Students push for modern-day Minnesota art gallery at Capitol - KMSP-TV

Students push for modern-day Minnesota art gallery at Capitol

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Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has said he wants new art at the State Capitol, and a group of Brooklyn Park, Minn. students is stepping up to answer that call by painting pictures of how the Twin Cities look to them.

The students at North View Junior High aren't ready to display their work at the Capitol just yet, but they're making a bold push for a gallery that's already got lots of hype.

Inside art class, painting world views in broad brushstrokes is encouraged because Rachel Latuff believes her classroom is a glimpse into a changing Minnesota.

"It's not about knowing all the cultures or races, ethnicities or different religions," she said. "It's just about wanting to know more."

Her students are already changing the way Minnesotans see themselves with the display inside the Brooklyn Park Community Activity Center, where 34 pieces of student art showcase familiar landscapes and iconic faces alongside a multi-ethnicity Minnesota.

Now, the group is hoping student art will meet up with interior design and high-powered politics because the Capitol is currently undergoing a multi-million-dollar facelift.

"What we want to do is build a conversation, not change everything," Latuff explained.

Currently, most of the paintings inside depict civil war imagery, Native American folklore, and portraits of governors, all of whom happen to be white men.

"This shows a one-sided piece of history," Latuff said. "That doesn't have the whole story there."

Latuff believes her students' art is more relevant and should hang prominently inside the Capitol to remind the next generation of Minnesotans where the state is headed. So far, Dayton says he is open to change.

For now, North View Junior High is settling for small galleries, but their movement is leaving quite an impression. Latuff said her class will write letters to Dayton's office over the summer to see if he will consider their offer.

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