ST PAUL, Minn. — If you walk through the South Saint Anthony Park neighborhood in St. Paul, you'll notice a collection of colorful murals. The neighborhood, dubbed the Creative Enterprise Zone in recent years, is home to more than 300 artist studios and maker spaces. And the works of art on the walls are the result of Chroma Zone -- a mural and art festival that's been running since 2019.
"There’s a lot of creativity happening within our walls, and we wanted to move them to the outside of our walls," said Angela Casselton, executive director of the Creative Enterprise Zone. "So people, when they come to this district, they will recognize the creativity that is happening here."
The neighborhood, historically an industrial area devoted to transportation, is now the second-fastest growing residential neighborhood in St. Paul. Casselton said 600 additional residential units are coming this summer.
"We have this influx of people who maybe even knew this neighborhood existed before," she said.
Festival organizers hope to change that, making the neighborhood a destination spot for culture and community. Hibaaq Ibrahim, one of 10 muralists featured in this year's festival, is excited to bring her style to the area.
"I really love being part of a reason why someone would come to a place and gather and spend time with people," Ibrahim said. "It just makes me happy."
Ibrahim, known as @moonjuiceart on Instagram, currently has murals at several Minneapolis restaurants, including one at Graze Provisions and Libations in the North Loop. She plans to model her mural for Chroma Zone after the Graze one.
"They want some bright botanicals, but they’re just going to let me go wild with it," she said. "So I’m thinking I’m going to do some lettering, too. I’m going to do some research on that neighborhood and maybe see if there’s a phrase that pops up that means something to the residents. I think that would be cool."
Just as in years past, the festival is free and open to the public. Chroma Zone kicks off on May 21 from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. with a family-friendly “Open Street” event at the intersection of Bradford and Endicott streets, near Deneen Pottery, Urban Growler Brewing Co., and Bang Brewing. Launch events include live painting, bike and bus tours, music, food trucks, craft beer, hands-on activities, and more.
To learn more about the festival, visit their website.
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