Tour 2: Small Scale Public Art Interventions in St. Paul

Thursday, June 13, 1:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Register for a Public Art Preconference Tour to participate in an interactive learning experience out in the Twin Cities. The tours provide in-depth exploration of specific topics that are relevant to today’s public art practitioners, artists, planners, and others working at the intersection of art, policy and the built environment and civic ecosystem. Each tour includes a deep-dive grounding in the topic before heading out to explore different areas of the Twin Cities. Attendees must sign-up for a tour during the registration process.

Small Scale Interventions in St. Paul
A 2017 survey of public art programs from the U.S found that 46 have a percent-for-art policy or ordinance that typically allows for the incorporation of public art into Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) or bond-funded facilities and infrastructure work. But are there ways to rethink this traditional funding source in order to support public art non-CIP projects? In this tour, attendees will learn how public art programs are new ways to utilize their traditional percent for art ordinance to do small scale projects and bringing art into their neighborhoods. To start off the tour, attendees will be presented with two programs that are rethinking how they use their percent-for-art funds taking place in the U.S. From there, participants will travel with local tour leads to explore public art intervention in St. Paul to learn about and see the impact of public art in real time. Attendees with their tour leads will have the option to return to the hotel and discuss their learnings and observations from the tour.

Tour Objectives:

  • Participants will learn percent-for-art programs are rethinking how to implement projects utilizing a traditional funding source.
  • Attendees will gain knowledge with specific examples of percent-for-art public art and how the funding is being used.
  • See first-hand examples of public art in St. Paul
  • Learn from experts in public art and percent-for-art programs

Preparation: All tours will leave the hotel. Transportation is provided to and from the hotel. Attendees should plan to wear comfortable clothing and footwear. Tours will take place regardless of weather, so dress appropriately. Bring a camera or phone to capture and share your experience.


Regina Flanagan
St. Paul, Minnesota

Regina M Flanagan is an artist, writer, landscape architect and public art administrator from Saint Paul, Minnesota. She was among the first cohort of professional public art administrators, directing  programs for the State of Wisconsin and later Minnesota (1981-1998). As a consultant, Flanagan has developed public art plans or programs and administered projects for Madison, Milwaukee, Detroit and Saint Paul. Her current practice combines art, landscape architecture and social media. Recently, she was one of four artists selected to work on the re-design of Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis and fielded a website and blog with original photos and stories about the process:  Flanagan holds Masters degrees in Art from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and in Landscape Architecture from the University of Minnesota College of Design. Her landscape photography has been featured in exhibitions and collections and in 2014, she was awarded a Minnesota State Arts Board Artists Initiative Grant for her work documenting the aftermath of the Pagami Creek Fire in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Lisa Elias

Minneapolis, Minnesota

My inspiration is simple-fluid lines, where I allow the disparate qualities of metal appear gracefully delicate without loosing it's functional intention and strength.

I've been working with metal for over 20 years, designing, forging, welding in my N.E. Minneapolis studio. I use traditional tools creating modern designs that are inspired by blacksmithing techniques. My work has been integrated into our City's sidewalks, building facades, landscapes and private homes.

I've had some nice opportunities creating public art- some of my latest includes: 30 tree grates, railings, bike racks and a drinking fountain in Downtown Minneapolis, over 150 decorative stop sign posts for the City of St. Paul, an organic arbor in a historic park in Minnetonka, a exterior wall facade that has over 300 forged steel morning glory leaves that illuminate at night in St. Louis Park. My latest piece 'Arise' bloomed in the middle of the winter at Maplewood City Halls frozen garden.

Along with these larger pieces, I love making smaller works-that may have a function-or be purely a decorative embellishment. I'm devoted to my work preserving a quality of hand crafted sustainability, something that is useful with beautiful aesthetics, thoughtfully crafted into graceful designs.

Aaron Dysart
City Artist
Public Art Saint Paul and City of Saint Paul
St. Paul, Minnesota

Aaron Dysart a City Artist, embedded in the city of St. Paul through Public Art Saint Paul.  He is interested in using visual language and spectacle to bring a broader audience to hidden stories, specifically the hidden infrastructure that makes contemporary life possible.   His environmental interventions showcase his love of light shows, fog machines, and data, while his objects showcase his love of material’s ability to carry content. He has received awards from Franconia Sculpture Park, Forecast Public Art, The Soap Factory, The Knight Foundation, and The Minnesota State Arts Board and his work has been in Art in America, Hyperallergic, Berlin Art Link along with other national publications.  He has shown nationally and partnered with local and national organizations including the National Park Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Army Corp of Engineers, and the Mississippi Park connection.  Aaron maintains his studio practice in Northeast Minneapolis and is an adjunct instructor at Anoka Ramsey Community College in addition to being a member of the Ways of Knowing Water Cohort through the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota.

Brad Kaspari
Minneapolis, Minnesota

BRAD KASPARI is a visual artist, sculptor and public artist with a particular interest in kinetic sculptural devices. He has completed numerous public art commissions across the country, both as a solo artist and as a part of collaborative teams. His three dimensional work ranges from temporary interactive sculptural installations to permanent sculptural object making and his public commission work includes many examples of architecturally integrated projects such as art glass, terrazzo and decorative stone flooring treatments.  He has received grants and awards from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the McKnight, Jerome, and Knight Foundations and the National Terrazzo and Mosaic Association.  Brad lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota where, for the past twenty-five years, he has directed his own design and fabrication firm, Kaspari Design Services, Inc.

Ruri Yampolsky
Public Art Program Director
Seattle Office of Arts & Culture
Seattle, Washington

Ruri Yampolsky is the director of the city of Seattle’s Public Art Program in the Office of Arts & Culture, working with the public art team to integrate the ideas and work of artists into the public realm. With 28 years in the field, she has worked to expand public experience by providing a range of projects in a variety of artistic expressions that shape urban space, engage community, encourage civic dialog and create place. She has managed site-integrated and design-team artwork projects in conjunction with large-scale capital and infrastructure construction and has shepherded the development of several influential art plans. She and her team focus on ensuring that policies and procedures for artwork development and collection stewardship support Seattle’s commitment to racial equity and inclusion in all aspects of the work. She has been a member of several interdepartmental teams addressing city-wide planning issues such as the redevelopment of Seattle’s central waterfront. She is also a registered architect with a Masters of Architecture from Columbia University, and earned her bachelor's in architecture with a minor in Latin from Barnard College.

Ruri is serving her last year as a member of the Public Art Network Council, currently as Vice-Chair.