Union Art Alley to open in Stillwater

A spring mural by Taylor Berman in progress at the upcoming Union Art Alley in Stillwater. (Sara Jesperson / Supplied)

Union Alley in Stillwater has been an underutilized and frequently vandalized space for many years. A group of locals is hoping to change that by collaborating with building owners, business operators, and artists in the community. While Main Street thrives, these community members hope to create a "party in the back" with a hidden gem feel.

A mural celebrating the long winter season in Minnesota is part of the new Union Art Alley in Stillwater. (Supplied)

Professional artists are beginning to transform Union Alley with multimedia art projects surrounding the restaurant patios on the street. A gallery owner, a teacher, and a World Snowsculpting Champion are all participants in the new display of local art in the once-forgotten alley.

The theme for the current summer 2023 installations is joy in gathering, which represents the lively social scene and hospitality industry in Stillwater. Five new street artworks will be displayed in the alley and live, interactive art displays and live acoustic music will supplement the experience.

The Union Art Alley's mission is to provide a platform for local street artists to showcase their talent, and to create a vibrant and ever-changing space that invites visitors to explore the beauty and diversity of street art. The evolution of the alley has been spearheaded by committee chairs, Sara Jesperson, owner of the Lumberjack, and Heather Rutledge, director of ArtReach St. Croix. 

Both Melt Pizza and the Lumberjack will have patio seating in this new art alley for visitors to enjoy food and beverages while taking in the art. The alley officially opens to the public on June 9.