Old Postcards | Collages
Artist Statement: Over the years, I've purchased postcards of Indian Mounds Park because I feel incredibly connected to it. It's a beautiful place to enjoy nature and to watch others—people, dogs, and deer alike—enjoy nature, too. When I think of the park, I think of friends playing volleyball, children running on the playground, and families having cookouts. It is one of St. Paul's treasures with some of the most incredible views in the city.
While vintage materials make frequent appearances in my work, I rarely use materials quite as old as the postcards in these panels. The postcards featured here date back to the early 1900s, just a few years after the park was established in 1893. In these images, you can see the actual mounds of the park and the way in which people are interacting with the land. If you look closely, you'll note that there are people actually standing on the mounds that are now fenced off from visitors today.
The postcards float amongst catalog and magazine pieces dating from the 1940s through the 1960s. In the mid-century clippings, you can see images of homes, kids playing, and the natural world (trees, sun, water, clouds, etc.) that are reminiscent of Mounds Park and the neighborhood that surrounds it today. The vintage floral handkerchief pieces that are featured in one of the panels are a tribute to the "Flower Power" events that have been held in the park in recent years. These events are held as a peaceful protest and meant to promote healing.
Looking at the green mounds, the river, and the landscape as it is now, I can't help but wonder what it would have looked like if the mounds were left untouched. How do we find the space to honor the sacred history of the Hopewell and Dakota people while also holding space to enjoy the beautiful community experiences that have emerged more recently? Our experiences and histories are layered and complex.
Artist Bio: Alex Prince is a mixed media artist who lives and creates work in St. Paul. From 9–5, she's an admin assistant. Outside of those hours, she makes art! Alex loves exploring the colors, products, and stories found in vintage catalogs, magazines, and cookbooks. In these printed materials, themes of family life, home life, and beauty are always present — These themes make frequent appearances in her work. Alex believes that like music on the radio, great color and design should be an integral part of our everyday lives. After all, art is essential.