River Memory

"River Mural" community celebration and dedication was held on Saturday, November 11, 2023.

The Project

In partnership with SPRAYFiNGER® and Hiawatha Collegiate High School (HCHS), 36 ART began in transforming the railroad/Greenway bridge over 36th Avenue South, with the production of two large 80-foot wall murals. The aging bridge, built in 1908, is part of the final stretch of rail before it crosses the Mississippi River. 

The goals of the project was to transform the bridge into an attractive, valued gateway between the Seward and Longfellow neighborhoods and to artistically engage high school youth in an initiative turn an eyesore in the community into a place of meaning and pride.

Through daily one-hour public art classes and a series of six three-hour workshops, 36th ART and SPRAYFiNGER® engaged HCHS students in the research and context of the bridge site, including the history of the neighborhood, its indigenous roots, and its local landmarks. Students decided on images of youth and elder generations, the Mississippi River, housing and architecture in the neighborhood, native plants, sunrise and sunset themes, poems, maps of the neighborhood, and the Brackett Park rocket sculpture. All images are compiled in a collage-like manner to create a story and overall theme of the neighborhood.

Our Partners

“We are extremely grateful for this partnership with 36th ART. The creativity and collaboration at play is inspiring and it reminds our young people that they belong and that this community is ours together.” 

— Nicole Cooley, HCHS Principal

Take a virtual tour!

HCHS Public Art Class, 2023

In the Media

The River Memory mural was generously supported by the Lake Street Council’s Placemaking & Vibrancy Grant program, Seward Neighborhood Group, Xcel Energy, TruStone Financial, the Longfellow Community Council, anonymous donors, and in-kind support from One Simple Plan.