Ramsey County History – Winter 2021: “We Represent:  Evolving Public Art at the Saint Paul City Hall – Ramsey County Courthouse”

Kristina Youso

We Represent:  Evolving Public Art at the Saint Paul City Hall – Ramsey County Courthouse
Author: Kristina Youso

On August 19, 2020, the public got its first look at four new 16’ x 5’ murals now on display in the council chambers of the Saint Paul City Hall – Ramsey County Courthouse. The commissioned artists of the work reflect a rich array of backgrounds, artistic styles, and creative interests. The Latinx Muralism Apprenticeship at Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio (CLUES) based in St. Paul, Adam Swanson of Cloquet, Leah Yellowbird of Grand Rapids, and Emily Donovan, also from St. Paul, responded to the themes of the people, history, and progress of the area and to the chamber space in unique ways. The artworks currently cover, but do not replace nor do they eliminate, four original Art Deco murals created for Room 300 by renowned regional artist John Norton in the early 1930s. Writer and art historian Kristina Youso introduces readers to these public artworks—the new and the old—and explores how they and other public works of art have created important opportunities for reflection, dialogue, and enhanced cultural understanding and representation.
PDF of K. Youso article