creative work places equal emphasis on process and product. A signature element of their projects is the nurturing of collaborations between individuals and organizations and the invitation to community members to participate in a process of regeneration and relationship building.
For example, a previous project, "A Mile in Our Shoes," was created in collaboration with transportation equity advocates to explore racial and income equity gaps in the Twin Cities. The artists gathered stories and shoes from a diverse cross-section of the community, and used this material to create a storefront installation at the corner of Chicago Avenue and Lake Street in Minneapolis, as well as a companion book that explored how to advance equity in practice and policy.
Kloecker and Matteson see the Arlington Hills Community Center project as an exciting opportunity to produce a public art project that will become a lasting part of the community and will encourage a renewed sense of place and civic imagination.