Skyway Installation On View Now!
With his installation It’s Okay to Laugh, Twin Cities-based artist Jose Dominguez fills the windows of the skyway above Robert Street with lively and colorful vinyl designs of imagined creatures. These characters capture the dynamism of the skyway system—a space people move through repeatedly, but where they always encounter new faces.
Dominguez aims to interrupt the daily ebb and flow of traffic through the skyway and on the streets below by influencing the space with a sense of play, as his exaggerated characters play hide-and-seek with the public. Taking their inspiration from classic children’s illustrations such as The Pink Panther, these joyful and unexpected creatures highlight the absurdity and humor of daily human interactions.
Dominguez developed the concept for It’s Okay to Laugh before the pandemic, and it was scheduled to be installed at the end of May, days after the murder of George Floyd. The community needed time to grieve and reflect, and the installation was postponed while Dominguez participated in efforts to create murals honoring George Floyd and demanding justice. In thinking about It’s Okay to Laugh in the context of our complicated moment, Dominguez has shared these thoughts:
I believe this bright and playful installation still holds purpose in bringing joy and healing to viewers. Although this tragedy has reminded us of the important work we need to do, and the pandemic has created uncertain times, it’s natural to have moments where you laugh out loud, even if it seems out of place.
The M and Dominguez would like to thank the City of St. Paul’s Department of Public Works and Department of Safety and Inspections, Ward 2 Councilmember Rebecca Noecker, the CapitolRiver Council and its Skyway Governance Advisory Committee, and the Pioneer Endicott and First National Bank building owners for their support of this installation.