'Remembering Rondo'

This quiet yet lively exhibition is also a celebration of the St. Paul neighborhood that was torn apart by construction of Interstate Hwy. 94 in the 1960s. But from the 1920s to the 1950s, the neighborhood was the thriving home to a predominantly African-American community. Married artists Rose and Mel Smith wanted to pay tribute to their Rondo through a series of oil paintings, collage on paintings and sculpture. Walking through this exhibition feels like a stroll through the neighborhood itself. There are portraits of relatives and locals, like Rose's grandfather Jesse Robinson, dressed in the navy blue suit he wore as a Pullman porter on railroad sleeper cars. A bright yellow background illuminates Mel's photocollage of Miss Williams, a teacher he loved. Miniature wooden houses, stores and churches of Rondo made by Mel bring a theatrical quality to the exhibition, making one wonder if there's a play to be written about these good ol' days. (10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue., Thu. & Fri.; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Wed.; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat. & Sun. Ends Sept. 8. Weisman Art Museum, 333 East River Road, University of Minnesota East Bank campus, Mpls. Free. 612-625-9494 or wam.umn.edu)