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Ramsey County and St. Paul to unveil new art for courthouse building Wednesday

a person sitting in front of a mirror posing for the camera: Four large wall panels in the St. Paul City Council Chambers depict Native Americans being converted to Christianity, black railroad porters, black slaves or servants loading a riverboat, and other images of servitude, humility and conversion. The St. Paul City Council is urging Ramsey County to remove the long-standing images or juxtapose new art against them. (Frederick Melo / Pioneer Press) © Provided by Twin Cities Pioneer Press Four large wall panels in the St. Paul City Council Chambers depict Native Americans being converted to Christianity, black railroad porters, black slaves or servants loading a riverboat, and other images of servitude, humility and conversion. The St. Paul City Council is urging Ramsey County to remove the long-stan ding images or juxtapose new art against them. (Frederick Melo / Pioneer Press)

The new art installations for the St. Paul City Hall-Ramsey County Courthouse will be unveiled to the public at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

In December 2018, St. Paul and Ramsey County launched a project to develop a contemporary community-based artwork program for exhibition in the building's City Council/County Board chambers.

At issue were four original murals from the Depression-era Art Deco landmark that depict American Indians and African-Americans subserviently.

The city and county asked the Ramsey County Historical Society to add new artwork to the  chambers that interpret the same themes found in the original murals.  The Historical Society established a community task force to select four local artists to create original artwork and associated materials.

In August, city and county elected officials accepted the task force recommendations to exhibit the selected artworks as the introduction of a public art program in the building. The new murals will be placed in front of the original murals on a rotating basis.

Ramsey County Commissioners Jim McDonough and Victoria Reinhardt, St. Paul City Council President Amy Brendmoen and Council Member Rebecca Noecker, and Ramsey County Historical Society President Chad Roberts will speak at Wednesday's event. The artists will also be on hand to talk about their work.

The program will begin outside the building on the plaza at Kellogg Boulevard and Wabasha Street.

Those wishing to see the art must RSVP to 651-401-5703 and follow COVID-19 protocols.

The program will be livestreamed via Ramsey County's Facebook page.

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