The objects within the panels refer to the imagined garden tools and objects of a backyard storage hut circa 1920, when the neighborhood was developed.
Deborah Mersky, a Blanco County, Texas artist, is both a studio artist and a designer in the field of public art.
Her creations in both realms, are born from the overlap of nature and human habitation, which she views as a “delicate, and off kilter moment”.
In the studio, in addition to drawing and painting, Mersky uses a clay printing technique where she carves the surface of a clay slab, then prints it with oil-based inks. Her work has been shown nationally in galleries and is in collections as diverse as MICROSOFT and the Fundacion Altos de Chavon in the Dominican Republic. In public spaces, she has created pieces for libraries, hospitals, parks, light rail and public utility facilities in Washington, Oregon, California, Minnesota and Texas.
Mersky was awarded the Jentel Residency, Sheriden, Wyoming, and she is the Founder/Teacher of Art Test, San Antonio, Texas, where she was awarded for her work as 2016 Art Educator of the Year, by the McNay Art Museum San Antonio.
Sagebrush lullaby, Mersky, 2012
38th Street Station, and five other stations, originally had paver designs on the platforms created by artist Richard Elliott. Each platform was inspired by artifacts or architectural details found in the Minneapolis/St. Paul communities and were developed by working with museums, community members and curators. The specific designs selected as inspirational starting points were picked for their cultural and historical importance and fall into three groups; native motif, immigrant fabrics, and the culture that has developed in Minneapolis as expressed through its architecture. Each platform design stands on its own, but together they make a unified statement about the cultural history of Minneapolis.
Collectively, the artwork is titled, Then Till Now: A History and Culture Based Portrait Of Minneapolis As Expressed Through Six Geometric Platform Designs and originally appeared at Cedar-Riverside, Franklin, 38th Street, 46th Street, VA Medical Center and American Boulevard stations.
Unfortunately, the paver bricks did not hold up well with the severe Minnesota winters and the heavy foot traffic of a transit system. The only remaining paver design exists at American Boulevard Station.
This image: To represent domestic life, Elliott drew inspiration from The Prairie School of architecture for 38th Street Station. A chair designed by William Gray Purcell and George Grant Elmslie in 1912-13 influences the main portion of the platform. The ramps and center designs are inspired by the front doors of the Redeemer Missionary Baptist Church, designed by Purcell and Elmslie. 200’ x 16’