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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Art in the Hollow Celebrates the Arrival of Spring

By Saint Paul City Council President Kathy Lantry

Photo by Toni Thomas
Now that the snow has finally melted and the trees and flowers are starting to bud, Saint Paulites like nothing better than to be out in our parks and natural areas enjoying the warmer weather.  Ward 7 is lucky to boast some of the most beautiful parks and natural areas in the city.  Some, like Indian Mounds Regional Park, are well-known to visitors from near and far.  Others are more hidden gems, just waiting to be discovered.

One of these lesser known treasures is the beautiful Swede Hollow Park.  Nestled between the bluff in the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood and the Railroad Island neighborhood (with entrances from Payne Avenue and 7th Street, Payne Avenue and Drewery Lane, and the parking lot behind 720 Payne Avenue) the park follows a ravine that once carried Phalen Creek to the Mississippi River.  It now features several beautiful walking trails and the Bruce Vento Regional Bike Trail.  It also sits in the shadow of the former Hamm’s Brewery, now redeveloped by Flat Earth Brewery, 11 Wells Distillery and Urban Organics, an aquaponic urban farm.

Friends of Swede Hollow Park, a volunteer organization devoted to the protection, regeneration, and history of the park hosts an annual festival, Art in the Hollow, to celebrate the beauty of the area and promote local visual and performing artists.  This five-year-old, community-based art festival is put together by neighbors and students, and features artists who sell their art and demonstrate their work in the open air of the park. The event also includes a slate of global performers, and will highlight sculptures woven into the magical hidden park, to be judged the day of the event.

Photo by Toni Thomas
This year’s event, scheduled for Saturday, June 7 from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., anticipates the participation of more than 50 visual and performing artists, many creating works on-site including glass mosaics, murals, sculpture, and painted furniture. Plein air (open-air) painters will seek to capture the beauty of the deep, lush ravine, with its ponds and stream and its variety of flora and fauna.  Scheduled entertainers include Chilli Lor, the American Indian Magnet School Dancers and Drummers, Nancy Sanchelli, Mark Stillman, Juan Parker and others.

The event is free and open to the public, so it is the perfect opportunity to get out and enjoy the warmer weather and experience fantastic art in a beautiful Saint Paul park setting. 

For more information about Art in the Hollow, check out their website at or call 651-776-0550.  We hope to see you there!

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