Poetry in the Park in the Dark Project Launched

Poetry in the Park in the Dark, Saint Paul Almanac, in partnership with Frogtown Farm and Imhotep Science Academy, has created a book of poetry and art that lights up in the dark inside a custom-designed, solar-powered rock.

On the evening of June 13, we celebrated the work of ten poets and ten artists and six Twin Cities youth solar rock public art creators.

Having all their work connect with the natural beauty of Frogtown Farm and the sky and the moon and all the people there on such a lovely summer evening was magical.

Art work is power and movement. It changes how all of us see the world and experience it. At the Saint Paul Almanac, we are so deeply grateful for the joy and commitment of the poets, and artists, and public art solar rock creators, and pleased that their art will live on at Frogtown Farm for the summer in the Poetry in the Park in the Dark rock, and in all of our hearts too.

Poetry in the Park in the Dark is funded by Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge, which funds ideas that engage and enrich Saint Paul through the arts and by the Minnesota State Arts Board through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature from the State’s arts and cultural heritage fund with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.

Make an IMPRESSION in your home or office!

Prints of any broadside can be purchased for $10 each (including shipping and tax!)
or you can buy a bundle of all 10 broadsides for $90.

Take a glimpse of the activities from the event

Hemeti Si-Asar, Mukuhi Njoroje, Washeke Njoroje, and Oluwatamilore (Tami) Adedayo. (from left to right)

Videos

Reynaldo Moreno serenaded the visitors at the event

The Rock

Poetry in the Park in the Dark and their creators

Sheronda Orridge is a writer, spoken-word artist, certified facilitator, motivational speaker, certified doula, curriculum developer, and community organizer. She is the recipient of the 2012 Leap Forward African American Award, the 2012 National Parent Leadership Award, and the 2011 Community Honor Roll Award. She co-founded the groups Healing Through Words and Arts Responding to Foreclosure, and she hosts the radio show Holistic Healing. Dr. Orridge’s writing has been featured in online magazines and several volumes of the Saint Paul Almanac. Dr. Orridge uses her talents and strengths as tools to organize communities around education, poverty, and foreclosure and to promote holistic healing.

Leann E. Johnson has been creating art (illustration, relief printing, graphic design, and tile design) for more than twenty years. A resident of Minneapolis, she has illustrated for publications like the Saint Paul Almanac and the New York Times. For more information, go to lea-way.com.

Aarohi Narain is a graduate of Macalester College. Originally from New Delhi, she majored in international studies and Japanese language and culture and is an aspiring diplomat and author.

Ephrem Mamecha is an artist and graphic designer. Born in Ethiopia and a graduate of Addis Ababa University’s School of Fine Art and Design, Ephrem has done graphic design for advertising agencies and exhibited art in group and solo exhibits at the National Museum of Ethiopia and Habesha Art Gallery, among others.

Dr. Margaret Lovejoy is the founder and executive director of The Family Place, a center for homeless families. A worldwide traveler, Margaret has lived on Rondo Avenue most of her life. She has a long memory of what the Rondo community once was, what it is today, and what it can be in the future. Margaret studied educational leadership at the University of St. Thomas and religion at United Theological Seminary, was Alumna of the Year at Metropolitan State University, and was inducted into the Central High School Hall of Fame. She is a Saint Paul resident, mother of four, grandmother to seven, and great-grandmother to one.

Tom Reynen is a photographer living in Shoreview, Minnesota, after growing up in Saint Paul and attending Saint Agnes School and the University of St. Thomas. His work has been exhibited in local shows and galleries. His specialties are nature photos, landscapes, architectural details, and travel scenes. Tom is past president of the St. Paul Art Collective and current vice president of Gallery 96, a nonprofit arts organization that highlights art by northern Saint Paul suburb artists. He is a member and treasurer of the AZ Gallery, an artists’ co-op in the Lowertown neighborhood of Saint Paul.

