Hot, humid and a heck of a good time

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Ephraim Cruz Eusebio stands with his finished canvases, after painting for three and a half hours during MPR’s open house.

Photo by Lindsay Miller

A big thanks to all of you who braved the heat and humidity this weekend to come visit MPR’s headquarters in downtown St. Paul. For all of you who missed it, I thought you might appreciate getting a look at some of the more artful aspects of the celebration, particularly the “Art Hounds Garden of Action Painting.”

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Photo by Jen Hanlon

First off, painter/musician Ephraim Cruz Eusebio ruled the day. Over the course of the open house, Eusebio transformed three canvases, inspired by MPR’s three services(news, the current, and classical). As he jumped back and forth, an assistant dialed up the appropriate station, so he could react to what was on the air at the moment. The “M” canvas – representing the news station – ended up the darkest of the three, reflecting the somber tone of the headlines, while the “P” canvas projected the rambunctious energy of the current, and “R” radiated the calming, blissful tones of the classical station. All that, in less than four hours – wow.

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Photo by Ephraim Cruz Eusebio

In addition, the green was converted into an “Art Car Parking Lot” for the day. Eusebio brought his “turfmobile” (covered in artificial turf and run on biodiesel), and the House of Balls’ Allen Christian parked his art car on the grass and passed away the time working on one of his wire sculptures. But perhaps most impressive of all was the “bee bike,” which Mina Leirwood pedalled over from Minneapolis. A former art car driver, Mina has switched to art bikes to reduce her carbon footprint.

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Photo by Ephraim Cruz Eusebio

Artistic expression was not limited to the green space across the street from MPR HQ. Indeed it was everywhere, from Adam Levy’s Bunny Clogs performing at the Fitzgerald, to Tom Keith performing sound effects for kids, to Jelloslave’s Michelle Kinney and Jacqueline Ultan playing their cellos in the atrium.

I have to admit, when I found out I’d be working outside for four hours in 90° heat, I started pouring on the self-pity. But after fours hours with such a creative crew, and in the company of great MPR fans – many of whom sat on the grass while their kids did somersaults – I felt pretty darn blessed. Thanks to all who came, and for those of you who missed it, we’ll see you next time.

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