Chroma Zone murals color St Paul’s industrial Midway Neighborhood (celebration July 24!)

Chroma Zone Murals have been splashing amazing color to a very industrial corner of St Paul since 2019 and each year they celebrate the effort with tours, a market and a music and on sight artist painting. It’s a neighborhood that is becoming residential as well; the art makes it much more livable. (They are also working on project to grow trees in the area – 100 Trees Initiative.)

I went through the same tour last year; it was fun to see a few new mural as well as to take part in a “normal” event again. No masks, no distancing.  Luckily for me, Katie was in town for the party this year so we did the hike. We saw every mural and mural in the making – walking almost exactly 6 miles over two hours. And I’m scrambling to get this post done ASAP because the event is going all day long (July 24, 2021). That being said you can always use the map below to create your our tour.

Here are some of the new, or at least new-to-me murals we saw today, starting with two murals that are a little set apart near Can Can Wonderland on Prior Ave. The first is from Eric Garcia – please note the #StopLine3  on the t-shirt. Having spent some time trying to Stop Line 3 myself, I love the nod and I hope folks take that in as they look at it. The next is by Wunder and Ryoe; the work makes me think of a beautiful junk drawer full of utility and possibilities and maybe a little chaos.

The next are two celebrate the location. The first is a huge, multi-storied mural that is somehow hidden, nod to the people and the industry of the area It’s modern and retro by Wen Winship.  The second is from Witt Siasoco; it’s a little bit hidden on the south side of University right off the Westgate Train Stop. I choose to view this as the resilience of community to flourish like a flower in an industrial park.

The next three I’m grouping by composition – murals that feature couples. The first is by Reggie LeFlore; his faces bring out the extraordinary of the everyday people. There’s a power and a vulnerability. The second is two bird by Beatrix*Jar, two artists from the area. They are musicians, makers and visual artists. Third we have Xee Reiter and actually this mural isn’t really a couple. It’s maybe a small group or maybe many faces of the same person. It’s very playful.

The first of the next batch is from Rock (CYFI) Martinez, it is the Spirit of the Mississippi. Like Eric Garcia’s work, I appreciate the nod to the Mississippi and tying in the importance of Water Protectors. Also there’s something otherworldly about the work. The color of Unci Maka by Thomasina Topbear is stunning. It’s a beautiful nod to nature in an area that is bereft of nature. Finally, Is a colorful melange from Red Can Graffiti Jam. Again, the nature and the focus on the eyes, it’s a powerful piece.

The last batch is a sneak peek at art in the making. I’ll need to check back to see how those are going in the next few months.

The following aren’t officially part of Chroma Zone, but they are at 835 Prior Ave and from Marty Ochs and Carrie Finnigan. I especially like “Make every day count.” I feel like driving by that on your way to work each day would definitely be a pick-me-up!

And here are the mural that I love, but wrote about last year…

And finally, the map…

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