This work was created by students in a summer enrichment program that was funded by the McKnight Foundation. I guided them through conversations and drawings about how they would like to represent themselves as a group of Hmong, Chicano and Somali kids painting in the midst of traditional Aztec murals on the West Side.
A young Chicano male described his family's immigration story, relating the emphasis his Dad placed on crossing the Rio Grande to a new life. This elicited great excitement from a young Hmong girl who had said little before. She described her family's journey across the Mekong River under threat of violence. The connection betwen these two rivers led to a more conversations about bridges between the old country and the new, past and present, St. Paul and the West Side.
Under the lowest bridge, each youth designed and painted a symbol of their own, representing who they are in the midst of the communal mural, in the midst of this community.