Springboard for the Arts

Funding Received: 2011
St. Paul, MN
Funding Period: 1 year and 5 months
November 27, 2011

As part of our Irrigate creative placemaking workshops we are doing something called Observation Piece, inspired by happenings and other relational, participatory art projects. We set out with attendees around the neighborhood to perform placemaking together, creating an art piece with our attention, actions and sharing. Artists are experts at noticing the overlooked and using their curiosity about the everyday can lead to new understandings, connections and narratives. Try it in your place!

To date 50 artists have created this artwork and can now be listed on our title card (and put it on their resumes):

Observation Piece, 2011

Harry Kent          Risa Tritabaugh     Tara Tieso     Sheronda Orridge    Brenda Bell Brown    Viv Corringham

Naomi Cohn   Geri Connelly    Jim De Feo    Mackenzie Lee    Karen Loe   Sheldon Gitis    Joseph Lipscomb

Charles Denton   Blaine Garrett   Timm Brazil   Brian Miller   Amy Wortman   Jada Schumacher   Nathan Hanson

Carly Schmitt   Rena Kraut   Preston Stinson   Theresa Crushshon   Heather (Desdamona) Ross    Betsy Schaefer

Alex Roob    Richard Broderick    Helen Broderick    Douglas Vaughn   Chamath Perera    Alan Skamser-O'Neil

Anita Sadler   Anna Cioffi   Barry Kleider   Claire Thomas   Clifford Dodd   Holly Stone   Jesse Golfis   Katie Ka Vang

Louise DeCramer   Mark Granlund   Michelle Trevino-Davis   Nancy Stiefeld   Patricia Weyandt   Sara Udvig

Shannon Forney   Simon Carvalho   Stephen Bougie   Galea Vajxyooj


Take 10 minutes to wander alone around the defined geographic area. Observe and notice your surroundings, follow your curiosity about the everyday. Use these guidelines to prompt your seeing.

  • Identify surfaces - buildings, sidewalks, boundaries, streets, crowds, patterns, details, natural and human made
  • Recognize spaces - interior, exterior, also negative spaces, in between buildings, windows etc.
  • Find incongruities - things that seem out of place, often they can suggest a narrative or a starting point for further curiosity.
  • Connection- what is the relationship between things that you see, context for the whole scene.

Regroup and tour the area, sharing things you noticed during your observation and why they stood out to you.