My little side project, Start Seeing Art–which maps and identifies public art in the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis–hit 100 yesterday. The site has now mapped 100 pieces of public artwork.
It’s been a fun little project. I’ve really enjoyed discovering local art and finding some of our own local artists. Folks like Alvin Carter, Seitu Jones, Craig David, Ta-coumba Aiken, Marilyn Lindstrom and others–their work is all over the Twin Cities. I think Craig David pretty much owns St. Paul’s West Side (the West Side Citizen’s Organization named him “West Sider of the Year”). I’ve mapped nine of his works, seven of which are on the West Side. And I know of a few others I haven’t covered yet.
It’s also painfully clear that I have a long way to go. I’ve focused on St. Paul because it’s closer and I know it better, but I’ve barely scratched the surface of public art in Minneapolis. And they’ve probably got a lot more public art than St. Paul.
Longterm I’m not sure where this project is going. I’m the first to admit that the site is ugly. So far I’m focusing on content and doing it cheap and quick. If and when I get some funding for the site, that’s when I’ll worry about making it pretty and making it more functional.
I’d also love to make it more of a collaborative, web 2.0 site. But that’s not easy and not cheap. If I were more of a techie I could probably figure out how to build some sort of mashup with maps, pictures and a wiki. But I’m just not there.
But we’ll keep moving forward and see what happens.
So far I think one of my favorite works is “St. Paul Sculptural Complex” by George Sugarman. It’s just so weird. It’s like a bunch of kids cut out all kinds of weird shapes and then taped the scraps above a building’s entryway. And they’re kind of out of sight. If you don’t look up, you could walk right by.