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Home Sweet Home Again

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Marilyn Lindstrom | Click on image for more details

Artist’s Statement I have found the concept of Home to be very multilayered and multicultural. The more I explore its meaning, the more I find. When placing the notion of Home alongside that of the “American Dream,” we find ourselves facing expectations, contradictions, and, ultimately, new definitions. In Our Home, Where Is the Dream?, I hope to further this discussion, especially for new immigrants and those living on the edge of society.

Our Home, Where Is the Dream? grew out of getting to know the wonderful people at Skyline Towers, a high-rise with 1,300 residents overlooking Interstate 94 between Snelling and Lexington avenues in St. Paul. First, we—an intergenerational, multicultural group—created a mural together on an interior wall of the Towers called Welcome. It grew out of our exploration of the questions, “What makes a place a home, and how does one feel welcomed there?”

For Our Home, Where Is the Dream?, Skyline residents again became artist-participants, shooting photographs of their community at Skyline Towers and creating the three hundred human images for our traveling mosaic for “Home Sweet Home Again.” When the idea for this piece first arose, I envisioned a mosaic of a house made up of all the people who do not live in a traditional American dream home. I thought that would be a powerful statement about privilege and lack of access. But during the process of becoming part of the community at Skyline Towers, I came to realize that the people living there truly do make a home, which adds another nontraditional layer to its definition.

For cosponsoring the Welcome mural at Skyline Towers, I thank CommonBond Communities, The Advantage Center, and Intermedia Arts.

For commissioning this piece, I am grateful to the Family Housing Fund. For helping to make it, I am grateful to Malichansouk Kouanchao for her technical assistance and to all the residents at Skyline Towers. Thank you for your stories, conversation, ideas, talent, time, work, trust, patience, and participation. Most of all, thank you for sharing your home with me The Skyline photographers include: “G” Abdirizack Abdi, “MB” Mohamed Ali, “lee” Liban Adam, Mohamed Abdi, Abdul Asdi, Ahmed Mo, Bahnan Abdi, Nuyerma Bararo, Momett, Abdirizak Adod, Deq Hurre, Marguis Montantes, Tiawanna Garret, and Samell Thomas.

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