Neighbors rally behind the St. Paul Woman and her street art

Neighbors rally behind the St. Paul Woman and her street art

St. Paul, Minn. – Art installations can make you feel something.

Longtime St. Paul resident Iris Logan said Monday she hopes her art can make others feel something, too.

“I love it, and I hope when people pass by, they feel peace,” Logan said, referring to the art in her front yard and on the avenue. “I don’t think it’s unwanted or anything. If it was for them, I would apologize.”

For the past 30 years, Logan said she has been decorating her yard. She filled it with wire-wrapped rock sculptures, as well as larger pieces of mosaic. She places mosaics on larger pieces of rock – her favorite medium – because she says it brings her closer to nature.

Just in her front yard alone, she has bright colors: a teal mosaic bird she calls “Big Bird”; A rock shows a mosaic view of a tree on a hill. Lots and lots of birds – another favorite of hers. She also has a statue of a woman with long, beaded hair and a cheerful smile that she calls “Hope.”

All the intricate brilliance brought to her pieces was the culmination of her work over three decades. She said it brought her a lot of happiness, learning that neighbors, and even strangers, found joy in stopping by.

So, it came as a surprise a few weeks ago when a city employee told her she needed to get rid of her artwork on the street where she lives.

“He waved his hand and said, ‘I want it to go away. I want the pots, the driftwood, the rocks to go away; I want it to go away,'” she said. “I said, ‘Wait a minute! I’m not getting rid of my stuff!’ He says: It is a complaint.

She said she decided to wait until official communication from the city. Then, a few days after meeting, she received a letter citing city code, asking her to remove the items on her street.

She said she immediately called for encouragement from her daughters as well as her neighbors. She also received help from her neighbors to clear the street. However, when it came to the bigger rocks out there, I realized that.

“I put it on 30 years ago, and I was younger then,” she said. “I couldn’t move the rocks like I used to. I felt so stressed and stressed out, I didn’t know what to do.”

After the neighbors around her heard about this, they filed a petition.

“I think one of the biggest issues we have in St. Paul is neighbors wanting to reconnect after a really tumultuous couple of years,” Justin Lewandowski said. “For the past 30 years, Mrs. Iris Park has brought people together. It has beautified our neighborhood and made our community stronger.”

Lewandowski, a community organizer for the Hamline-Midway Coalition, said the petition has more than 600 signatures, and they have sent it to Ward 4 City Councilor Mitra Jalali’s office.

Jalali’s office declined to comment, citing the pending discussion and results of the appeal hearing on the case, scheduled for December 6.

Lewandowski said they hope to give Logan a longer extension of six months, so they can all work to figure out how best to follow the rules while at the same time respecting Logan’s work and legacy.

“I love my neighborhood, and then I had to take them down because they singled me out,” Logan said. “And I didn’t want to do it anymore. It broke my spirit, but then, I couldn’t let that happen.”

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