Local non-profit, Friends of the Mississippi River, is partnering with City of St. Paul and public artist Gustavo Lira to install a storm drain mural in Como Park. The mural will be painted around one of the drains in the small parking lot east of Como Lake. The idea of murals like this is to use visual art to bring attention to the drain’s presence and function in directing stormwater runoff (and any pollutants captured by the runoff) directly into Como Lake. Storm drain murals also provide a great opportunity to illustrate what the lake means to local residents.
Kate Clayton of FMR reached out to the Como Active Citizen Network to ask if we’d like to help. We of course said yes! We organized a small group of Como residents from our CACN membership to work with Kate and Gustavo in designing a mural that reflects the neighborhood’s love for Como Lake.
The design session took place July 13th, 2017 – graciously hosted by the fine folks at Bethel Lutheran Church on Wheelock and Maywood. Como resident participants included: Cynthia Anderson, Janna Caywood, Rich Gall and his son Alex, Mike Ireland, Sarah Lovat and her daughter Anna, Jodi Mullin and her son Nathan, Deepa Nirmal and her daughter Maya, Courtney Ryan, Angie Sechler, Sarah Wein and her son Cooper, and Anna Zimmerman.
It was GREAT fun! Gustavo showed us a slide show with examples of public art mural projects he’s led and implemented here in the Twin Cities as well as other works of public art murals from around the world. We then got to work brainstorming and discussing our own ideas and sketching these out on paper. Kate and Gustavo took our ideas and sketches and will use them to inform the mural design.
In August, Kate hopes to have draft artwork from Gustavo to share with our group. We can’t wait to see what he comes up with! Then Gustavo will get to work installing the art before summer is out. We’ll keep everyone posted on what day(s) Gustavo hopes to go out and paint. Neighbors are welcome to bring a lawn chair and come watch!
City of St. Paul Public Works is generously funding this project and Kate is collaborating closely with the City’s Parks Department on the installation.
Below are a few photos from our session. More can be seen here.