Minnesota Museum of American Art captured Green Line communities through theater, photography, and audience participation

January 21, 2015

By Christina Chang, Minnesota Museum of American Art

In the summer and fall of 2014, the Minnesota Museum of American Art commissioned three artist projects in the From There to Here exhibition that examined the impact of the Green Line on the surrounding communities through a mobile and interactive theatrical performance and a three-artist photography exhibit.

The Green Line Theater artist team of Ashley Hanson, Jessica Huang, and Wing Young Huie hit the streets of Minneapolis and Saint Paul to get on-the-ground and up-to-minute reactions to the Green Line’s initial opening.  These interactions formed the primary material for an original script written by local playwright Huang, which was cast and directed by Hanson. The performance took place on Saturday, October 18th, starting at the Raymond station and ending at Central, to an audience of 200 people, picking up new audience members along the way.  One of the actors noted, “I was surprised with how much people interacted with me during the scenes, cheering or being supportive vocally.”

The From There to Here photography exhibit included work by: Xavier Tavera, Katherine Turczan and Wing Young Huie.  Tavera’s Green Line Portraits were meant to be a photographic time capsule documenting small, largely culturally-specific business owners along University Avenue. His project is a record of these businesses and their quaint and vintage interiors.  Katherine Turczan created an installation of photos that captures the experience of being on a moving train and walking along the Green Line. The exhibit featured images from Wing Young Huie’s previous University Avenue Project, but also included photo documentation from the Green Line Theater project development process.

These three artist projects provided new perspectives on how communities and visitors view the Green Line—moving beyond the lines as simply a means of transit but rather as a lasting means to connect to the communities and places along the way. 

This young Green Line enthusiast's sign reads:

I think it is better now that people can go from where

they are so they don't have to walk everyday to work. 

 

Relevant articles:

http://www.knightarts.org/community/stpaul/a-new-show-at-mn-museum-of-american-art-puts-individual-faces-and-stories-to-life-on-the-green-line

http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/stageandarts/273068031.html

http://blogs.mprnews.org/state-of-the-arts/2014/08/mn-museum-of-american-art-show-explores-green-line-life/