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New artwork proposed for main street in St. Paul

A sculpture designed by local artist Eric Spoeth called 'Be the Light' could soon be installed on main street in St. Paul. The project would be funded by St. Paul's Champions for Change.
Sculpture by Eric S
A piece of art called 'Be the Light' has been proposed for St. Paul's main street.

ST. PAUL - A sculpture proposal has been presented to the Town of St. Paul, designed by local artist Eric Spoeth and supported by St. Paul's Champions for Change.

The sculpture is called "Be the light" and would feature three or four timbers inlaid with stained glass, according to a letter sent to Champions for Change from Spoeth. 

"The glass, varying from deep blues and violets to yellows, reds and greens would project those colours onto the sidewalk and the face of the building throughout the day. The timber, which is impermanent yet sturdy, represents the foundations of our communities and families (culture, faith), and the various shapes and shades of the glass represents the growing cultural and religious diversity of our community," wrote Spoeth in his letter. 

"As the sun passes through them - which is the source illuminating their nature - they leave their reflections onto the surfaces around them," he explained.

A briefing about the potential project was given to council during the Jan. 10 council meeting, specifically regarding the placement of the artwork. 

There is no financial cost to the Town of St. Paul for the project. The total cost of the project would be about $23,000 and would come from the Champions for Change budget, and other fundraising efforts. 

"It's a large sculpture," said CAO Steven Jeffery, speaking to the proposed design. 

The chosen location for the sculpture is in front of the MCSnet building, located along 50th Avenue, near 48th Street. Coun. Gary Ward, who sits on the Champions for Change committee, said the artwork would only be about a foot-and-a-half away from the wall of the building, and would leave the majority of the sidewalk open.

He noted the only ask that may come to the Town would be help with installation through some work-in-kind.

Jeffery said it would be important to ensure there are no utilities affected in the area where the sculpture is installed. Questions about how the artwork would be secured to the concrete also came up during discussions, along with snow removal in the winter. 

Ward said he would bring the question of how the artwork would be secured back to those involved, and noted that MCSnet has already agreed to clear snow around the artwork.

A motion to accept the information as presented was carried, along with direction to engage administration to look at the logistics of installation.

Janice Huser

About the Author: Janice Huser

Janice Huser has been with the St. Paul Journal since 2006. She is a graduate of the SAIT print media journalism program, is originally from St. Paul and has a passion for photography.
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