West Side photographer opens ‘What We Hide’ show on Smith Avenue

"Leah," one of the photos in Ellie Leonardsmith's "What We Hide" series.

“Leah,” one of the photos in Ellie Leonardsmith’s “What We Hide” series.

(from a news release)

Photographer Ellie Leonardsmith has been making photographic portraits for her project, “What We Hide,” for the last year and a half. She will release the photos Saturday, January 28 at 4:30 p.m. at Block Studios, on St. Paul’s West Side, and have the collection’s book available for sale. The project aims to shed light on the struggles we all share, but which are often not discussed or allowed.

“Participants were invited to drop the posing and presentation that come with the typical portrait, and instead to allow what is often there- but usually hidden- to come to the surface,” said artist Ellie Leonardsmith. “We are confronted every day by a society that tells us to be young, fertile, stable, thin, rich, white, and able to move through the world without needing help. These standards are simply unattainable. In undertaking this project, I am stepping up to lessen their power, and to share my understanding of our humanity.”

Ellie Leonardsmith

Ellie Leonardsmith

Participants in the project will be speaking at 4:30pm, with refreshments provided afterward. The event is free and open to all ages, though it is a gallery showing and some discussion of sensitive subjects may occur. Images and information about the event can be viewed at www.whatwehide.com.

“She may be the least manipulative photographer I’ve ever encountered. She has an rare ability to be with her subjects while taking their pictures,” said Marisha Chamberlain, a local Schmidt artist who wrote a forward in Leonardsmith’s book.  “Her theory that great beauty and fresh truth would be found by asking her subjects to show what they’ve usually hidden is proven true, page after page. In the unexpected frankness in her compositions, awkwardness, uncertainty or a sense of incompleteness are revealed as harmony. She’s achieved in image what the poet, John Keats has proposed in words, that “Beauty is truth, and truth beauty.”

RSVP via Facebook here.

About Ellie Leonardsmith Photography

Ellie Leonardsmith Photography has been in business for ten years, originating in New York, then Boston, and now on the West Side of Saint Paul for the last four years. Leonardsmith focuses on portraits but has also donated her time to event photography for local organizations such as the West Side Citizens Organization (WSCO) and Art on the Ave.  To learn more visit http://www.ellieleonardsmith.com, or call (612) 460-5524.

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

CALL TO ARTISTS
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.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Please submit the following via email to sara@wsco.org
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.

DETAILS

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, sara@wsco.org

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?

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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!

African children’s choir among Night to Unite highlights

This Tuesday night (August 5) is Night to Unite/National Night Out – a nationwide series of community block parties aimed to unite neighborhoods and prevent crime.

This year’s events are especially poignant as the community still reels from the death of Officer Scott Patrick — a memorial at the site of Ofc. Patrick’s shooting continues to grow at Smith and Dodd, and many of this year’s block parties will be collecting donations for his family.

There are several parties taking place in the Smith Avenue neighborhood (see list below). Typically, these are welcoming, informal affairs with food, games and an opportunity for neighbors to get to know each other. It’s a great night to go for a walk or hop on your bike and roam around.

The largest of these by far is the annual bash at St. James Lutheran Church at Annapolis and Cherokee. This year’s event includes a performance by the Asanti Children’s Choir along with food, puppet shows and other entertainment.

The St. James event runs from 6-8 p.m., Asanti is scheduled to perform at 6:15.

Below is a list of other neighborhood block parties taking place in the Smith Avenue neighborhood:

• Cherokee Heights Park (Baker between Delaware and Cherokee), 6-8:30 p.m.
• 800 block of Cherokee (btw Winona and Wyoming), 6-9 p.m.
• 700 block of Winslow (btw Sidney and Page), 5:30-9 p.m.
• 850 block of Ohio (btw Annapolis and Wyoming), 6-9 p.m.
• 230 block of Baker (btw Waseca and Charlton), 6-8:30 p.m.
• 780 block of Manomin (@ Curtice), 5-8 p.m.
• 750 block of Stryker (Curtice btw Stryker and Hall), 6-8 p.m.
• 900 block of Manomin, 6-9 p.m.
• 1000 block of Smith, 6-8 p.m.
• 900 block of Seminole, 6:30-9 p.m.
• 900 block of Stryker (times not posted)
• 900 block of Delaware 8-9 p.m.

The complete list of St. Paul block parties can be found here.

The complete West St. Paul list is here.