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Categorized | NEWS

Chroma Zone Mural & Art Festival coming to town

Posted on 11 August 2019 by Tesha Christensen

By MARGIE O’LOUGHLIN
For eight days in September, St. Paul’s Creative Enterprise Zone (CEZ), and partner Burlesque of North America, will host something that has never been done before in Minnesota.
The Chroma Zone Mural & Art Festival is a week-long event that will showcase the creation of 12 large outdoor murals, as well as community partner events within the CEZ.
The murals will be produced, more or less, on the spot. While there is no connecting theme between the 12 murals, the content will be “family friendly.”
The CEZ is a coalition of organizations, businesses and individuals working together to make its neighborhood a destination for creative enterprise. This cultural hub is centered around Raymond and University avenues, with its 300+ artist studios and maker spaces extending into the neighborhood in all directions.
Chroma Zone Music & Art Festival board chair Catherine Reid Day, said, “Mural-making has become a global movement because it generates so much community engagement. This kind of large scale public art creates a strong dialogue between the artist and the community. And it gives everyone a chance to live with art nearby.”
Just under 100 mural artists submitted proposals for the competition. The 12 winners were announced at the Urban Growler Brewing Company on June 18, with city officials, community members, event hosts, and sponsors in the audience. Half of the finalists are from the Twin Cities; the others are from CA, NY, and as far away as Norway and Brazil.
Twelve commercial buildings have been selected as mural sites.
Reid Day said, “The Chroma Zone Festival team approached owners of properties we felt would make great canvases – based on scale and visibility.” The mural locations will be announced once all of the details have been finalized. The majority of the properties are between Hwy 280 and Vandalia St.
Festival dates are Sept. 7-14, with artists working on different sites each day. A full schedule of events can be found at www.chromazone.net closer to the festival start.
In addition to the creation of 12 murals, Chroma Zone Mural & Art Festival will feature a week of programming throughout the CEZ. Events will include two nights of the Little Mekong Night Market, open studios, guided mural tours, Chromo Zone-themed beers available at CEZ breweries, and much more.
According to Reid Day, “The idea for a mural festival germinated in the hearts of Theresa Sweetland and Jack Becker (of Forecast Public Arts) years ago. We knew these festivals were happening in many American cities: Denver, Sacramento, Detroit, and Miami, to name a few.
“Something just clicked for me last year, and I said, ‘Let’s do it!’ Two lead donations came rather quickly, and we’ve now met our fundraising goal. Some of our fantastic sponsors include Dual Citizen Brewing Co., Wycliff, Platform Apartments, St. Paul Star Program, Mark Simonsen, Motley, Exeter, NewStudio Architecture, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, Vandalia Tower, All Energy Solar, Xcel Energy, First & First, and Stahl Construction.”
This event is being offered to the community free of charge. Reid Day hopes it will become an annual event, because, she said, “We believe that art fosters a sense of peace and connection within communities.”

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