Ideas, News // June 8, 2015

Landfall Teen Center mural project represents familial fabric of community

BY: Coal Dorius
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Artist and instructor Coal Dorius demonstrates measuring and sizing mirrors with teens from Landfall Teen Center. Photo credit: Landfall Teen Center.

The Environmental Design Studio headed to Landfall, Minnesota this past spring to undertake a collaboratively designed public art project with members of the Landfall Teen Center. An initiative of the Stillwater-based non profit FamilyMeans, the center provides gathering space for older teens in the community to host events, participate in art activities and gain and develop leadership skills.

The JXTA/Landfall Teen Center collaboration started in the summer of 2014 with Enviro Studio instructor Coal Dorius and apprentices Chango Cummings and Tenzin Jhangchup. The goal was to create a hangout space on the deck of the center and create two murals that would enhance the area by illustrating the spirit of the community. The team met bi-weekly to ideate and implement a cohesive design that incorporated ample seating, planter boxes, and a custom painted table. The two coinciding murals centered around themes of family and the multicultural richness of the community.

Landfall Mural

One mural was designed by placing mirrors on the roof of the teen center that could reflect over Tanners Lake and could be seen by people driving on 94. Each mirror was cut to mimic a shingle on the roof, custom painted and tiled with messages of unity and ‘family’ placed front and center. Photo credit: Coal Dorius.

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Enviro Studio sat down with Landfall teens and collected a list of the countries people were from. We then printed the flags from those countries and went to work transferring them to a wall. Photo credit: Landfall Teen Center.

This collaboration with the Landfall Teen Center was a tactile representation of using art as a catalyst to spark conversations that identified the features of a community that mattered to the participants most: diverse members that together, created a strong sense of “family” that is now even more visible in the identity of this place.