Art on the Avenue is this Saturday!

art on the avenue map

Smith Avenue comes alive once again for Art on the Avenue, this Saturday, July 23 from 2:30-8 p.m.

Now in its fourth year, the event will include neighborhood, local and regional artists, live music, a puppet show, craft demonstrations and more. A few highlights include:

• Live performances at Capital View Park (top of the High Bridge) by the On-Time Circus puppet theater (2:30 p.m.) and the Twin Cities Youth Symphony (4 p.m.)
• An interactive exhibit at Block Studios, 676 Smith Ave.
• A bike scavenger hunt at Capital Deals, 710 Smith Ave. – registration at 7:30, ride starts at 8, click the event link for details
• The kids’ Color Dash fun run at Dodd Park, 7 p.m.
• Exhibits at Electric Machete studio (Smith & Curtice)
• Live performances by Autumn Irlbeck at Cherokee Park United Church, 371 Baker (4 & 6 p.m.)
• Beer tent from the 5-8 Club at Dodd Park.

Click the map above for a complete schedule.

This event was originally conceived as a way to unite the community, and bring neighbors out into the street to celebrate Smith Avenue as a vibrant space – so get out and stroll around, bring your bikes and strollers, and see the amazing work created by your neighbors and friends.

This event is made possible by the tireless work of neighborhood volunteers, the West Side Community Organization, the City of West St. Paul, as well as support from the Nomadic Press, the South Robert Street Business Association, the West St. Paul Commercial Club, and WSP Mayor David Meisinger.

We can’t wait to see you!

Art on the Avenue Performance Schedule

Here is a schedule of the music and performances at this year’s Art on the Avenue:
July 25, 2015 3:00pm-8:00pm Saint Paul – West Saint Paul

Metric Auto Parts Music Tent – 550 Smith-St. Paul
3:30-5:00pm – Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphony, performances
and Instrument Petting Zoo
5:30-5:30pm – Joe Fillipovich Free Harmonica Workshop
5:30-7:00 – Joe Fillipovich: Blues

Cafe Corner Music & Art Tent – Baker and Smith – St. Paul
3:00-5:00 –  Babatunde Lea: African Drumming
5:30-7:30pm – Mira & Tom Kehoe with Xibaba: Brazilian & World Music

Capital Deals – 710 Smith
8:00pm – Bicycle Scavenger Hunt
Registration starts at 7:30pm. Bring: Bike, helmet camera or smart phone to take pictures of items on the scavenger hunt list. Kids must be accompanied by an adult!

788 Smith (Vacant Lot) – St. Paul
7:30pm Danza Mexica Cuahtemoe: Drumming and Dancing

Amore Coffee – West Saint Paul
7:00pm – Music by Joel Thune

Music on Smith – West Saint Paul
5:00pm – Swamp Brothers
6:00pm – Patrick Mager

Albert Park – West Saint Paul
4:00pm – Edgar lee

Smith and Butler – West Saint Paul
7:00pm – Kids Color Dash

Dodd Park – West Saint Paul
5:00pm – Tricia and the Toonies: Music, Puppets, and More!
8:00pm – Movie: Big Hero 6

Plus! Check out all the great art and interactive activities, starting at 3pm in Saint Paul and 4pm in West Saint Paul!  Download the map: Art on the Avenue Page

Call to Artists-Art on the Avenue

Art on the Avenue
A place inspired event celebrating the intersections between local business, community members, and artists.

Art Ave14 Logo

  • Entries Due: June 26th
  • Event Date: July 25, 2015

West Side Community Organization (WSCO) is looking for artists to participate in the 3rd annual Art on the Avenue (AoA) 2015. AoA will take place from 3-8pm on the West Side Neighborhood of Saint Paul, MN. AoA is a community art festival that aims to activate the indoor and outdoor spaces on Smith Avenue, from the High Bridge in St Paul to Dodd Road in West St Paul.

We are looking for all types of artists working with all types of media. Possible options for artists participation: community engaged take-away project, performance, music, dance, placemaking, live art making, straightforward gallery exhibition inside a local business, outdoor sales/display tents, etc.

Mini-grants may be available for creative placemaking artists. AoA wants to encourage artists to try something different; artists work samples don’t have to match what they are proposing. Projects need to have a presence at Art on the Avenue, but can begin in the weeks leading up to July 25th and can happen anywhere on the West Side. Additionally, artists that install work in local businesses may be able to display for a longer duration than July 25th.

Artists will be supported through the entire process by Artist Organizer Sara K Udvig.


Please submit the following via email to
Note: All types of media are welcome and encouraged, however some business/artist collaborative spaces will necessitate certain parameters.

