“They are like giant Legos,” laughed Christine Podas-Larson, as a crane swung a huge container into position. As the President of Public Art St Paul she was near the corner of University and Hamline to watch the creation of the central element of the University Avenue Project.
Between May and October windows along a six mile stretch of University will display hundreds of pictures made by Wing Young Huie. However the site at 1433 University will be a literal focal point, with three projection screens, made out of these Lego blocks.
During the run of the Project there will be a two hour display of photographs every night, accompanied by a recorded soundtrack of local musicians. In addition there will be several cabarets during the run.
The crew was working on two towers of three smaller containers at the front of the site, and then placing two larger containers, one atop the other at the back. Projectors in the top container of the small towers will project on screens in the end of each. These will allow people passing by on the Avenue to enjoy the show.
Larger projectors will shoot images on the exterior of the huge containers at the back.
Podas-Larson and Steve Dietz, (above) who designed the installation for Northern Lights, were clearly pleased by how things were taking shape. “It really has taken a whole village,” she said, referring to the huge outpouring of help from local businesses, and individuals who have helped bring the project to reality. Over the next few days volunteers will begin installing the pictures along the Avenue.
The Project also just got a major grant from the 3M Foundation which will allow the creation of several large photo murals which will be in place by May 1st, at either end of the Avenue in St Paul, and on the side of the Rondo Library.
“You can see that wall from a mile away,” Podas-Larson said.
With the containers in place work can begin on the projection element. You can see a mock up of what the final site will look like here.