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Monday October 23rd 2017

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One seed = many fruits Many pieces = one beauty

By Patrick Cabello Hansel

Out of one seed comes many fruits. Out of many broken pieces comes one unique beauty. That is the hope of the “Semilla” Community Arts Program at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Phillips. The idea for Semilla—which means “seed” in Spanish—came from St. Paul’s work in the arts and community organizing over the past several years. This work has included numerous murals, arts camps for youth and productions with In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater. Working with Greta McLain, an accomplished muralist and mosaic artist, the church began this project last year as a way to teach mosaic skills and create beautiful art for the community.

“Mosaic is a wonderful way to bring people together across all sorts of divides: language, culture, neighborhood,” Greta says. “People of all ages and artistic abilities can work together to create beautiful art for their community. There is real healing in taking broken bits of tiles and even broken cups and plates to create something new.”

Mosaic workshops are held every Wednesday night, from 6:30 to 8:00 pm at St. Paul’s, 2742 15th Ave S. Workshop participants of all ages learn basic design and color selection, how to use tile nippers, and both direct and indirect mosaic technique. The training emphasizes learning skills that can then be shared with block clubs, community and other groups.

Greta and the community arts teachers she has trained have led workshops at St. Paul’s Church and St. Paul’s Apartments, a low-income housing project for seniors, and El Colegio Charter School. They will begin working with students and parents at Andersen School in April, and on Lake Street in late spring.

Phase one of the project will create beautiful mosaic flower planters throughout the community. Phase two will continue to create planters, while expanding to create murals that combine both painting and mosaic. Included will be a new gateway into Andersen School.

A Community Arts Camp for youth ages 12-18 will be held at St. Paul’s the week of June 12. Youth will be trained in mosaic and mural arts, as well as learn how to organize their communities using the arts.

Funding for the project has been provided in part by a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and private funders.

For more information, call St. Paul’s at 612-624-3862 or e-mail: stpaulscreate@aol.com

 

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