  1. Paragraph or two introducing yourself as an artist or artist team answering the following questions: What do you do? What are you interested in? What is your connection to St. Paul, the High-bridge, Smith Avenue or the West Side Neighborhood? What are you proposing for AoA? What would be the ideal space for your work? What is your past experience with this type of work?
  2. 5 digital images of your work*, or for performing artists-links to an online portfolio.
  3. Artist Resume

*if you are an artists trying placemaking or community engaged work for the first time, submit a sketch or images representative of the type of work you intend to carryout.


Entry Requirements: There is no entry fee, but artists *must be able to install their work.
*Assistance will be provided for PWD, please indicate needs.
Timeline: July 25, 2015 (possibility to extend per agreement with business)
Installation will take place:  TBD
Entries Due: June 26, 2015
Selection Process: Selection is first come, first serve. We will match you with an appropriate business owner to work with.
Notification to artist:  July 6
Artist Mixers: TBD
Event Day: July 25, Installation period will be determined with the aid of WSCO Artist Organizer
Pickup Artwork by: TBD
Sales: Artists will receive %100 of sales and be responsible for %100 of negotiations
Contact: Artist Organizer- Sara K Udvig, West Side Community Organization,

Last-minute Art on the Avenue additions

Some events have been added to Art on the Avenue that don’t appear in the program:

At the Doddway Shopping Center (Jim’s Market, at Smith and Dodd), there will be a West St. Paul fire truck and police car on display, as well as a rock-painting activity for kids, artisan candles, and a nature art show.

Also, the West Side Youth Guides will be holding a clothing drive in conjunction with the event. You can drop off donations at the BankCherokee parking lot.

The full schedule of events can be found here. We hope to see you on Saturday!

10 reasons why you should go to Art on the Avenue on Saturday

Art on the Avenue is this Saturday, starting at noon. Here’s why you need to go:

1) See Smith Avenue the way you’ve always imagined it. Get out and take a stroll, meet new neighbors, stop into that shop or cafe you’ve been meaning to check out but haven’t had the time for.

Kent and Emily Aldrich, Paulman kids outside Celtic jam

2) Go on a bicycle scavenger hunt with these guys:

capital deals

3) Try your hand at latte art:

Latte art Dali

4) Meet the person who made this video:


5) Help create a mile-long book. Seriously, it’s going to be a mile long! Or make your mark on neighborhood history with the West Side Mural Project.

Sarah Stengle shows off the first stages of the Mile Long Book.

6) Find some new artwork for your wall:

Electric Machete

7) Or maybe photography is more your thing?

Ellie Leonardsmith at Amore Coffee

8) You can see this band for free:

… or this band:

… or this band:


9) Get Chorizo and Eggs at the Capital View, coffee at Amore, a cupcake at Taste of Love, and a burger and a beer at the Cherokee Tavern all in the same day because hey, you burned a lot of calories walking around all afternoon, right?


10) Because there’s too much stuff to list here, so download the event program (or pick up a copy at a neighborhood business) and come on out and join us!

How you can help with Art on the Avenue


Art on the Avenue is by any definition a grassroots event. While the West Side Community Organization, particularly executive director Christine Shyne, does the heavy lifting of organizing, we depend on community volunteers to make the event happen.

We’re expecting this year’s event to be even bigger than last year, and we need your help! Please consider signing up to volunteer – there are tasks big and small, commitments from less than an hour to all day if you want.

Below are a list of opportunities. Please contact Christine at or 651-293-1708 if you’re interested.

The event is Saturday, August 9 from noon to about 10 p.m. Either way, we hope to see you there!

Host site packet delivery
Help deliver artist signs, programs, etc. to host sites, check with host sites on needs/artists installation.  Times, flexible during the week of August 4-9th.

Sign distribution
Help us get the word out by putting out Art on the Avenue lawn signs at the host sites – time-flexible, date: August 8th.

Set up at BankCherokee lot
Saturday 10am-12pm, help set up tables, signs etc.

Set up at Mile Long Book
Saturday 11:45am-12:45pm, help to hold a section of the book as we walk it across the High Bridge. Children under 10 should be with an adult but otherwise child friendly.

Host Site greeter
Some hosts sites don’t have regular business hours or staff and want a volunteer to be there to greet guests and to answer basic questions about the art (info provided by artists), keep track of numbers of visitors, provide feedback about event to planning committee. Shifts are 2-3 hours in length between 12-6pm.
•BankCherokee Site Help: Help with children’s activity, set up and take down, watch for cleanliness, keep track of visitors provide programs and maps to visitors<
• WSCO site help: Help staff the WSCO booth at Rascher Plumbing. Keep track of visitors, answer questions about the event and WSCO, provide programs and maps, help answer questions about art exhibit (provided by artist)

Help take pictures and/or video of events and people.
shifts are flexible. (need to have own camera)

In-kind donation
Water, tents, chairs etc. If you can’t help during the day or have some of the items listed that you would like to loan out or donate for our volunteers it would be much appreciated!

