May 28, 2022–March 15, 2023
On view in the Jackson Street skyway between 4th and 5th streets
Statement from the Artists
Off the Deep End is a digital mural printed on vinyl in the skyway. It confronts themes surrounding a metaphorical rising sea level. With deep sea creatures at and above eye-level, human city-dwellers are faced with beings of mythos, which, if real, could only be seen in the hidden corners of the world. This reflects a real-life equivalent, referencing the “rising levels” of previously ignored groups, subcultures, and forces of oppression.
Since the mural brings unseen or hidden ideas and groups of people into the forefront, it creates a break from the viewer’s day-to-day life. Transporting them into a world, although conceptual, which may have been unknown or consciously avoided. From one end of the skyway bridge, the viewer enters the ocean, descending deeper and deeper with each panel they pass. From the other end, the viewer rises from the depths to the shallow green-blue of a life-giving reef. The skyway’s panels allow for both those within, and those on a ground level to see the art it displays. Because of this, the art takes up space, and forces itself into the mind of the viewer, in hopes of getting them to question the world around them, which many seem to pass by.
About the Project
The Minnesota Museum of American Art (the M) is proud to partner with students at Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists (SPCPA) to present this collaborative skyway mural. Each January, students in SPCPA’s visual arts department engage in a three-week art project intended to give them professional experience in their area of artistic practice. Guided by artists, curators, and teachers at SPCPA and the M, nineteen students in grades 9-12 collaborated using digital drawing software to create original artwork for the skyway bridge. To move forward with the installation of vinyl reproductions of their artwork in this space, they developed a proposal for official review by Saint Paul Public Works and City Council.
A special thank you to visiting artist Jose Dominguez, SPCPA visual art department chair Brooks Turner, and visual art teacher Brandon Chambers.
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