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Title: Civics Lesson
Artist: Seitu Jones
Material: Painted aluminum and aluminum panels
Sixteen (eight repeated at each platform) painted aluminum columns resembling scrolls with text from and images relating to the Bill of Rights from the Minnesota State Constitution, with aluminum panel rails with an inscribed poem by John Minczeski.
Let yourself linger a second or two beside these locusts and lilacs.
When the wind agitates them, it doesn't last long.
Even the statue of Leif Erickson, though it wears a
Winged helmet, is well grounded.
Section 15: Right to Own Property
Section 4: Trial by Jury
Each of the column wraps on the platforms have a graphic interpretation of eight concepts from Article 1 (the bill of rights) of the Minnesota State Constitution. The eight represented sections of the Minnesota Bill of Rights are:
Section 1 - The Object of Government
Section 2 - Rights and Privileges
Section 3 - Liberty of the Press
Section 4 - Trial by Jury
Section 7 - Due Process
Section 13 - Private Property for Public Use
Section 15 - Rights to Own Land
Section 16 - Freedom of Conscience
These columns are a reminder for those visiting or doing business at the nearby State Capitol of the basic rights agreed upon and granted to the people of Minnesota. The basic concept of each section is printed in several languages.
Seitu Jones is a St. Paul public artist. Jones has created more than 30 large-scale public artworks and has created backdrops for numerous theaters in the Twin Cities.
In 2013, Jones envisioned and created the public artwork Create: The Community Meal, a half-mile long table, running down the middle of a neighborhood road, where 2,000 people sat down for a choreographed meal and conversation. Jones is very active in the broader community and his work often reflects his involvement in urban farming and food systems. He has created many backdrops for Penumbra Theater, where he is a company member.
In 2017, Jones received a McKnight Distinguished Artist Award. He has also been awarded a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship, a McKnight Visual Artist Fellowship, a Bush Artist Fellowship, a Bush Leadership Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts/Theater Communication Group (NEA/TCG) Designer Fellowship and a Loeb Fellowship at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Jones was the first Artist-in-Residence for the City of Minneapolis and created artwork for three stations for the Green Line in the Twin Cities.
The Community Meal, by Seitu Jones, St. Paul, MN 2013
The following is a series of photos of the making of the scrolls that wrap the light poles at Capitol/Rice Street Station.
Original Concept Image
Original Design Drawing
Screen painted scroll halves
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