Dream Sequences

The Project

Dream Sequences is a pop-up public art installation created to beautify the northwest corner of East Lake Street and 36th Avenue South by transforming the facade of Elsa’s House of Sleep, a  until the building is remodeled in the coming year.

“What started out as an effort to mitigate blight along East Lake Street has become a creative celebration of a Black-owned business working to reopen its doors and revitalize an important intersection in Southeast Minneapolis,” says Jack Becker, project manager for Dream Sequences. “It’s also an opportunity to tell Elsa’s inspiring story." 

The goals of this project were to:

1. demonstrate the potential of art to enhance the appearance of vacant properties along Lake Street, particularly a black-owned property awaiting restoration;

2. provide opportunities to emerging and BIPOC artists to display their work in a highly visible public setting;

3. provide financial support to creatives and small businesses in the region; and,

4. help tell the story of visionary entrepreneur Elsa Rezene (1949-2004), the “Elsa” in Elsa’s House of Sleep.

The Site

A landmark of the St. Paul, Minnesota small business community, Elsa's House of Sleep was originally established by Elsa Rezene after she immigrated to the city from Asmara, Eritrea in 1966. Elsa's is the longest-running black-owned furniture business in the Twin Cities, and is now run by Elsa's son, Tetra, who learned the business at an early age thanks to his mother's entrepreneurial spirit. 

Dream Sequences community celebration was held in January 2023

Tetra Constantino speaking at the Dream Sequences community celebration

"It's never too late to start dreaming." - Elsa Rezene, founder of Elsa’s House of Sleep

From left: 36th A.R.T. members Kevin Barnes, Brian Barnes, and Jack Becker, and building owner Tetra Constantino with the Dream Sequences installation plan

"Elsa’s quote about it never being too late to start dreaming could serve as the mantra for the recovery of the Lake Street corridor. I hope this project helps demonstrate ways artists and art can contribute to Lake Street’s recovery and reawakening.” 

- Jack Becker, member, 36th ART

Artists & Installations

Katrina Knutson

Collective Heart

Hawona Sullivan Janzen

Oklahoma Emma with Salt

Hawona Sullivan Janzen

Black Cowboy with Congo Bird

Zarra TM

Ceiling Fan (detail)

Ron Brown


Ron Brown


Ta-coumba T. Aiken

52’ Mural on Canvas

Gordon Coons

Man Transferring into Healer

In the Media

Dream Sequences was generously supported by the Lake Street Council, Elsa’s House of Sleep, Longfellow Community Council, Xcel Energy and Trustone Financial. Technical support and project management was provided by Krista Pearson. Additional in-kind support was provided by Shapco Printing, Brian Cornell, Mark Lange, Laura Mylan, Amy Sundby, Jean chaiyaphum, Mark Safford, Barebones Productions, Dering Pierson Group and many community volunteers.