Statement from the Artists
During a semester-long muralism course, juniors and seniors from Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists (SPCPA) collaborated with the M (Minnesota Museum of American Art) and Victory Ramp to create this colorful artwork for the downtown St. Paul skyway. For many students, this was their first time painting a mural and participating in the process of creating a large-scale collaborative art piece.
The mural features a train in the sky that connects the Minneapolis and St. Paul skylines. Among the people who frequently spend time in downtown St. Paul—including students, businesspeople, employees, residents, visitors, and displaced and unhoused people—the METRO Green Line and skyways serve as physical reminders of our deep connections to each other and our communities.
A bright, warm color palette and 1970s-inspired stylistic elements were chosen to capture a groovy world, illuminate the space, and create a joyful feeling. Several train cars are decorated with slogans from past anti-war and environmentalist movements such as “Teach Peace” and “Flower Power.” These phrases effectively solidify the value of nature and anti-violence into the mural’s message.
Special thanks to visiting artists Maiya Lea Hartman and Thomasina TopBear for sharing their experience and knowledge as muralists; Klark Eversman for helping with fabrication and installation; Zamara Cuyún for serving as teaching artist and class facilitator; and the City of Saint Paul and the Saint Paul Downtown Alliance for financial support.