Our Fall session of Urban Expressions began last Saturday with students from Most Holy Trinity school in Hyde Park Saint Louis. Teaching artist and Rebuild Foundation programmer Dayna Kriz led the students in activities around gathering artifacts as well as placing time capsules throughout 1415 Mallinckrodt before all the wall coverings are in place.
With renovation work on 1415 well underway utilizing the programming ideas from Urban Expressions participants from the last school year, the rest of the 6 week session will begin to focus on the surrounding area of our community art space.
At a recent developer’s meeting, Alderman Bosely expressed a desire to consider various options regarding the potential redevelopment of Salisbury St., which is the main commercial corridor of Hyde Park, and which the back end of 1415 Mallinckrodt faces through a field of vacant lots and a grove of trees. This is the main area that kids in Urban Expressions will explore as a site for creative occupation.
The street receives copious amounts of traffic on its way to I-70, and vehicles are often lined up for periods of time on this stretch of road. This will give the Urban Expressions students a chance to consider a different type of captive audience for their work, which could include things as simple as benches in the shade, birdhouses, directional signs, and modest landscape features. It is our hope that some simple interventions like this will begin to give Salisbury more pedestrian appeal and give the kids in the community a project that they can take pride in saying they created.