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Bailey Aaland

Saint Paul visual artist that led the collaborative creation of a community-produced mosaic mural that enhances walkability September 6 - 20, 2017 as an artist in residence at Lanesboro Arts

By bringing mosaic art to underutilized spaces, Saint Paul artist Bailey Aaland believes communities can become more welcoming and accessible places for everyone. As artist in residence September 6 through 20 at Lanesboro Arts, Bailey led the collaborative community creation of a glass mosaic mural that was installed on the Coffee Street side of the building at 121 Parkway Ave N in downtown Lanesboro (Pedal Pushers Cafe). Her community project aimed to enhance the pedestrian experience by activating and strengthening the connection between Parkway Avenue and the Coffee Street Walking Bridge.

Bailey is an early career artist with experience teaching hands-on mosaic courses for participants of all ages. With mosaic making sessions scheduled in a variety of spaces in Lanesboro, Bailey is excited about the opportunity to work directly with area residents & visitors to create a community-produced mosaic mural that encourages walkability and teaches creative problem solving, inter-generational learning, and community service through hands-on art-making.

In addition to helping assemble the mosaic, Bailey also sought out community members willing to donate unwanted mirrors and blue or green china to be used as materials in the mosaic mural.

Public Events

No experience or time commitment was necessary for the Community Mosaic Making events! Help out for a 10 minutes or stick around for an hour; any and all contributions were welcome and appreciated!

The mosaic’s design was created by Bailey, based on visits to Lanesboro, discussion with staff, review of materials from the March community brainstorming session for the 2017 St. Mane Theatre mural, and insights & experience from her own body of work and past projects. The design, while refined and not a first draft, will continue to be developed and revised. A desire to bringing awareness to, and celebrate, community assets and traditions is at the core of Bailey’s design and practice.

As Bailey worked with Lanesboro Arts to develop her residency project, the four boarded up door/window spaces on the Coffee Street side of the building at 121 Parkway Ave N were identified as an ideal location for the installation of a community mosaic mural that aligns with the vision and goals of the Lanesboro Arts Campus. In addition to helping address the need to further define and strengthen the pedestrian connection between the Parkway Ave and the Coffee Street Walking Bridge, Bailey’s residency project increases the beauty of an overlooked place in the community while encouraging community pride and heightened cultural identity through public art. By attracting more pedestrian activity to the block of Coffee Street west of Parkway Ave, assets such as the Coffee Street Walking Bridge, the County Rd 8 underpass, Bass Pond, Poetry Parking Lot and the Gateway Park are more likely to be utilized and appreciated. Opportunities to connect with the river are also enhanced.

Bailey Aaland has worked as a mosaic artist since 2007, beginning with a Community program for young adults called Artswork, based out of St. Paul, Minnesota. In her four years with Artswork, she experienced working as an individual, and as a group, to bring art to underutilized spaces around the Twin Cities through large scale mosaic murals.

She is a graduate of Luther College in Decorah and is a former Marketing Communications Coordinator with Hennepin Theatre Trust, working to promote the Trust‘s downtown placemaking initiative, Made Here.  In 2016, Bailey led the collaborative creation of a mosaic mural installed on the façade of the Orpheum Theatre, along with a vertical garden. She also has glass mosaics installed within businesses in Decorah.

Bailey comes highly recommended by the Lanesboro Arts Residency panel, from a pool of more than 65 applicants of artists from Minnesota and New York City. Since the Lanesboro Residency Program’s inception in 2001, Lanesboro Arts has brought 45 artists, or artist collectives, to Lanesboro for Artist Residencies. Supported by the Jerome Foundation, the Artist Residency Program provides opportunities for emerging artists to create new work and integrate work into the local community. Lanesboro Arts Residencies include stipend, lodging and studio space.

Special thanks to the Lanesboro Heritage Preservation Commission and the City of Lanesboro, as well as Angie, Scott and Ed Taylor.

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