Sun Spot

The Saint Paul River Balcony project aims to create greater connections between downtown Saint Paul and the Mississippi River, through a series of parks and development sites, connected by a continuous pedestrian walkway. The Saint Paul EcoDistrict will be an important part of this experience. The EcoDistrict hosted the art project Sun Spot. Sun Spot brought together the river, the balcony, and the solar energy that is essential to all of us. Sun Spot was a project led by Alyssa Baguss and Aaron Dysart. The installation featured a 15 foot long bench in the shape of an aerial view of the Mississippi flowing through Saint Paul. The bench was connected to a special meter that collected solar activity data throughout the day. At night Sun Spot was illuminated by the solar activity collected through that day. The bench was lit up from dusk until dawn, showing what was happening on the sun roughly twelve hours beforehand. Sun Spot provided a unique river overlook between District Energy St. Paul and the Science Museum of Minnesota, in the heart of the Saint Paul EcoDistrict. The project was unveiled September 10th, 2016, during the River Balcony Prototyping Festival and remained up through November 10th, 2016. Sun Spot ran completely on solar power captured from the day before.

About the Artists

Aaron Dysart’s work uses wry humor, spectacle, and a desire to celebrate success to push the viewer to engage in the permeable boundary between the manufactured and non-manufactured.  His recent environmental interventions and sculptural objects push ideas of propriety, gift giving, and reciprocity, while showcasing his love of material’s ability to carry content. Aaron received a Fellowship for Sustainable Art-Making from Public Art Saint Paul and is now one their City Artists embedded in the City of St. Paul.  He has shown nationally and received awards from Franconia Sculpture Park, Forecast Public Art, The Knight Foundation, and the Minnesota State Arts Board.  He lives and works in Northeast Minneapolis where he strives to understand what it means to be a small self-aware part of an all-engulfing system.
Alyssa Baguss’s practice explores mediated natural environments through drawing processes. She is a visual artist and arts program director, who works out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Alyssa is a 2015 recipient of the Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant and her work has been exhibited in the Twin Cities and regionally, including Burnet Gallery, Soo Visual Arts Center, Minnesota Museum of American Art, Rosalux Gallery and the Rochester Art Center. In addition to her artistic practice, she coordinates a wide variety of arts programming at Silverwood Park in St. Anthony, MN for all ages, levels of artistic ability and interest in the natural world.

About the Saint Paul River Balcony

The Saint Paul River Balcony is a 1.5-mile public pathway planned for the downtown Saint Paul river bluff edge from the Science Museum to Union Depot. First envisioned in Saint Paul’s Great River Passage plan, the River Balcony will form a public promenade linking key downtown development sites with restaurants, offices, shops, and open spaces that will overlook the river, and will accommodate walking, outdoors seating, gathering, and public activities.