Going to the wall and painting for community

The wall mural in early stage at Celtic Junction Arts Center. Photo by Charles Lawson

By Scott Carlson

Two local artists having been taking their painting canvas to the wall.

Specifically, a 60-by-20-foot wall mural on one side of the Celtic Junction Arts Center, 836 Prior Ave., in St. Paul.

Artists Carrie Finnegan and Marty Ochs have designed the giant wall mural, whose four panels will depict the four pillars of the Celtic Junction Arts Center: music, dance, education and community.

Carrie Finnegan (left) and Marty Ochs work on painting the wall mural. Photo by Carrie Finnegan

The two women began hand and digital drawings of the wall mural in late February and started painting the wall in June. They are hoping to complete the mural by the end of September.

Finnegan has most enjoyed “the sense of community” she experienced working on the project. “We are working in collaboration with people in the neighborhood,” she said, adding that residents are frequently stopping by to comment to the artists about their work. “It [the wall mural] is bringing a smile to people’s faces.”

“In this mural, Marty and Carrie are fusing traditional Celtic artwork with a fresh take on art Nouveau,” according to the website givemn.org.

Both women are accomplished artists, who together have more than 50 years of professional experience. Finnegan has a B.A. in Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin—Stout; Ochs has an associate of arts degree in art and design from the University of Minnesota.

Finnegan is known for using “a playful approach to painting, printmaking and drawing of abstracted representations of human figures and nature.”  Her work has appeared in a variety of settings and publications.

Meanwhile, Ochs has more than 30 years of experience in graphic arts, commercial sign painting, theater set design, T-shirt design and large-scale mural art, according to givemn.org.

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