Dream Sequences community event celebrates pop-up outdoor art gallery on East Lake Street with featured artists, community leaders, volunteers and more

elsa's house of sleep with the dream sequence art installation

What: Free, community celebration of the Dream Sequences pop-up public art gallery at Elsa’s House of Sleep marks the reawakening of East Lake Street. More at linktr.ee/36th.art

According to project organizer Jack Becker, “What started out as an effort to mitigate blight along East Lake Street has become a creative celebration of a Black-owned business – Elsa’s House of Sleep – working to reopen its doors and revitalize an important intersection in Southeast Minneapolis. It’s also an opportunity to tell Elsa’s. inspiring story and demonstrate the ways in which artists and art can contribute to Lake Street’s recovery and reawakening.”

When: February 5, 2023 from 2:00-4:00 p.m.

Where: Event will be held at Galapagos Restaurant, 3508 East Lake Street, next to Elsa’s House of Sleep. A short program at 3:00 p.m. will be held outdoors at the corner of East Lake Street and 36th Ave. S., weather permitting.

2:00-4:00 p.m. – Free community event with light refreshments and opportunities to celebrate with artists, neighboring businesses, project volunteers and community members.

3:00 p.m. – Brief program with remarks from:

  • Tetra Constantino, owner of Elsa’s House of Sleep and project supporter. Tetra’s mother, Elsa Rezene, an Eritrean immigrant, opened the first Elsa’s House of Sleep store in Saint Paul in 1997, followed by additional locations. Elsa’s is the longest running Black-owned furniture business in Minnesota.
  • Ta-coumba Aiken, Dream Sequences lead artist. Ta-coumba is a nationally recognized muralist, featured in major museum collections. He created art for Elsa back in the 1970s and has loaned a 52-foot canvas to the project.
  • Minneapolis Ward 2 Councilmember Robin Wonsley, who has led efforts to revitalize East Lake Street.

About: Dream Sequences is a production of 36th A.R.T. (Avenue Revitalization & Transformation), a volunteer group of neighborhood residents working to address safety, accessibility, aesthetics and interpretive wayfinding along 36th Ave S., from Lake Street to 25th Street.

Supporters: Dream Sequences was made possible with financial support from Lake Street Council, Elsa’s House of Sleep, Longfellow Community Council, Xcel Energy and Trustone Financial. In-kind support provided by Shapco Printing, Barebones Productions and community volunteers. More at linktr.ee/36th.art

Additional Background:

  • The Dream Sequences installation, curated and organized by Jack Becker, retired founder of the nonprofit Forecast Public Art, features the work of eight local artists:
    – Ta-coumba T. Aiken – Christopher Harrison
    – Ron Brown – Katrina Knutson
    – Gordon Coons – Hawona Sullivan Janzen
    – Jordan M. Hamilton – Zarra TM
  • The title of the project, Dream Sequences, was inspired by a quote from Elsa Rezene as recalled by her son, Tetra Constantino: “It’s never too late to start dreaming.” Constantino is currently managing a newly renovated Elsa’s House of Sleep store on University Avenue in Saint Paul – and the redesign and total restoration of the East Lake Street store, closed since 2019.
  • Dream Sequences symbolizes hope, creative entrepreneurship, and the reawakening of Lake Street. Exciting small businesses are emerging at the corner of E. Lake and 36th Ave., including bakeries, a retro thrift store, Latin dining and more, adding to a vibrant collection of restaurants and services. In 2024, the corner will be the site of a 2024 Bus Rapid Transit Station.
  • Artist Gordon Coons contributed a piece to the Dream Sequences project titled “Man Transferring into Healer” – a compelling metaphor for the healing needed along Lake Street. Gordon is an elder Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa and Ottawa/Potawatomi artist, originally from Michigan, who lives in Longfellow, just a few blocks from the site. He is an example of the amazing talent sprinkled in the neighborhoods north and south of Lake Street.
  • With the Dream Sequences pop-up art installation, 36th A.R.T. hopes to demonstrate what a small group of volunteers can accomplish. The project has been planned and led by a determined group of unpaid volunteers, mostly from Longfellow and Seward.
  • What’s next for 36th A.R.T.? The group is now focusing on transforming the unsafe and unwelcoming underpass where 36th Avenue dips under the railroad tracks and Midtown Greenway. Work is underway to fund a partnership involving students from the Hiawatha Collegiate Charter School at 36th Ave. and 28th Street and a team of artists led by local graffiti master and educator Peyton Scott Russell. This public art project will commence in March 2023 and conclude in early June.
%d bloggers like this: