Title: Crossroads Again
Artist: Seitu Jones
Material: Painted metal, aluminum panels, sandblasted cement
Four painted metal panels on the large streetside walls represent textile patterning of the different cultures that have settled in the surrounding neighborhood. Along the platform edge is an aluminum railing with images of a face and a sunrise with a poem, written by Soyini Guyton. There also are long arcs sandblasted into the cement platforms representing rivers.
Textile patterns from Eastern Europe cultures
Textile patterns from Asian cultures
Textile patterns from African cultures
Textile patterns from Hispanic cultures
The neighborhood surrounding Dale Street Station have accepted immigrants to St. Paul for over 150 years. Whether they were descended from the original Dakota or immigrated from Eastern Europe, Africa, Laos, Mexico or were Africans from the southern states, this area has fostered their growth and expansion. These communities built institutions and developed folkways and symbols that are represented in the textile patterned metal panels on the streetside walls of the platforms. Each of the four panels represent different groups of people who have moved to this neighborhood: African, Asian, European and Latino. The inspiration for this concept comes from the idea that all those who live near Dale Street Station are descended from people who crossed a major world river in their homeland to come here. The imagery in the platform itself is an abstracted river that we cross as we board the train, like so many before us crossed the Congo, Rio Bravo, Euphrates, Nile, Mississippi, Mekong, Amazon, Danube and the Ohio.
Poem found in the railings of the platforms:
By Soyini Guyton
How many have stood at this (these) crossroads
Looking back, looking forward,
looking up and down this Avenue
for a place to call home?
Dreams and love and ambition
Fear, hope and anger
Longing, secrets and revelations
Anchored by grace
Seitu Jones is a St. Paul public artist. Jones has created more than thirty 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 original concept designs for the four textile panels.