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Public Art St. Paul adds two artists-in-residence to work on city projects

The St. Paul City-Artists-in-Residence program is expanding with the addition of two more artists: Amanda Lovelee and Sarah West.

They join Marcus Young in the program run by nonprofit Public Art St. Paul, and will work with officials to bring some artistic input into many city projects.

The goal of the program, says Public Art's Christine Podas-Larson, is to have an artist at the table when city agencies are planning projects, and "to shape a public realm that fosters imagination and strengthens public places as vessels of civic life."

The award-winning "Sidewalk Poetry" program is one of the successes of the artist program; short poems are etched into the concrete when Public Works puts in new sidewalk panels around the city.

Lovelee likely will work on programming types of projects, like installations and events, Podas-Larson said. She and Young are also interest in an "urban forest" project.

West has worked on permanent installations in public places — landscape, infrastructure and structure types of projects — so she'll be involved in the city's2013 Residential Street Vitality Program, which calls for major street construction in neighborhoods citywide.

Lovelee and West will work part-time (60%) and are paid by grants from Public Art.

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman (who doesn't have to pay for the program out of his city budget) likes the addition of the artists:

"After six years of successful development of the CAIR Program, we are taking a significant new step in advancing how public art is effectively envisioned, created, delivered and sustained. This collaboration between Public Art Saint Paul and the city adds to the flourishing of civic life by enacting a new vision for an expressive city."

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