By the end of March , I am going to submit a proposal to lease this building as an art center And I would like your input! You can join this discussion on this blog or at my Facebook Page.
Here is some background and some of my ideas so far:
The building is located in the Hamline-Midway neighborhood in Saint Paul (my neighborhood). It is a WPA building, built in 1938 and designed by Clarence "Cap" Wigington. Wigington was the nation's first black municipal architect, serving as senior designer for the City of Saint Paul, Minnesota's architectural office for 34 years when the city had an ambitious building program. It is big enough to have two full size classrooms and one room for a gallery/event space. It also has a small office space, 2 bathrooms and limited storage (and a flagpole on top).
Here are some of the questions I would like to address through the activities of this art center:
- What media can be taught best in this small site with limited storage?
- How and what can this center give to the artists who live in this immediate neighborhood?
- How and what can this center give to the neighborhood around it?
- What can the community give through this art center?
- How can individuals be taught to create beautiful artwork they care about?
If I acquire the building, it will be too late in the spring to create a full slate of classes for the summer. So, this summer will be about trying different types of programs, getting feedback from the community and developing the fall schedule. At this point, I am not too concerned with financials. That will come later.
I think that is where I will stop with the questions and thoughts, but you could add comments about any aspect of starting a new art center.
Who am I to start an art center? In 1994, I started the education department at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory and coordinated a fine art and botanical art program there for nine years. The arts programming was very successful. Since then, I have helped to create a city-wide beautification program called Blooming Saint Paul. I have taught undergraduate art classes at Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, NY and at Bethel College, Saint Paul, MN. I have taught community education art classes and workshops for the last 18 years. To learn more and see my work, please check my website: www.markgranlund.com.
Thank you for posting your comments and thoughts here or at my Facebook Page.