Jaurnte (Art in June): Day Fifteen
June 15, 2013 § 2 Comments
What a pleasure to discover a talented artist who embraces her community as an art subject and shares that art in engaging, educational ways with neighbors and the city.
This afternoon I attended an urban hike led by artist Stephanie L. Rogers as part of her Arts on Chicago project Urban/Environment. The free 90-minute tour wound down and around Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis through a diverse neighborhood that boasts a bevy of artists delivering community-focused art to the masses.
As described on the Arts on Chicago Web site, Rogers’ walking tour “focuses on natural beauty in unexpected places, the fragility of life, and the tension between man-made structures and living organisms. More than thirty signs combining photographs and descriptive text have been installed in public spaces, mimicking state park signage.”
A love of science (especially etymology) and photography inspired Rogers to search for nature in the place you least expect to find it — the urban core. Her photos and the stories behind them are lovely — rabbit footprints in cement, a shoe dredged up from the wetlands that used to be apartments that flooded regularly, a duck eating Cheetos in a parking lot, community gardens tended by neighborhood children, corn smut and its edible qualities, and the local guy who became an avid duck lover.
If you are ever in the Central Neighborhood between 32nd and 42nd Streets in and around Chicago Avenue, look for the trail signs or go online to see where the signs and other art installations are located and take a self-guided tour.
Even better? A few more guided tours are lined up this summer. Please go. Take your kids. Bring your friends. Go solo. It was such a treat to meet this amazing young woman and partake in the great community art coming out of this area.
- June 30 at 2 p.m.
- July 13 at 2 p.m.
- July 27 at 2 p.m.
All remaining tours start at 3205 Chicago Avenue South.
As an added bonus, renowned photographer Wing Young Huie came along and shared the stories behind his latest project We Are the Other where he introduced neighbors who don’t know each other well or at all and focused his camera on his subjects to document their meetings and discussions.
Rain threatened us throughout the walk, but stayed away until the end when our small but engaged group sought shelter in Huie’s gallery The Third Place, which is also the exhibit space for some of Rogers’ photos. Huie brought out folding chairs for all of us to wait out the storm and discuss more of the art installations in the neighborhood. Rogers and Huie have engaging personalities and talk easily about their passions for their work, the work of other local artists, and their community.
Arts on Chicago
Twenty art projects across 10 blocks and four neighborhoods — Central, Powderhorn, Bancroft, and Bryant
Chicago Avenue South, between 32nd and 42nd Streets
The Third Place
3730 Chicago Avenue South