Take down
Help us clean up and take down the lawn signs so we can use them the next year.

Help create a Mile Long Book at this year’s Art on the Avenue

Sarah Stengle shows off the first stages of the Mile Long Book.

Sarah Stengle shows off the first stages of the Mile Long Book.

One of the highlights of this year’s Art on the Avenue will be an opportunity to help create a Mile Long Book. The project, by artist and neighborhood resident Sarah Stengle, is a folding book that, when extended, will be literally one mile long once it is completed.

Stengle estimates the book will be completed by 2015. Meanwhile, participants of all ages at this year’s Art on the Avenue can help contribute by adding to the 64,000 pages it will take to complete the project.

“Participants can contribute to the book by folding, gluing, writing or drawing, as they prefer,” says Stengle.

Stengle’s plan is to ultimately unfold the entire book along the High Bridge, weather permitting.

“If it rips or tears in the process it can be mended,” she says. “I want this book to be the opposite of a precious artifact. I hope that a very hands-on collective process and a carefree attitude about mistakes, will make people comfortable in engage directly with the art of the book.”

The Mile Long Book project will be at Stengle’s studio near Smith and Stevens on St. Paul’s West Side. Other events, including art exhibits, music and children’s activities, will take place Saturday August 9 starting at noon along Smith Avenue from the south end of the High Bridge to Dodd Road in West St. Paul.

Watch for more posts highlighting Art on the Avenue events in the coming weeks…

Help us plan this year’s Art on the Avenue

Our last meeting of the minds, back in March.

Hard to believe this was a year ago already.

Join the organizers of Art on the Avenue for an artist/business/community mixer on Monday, April 21 from 6-8 p.m.

This is an informal gathering where you can share ideas and volunteer to help build on the success of last year’s event.

The mixer will be held at Highbridge Tattoo, 608 Smith Avenue. Please don’t be intimidated by the idea of hanging out at a tattoo shop – it’s a gorgeous and welcoming space.

There will probably be refreshments of some sort but we haven’t gotten that far yet. More information will be posted later, but for now, mark those calendars!



This summer, Smith Avenue comes alive once again

This spontaneous Celtic jam on Smith Avenue was an amazing addition to last year's Art on the Avenue.

This spontaneous Celtic jam on Smith Avenue was an amazing addition to last year’s Art on the Avenue.

Monday night, a handful of neighborhood leaders and business owners gathered at Amore Coffee to start laying the groundwork for the second Art on the Avenue event. We’re shooting once again for early-mid August.

The meeting focused on lessons learned from last year’s event, and ideas to make it bigger and more vibrant this year. Christine Shyne from the West Side Community Organization will once again be spearheading the planning, with volunteers from the neighborhood doing much of the heavy lifting.

Here are some of the key takeaways from last year and ideas for this year:

  • Community participation is key. This is a grassroots, neighborhood event. Because the main business nodes on Smith Avenue are spaced so far apart, we’ll try to find events/activities/etc that will help fill in the gaps.
  • Last year we were on the same weekend as two major art fairs in Minneapolis. While this likely didn’t impact attendance, it does limit the pool of artists available to work with.
  • While last year’s event was big for some businesses like Amore and the Cherokee, few of the artists reported any sales (but most still enjoyed showing their work to a new audience). We really want to hear from artists about how to make this a great experience for them.
  • We’ll probably consolidate everything into a single day. Some people last year came out on Friday evening only to find many of the exhibits already closed.
  • We’ll try to get food vendors as well, with a priority placed on neighborhood businesses.

If you attended Art on the Avenue last year, let us know what you think we can do to make it even better this year. And watch this space for updates (and calls for volunteers and donations).

Next steps for Art on the Avenue

You know what this scene needs? More people!

You know what this scene needs? More people!

It’s been a whole month now since Art on the Avenue, but schedules and end-of-summer vacations have conspired to keep us from meeting to talk about how it went.

But now a date has been set! Come join us Tuesday, September 10 from 6-8 p.m. at the Cherokee Tavern for a celebration and informal postmortem on the event. Business owners, neighbors, artists — anyone with thoughts or ideas to share — are encouraged to attend.

We’re hoping to make this an annual event, and we’re still discussing how exactly that will take shape. The West Side Community Organization did a lot of the heavy lifting this year, which may not be something we can sustain on an ongoing basis (particularly if we want to keep the event focused on Smith Avenue).

Which also means we’ll be looking for committed volunteers who can help with next year’s event. No contribution is too large or too small — whether you’re an expert fundraiser or just want to help hand out flyers, every little bit makes a difference.

Thanks to everyone for supporting your neighborhood, and we hope to see you next week!