Jennifer Hernandez lives in the northwest suburbs, where she teaches immigrant youth and writes poetry, flash, and creative nonfiction. She is a member of the League of Minnesota Poets and loves to perform her writing. Her favorite publications include Talking Stick, Sleet Magazine, and A Prince Tribute (Yellow Chair Press).

DeAnne L. Parks creates paintings, sculptures, and installations that explore themes related to spirituality and human relationships, especially those of joy, hope, and community. Her artwork is held in private and corporate collections. DeAnne’s art has been published in magazines, calendars, and Bible studies and on the covers of books, CDs, and DVDs. In 2018, Christ on Capitol Hill commissioned her to paint a mural on its front doors along University Avenue. DeAnne lives with her husband and a rescue mutt in Saint Paul, where you will most likely find her covered in paint, papier-mâché, or dirt from her garden.

Benjamin Klas lives in Minnesota with his partner and their son. He spends his days block printing, playing the ukulele, parenting, and writing, although not necessarily in that order. His works have appeared in a handful of literary magazines and an anthology of queer writers.

Christopher E. Harrison is a fine artist, public artist, and designer. He has exhibited locally, nationally, and internationally and has showcased in New American Paintings. An arts educator at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, he has received grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, and the Jerome Foundation. Christopher creates paintings, drawings, and sculpture from his North Minneapolis studio.

Sunny Hilden is a singer, musician, and songwriter who has written for Ray Charles, Sting, Patti LaBelle, the Temptations, Yolanda Adams, David Archuleta, Disney, television, and film. She visits her childhood’s beloved Mac-Groveland neighborhood often to see family and friends and marvel at the snow and lilacs. Learn more at sunnyhilden.com.

 

Oleksandra Guirlina is a Ukrainian self-taught visual artist who works in mixed media (collage and graphics) and enjoys urban sketching. Her live sketches of Twin Cities residents at restaurants and markets are done on location and reflect momentary moods, food habits, and environments.

Anh-Hoa Thi Nguyen is a poet, artist, activist, and educator. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Mills College. She has been a member of the Asian American Women Artists Association, a member of the Vietnamese Artists Collective, an Artist-in-Residence at de Young Museum, a Writer-in-Residence at Hedgebrook, and a Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant recipient.

Ann E. Sisel is a contemporary painter whose unique, colorful artwork has been accepted into many national shows. She enjoys making handmade papers for collage. Ann holds an art degree from Macalester College. See more at annsisel.com.

Mary Harrell graduated with a B.A. in psychology from the University of Minnesota. She is married and lives in Andover, Minnesota.

Jamie Lepore Wright is a self-taught artist. Her favorite medium is pen and ink, and she enjoys experimenting with watercolor. Currently staying home to raise two young sons, she has worked as a teacher and professional cook. Food and cooking are two of her main passions. Born in Minneapolis, Jamie has lived all over the country, on both coasts, and abroad in Seoul, South Korea. Italian on her dad’s side and Chinese on her mom’s side, Jamie speaks Mandarin and Korean as second languages. She lives in Saint Paul with her husband and two young sons. 

Maly Lee’s pronouns are she, her, and hers. She identifies as Hmong, a women, a sister, a daughter, a friend, and a steward. She is a student at Augsburg University majoring in environmental studies. 

Jem is an artist.

Alice Duggan’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Sleet Magazine, Water~Stone Review, Poetry East, Tar River, and Alaska Quarterly Review, as well as in the chapbook A Brittle Thing (Green Fuse Press) and the anthology Home (Holy Cow! Press). She’s interested in dailiness, now and in previous generations; colloquial language; timbre of voices; and backwaters of life.

Sharon DeMark is a Saint Paul–based artist who works mainly in pencil and watercolor. She is active with MetroSketchers and Urban Sketchers groups and has had her work exhibited at Minneapolis College of Art and Design’s gallery. Sharon also had drawings selected for publication in Saint Paul Almanac’s 2019 and 2017 volumes, Resistance and Resilience and On a Collected Path.

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