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This is a mural at Lake Street and 13th Ave that more than 50 young artists, ages 9 to 17, came together to design and create a public mural giving voice to their experiences as survivors of the 2007 I-35W bridge collapse.

Harkness, Kyndell, Dml - Star Tribune

Kids on bus express feelings with a mural

  • Article by: JIM FOTI
  • Star Tribune
  • August 1, 2008 - 9:01 PM

Nearly everybody remembers pictures of the school bus that was on the bridge, and Friday morning, a couple of dozen kids who were on that bus unveiled a picture of their own: a mural to commemorate the collapse.

The mural adorns the Intermedia Arts building on Lyndale Avenue just south of 28th Street in Minneapolis, and 12-year-old Saiku Kanneh can tell you what the various images mean.

The bus represents Waite House, the youth center where the kids were headed last Aug. 1; the sunny part toward the top symbolizes the future, and the ribbons of human figures are the community coming together.

And the orange, yellow and purple Chevy? "The Impala was just for fun," he said.

The children of Waite House still have dark memories -- ask even the uninjured ones how they feel about riding over a bridge, and you'll likely get a tight-lipped "It's OK."

But on a day of somber remembrances around town, they were still kids, meaning that the unveiling celebration included everything from bouncing soccer balls to middle-schoolers urgently sending text messages.

A second mural, painted by teenagers, was celebrated in the evening at Lake Street and 13th Avenue S., the location of New York Plaza Produce, where Artemio Trinidad-Mena, one of 13 people killed in the collapse, worked as a driver.

Francisco Segovia, director of the community center that houses Waite House, said that Trinidad-Mena was a friend of one of the Waite House kids, so a mural at his employer seemed like a good fit.

Intermedia Arts, which has a frequently changing exterior, will leave the "Build Bridges, Not Fences" mural in place for a year, while the second mural "is going to be a landmark for years to come," Segovia said.

Jim Foti • 612-673-4491

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