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Cassidy Lyn Wall

Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota

Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, with Cassidy Lyn Wall

Cassidy Lyn Wall takes us on a tour of their hometown, the so-called Twin Cities in Minnesota, Minneapolis and St. Paul. As an artist, she is immersed in the vast creative community here, and she invites us on an unedited journey through the lens of their 35mm camera. You’ll learn to love this Midwestern metropolis the way she does, season by season, through their own eyes.

Como

This is the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at Como Park—frozen in the photo, but alive, warm, and blooming inside, even in wintertime. The sunken garden display is always flowering, and the conservatory updates it season to season. It mimics the flow of people, new or returning visitors, and the conversations and thoughts they bring with them. I took this photo sitting next to my friend, overlooking the sunken garden, after exploring the other rooms of flora and fauna; all rooms have signs scattered throughout telling you about each plant and where in the world it typically grows. The Como conservatory has long been a place I go to for warmth in the winter and a place of escape and reflection in the summer.

 

 

Frisbee

Frisbee breaks help us get away from screens, enjoy the sun, and break a sweat. On this day, my friend and I ran across the sprawling green of Linwood Park in St. Paul, watching the wind take our frisbee to the other side of the park. When the weather is enjoyable, you can find all sorts of activities here: dogs playing fetch with their owners, someone sketching in a notebook on a nearby bench, two lovers sharing a picnic… I love to bike here weekly during the summer to read a book, journal, or soak up the sun. The many green spaces, parks, and outdoor recreation centers are unmatched in the Minnesota summertime.

 

 

Gamut Gallery

One of the many art galleries and museums in Minneapolis, Gamut Gallery knows how to throw a party and welcome the art lover. I took this photo during the opening reception of “Singula.” At this particular show, a featured artist transformed a panel of wood to a work of art in front of the rotating crowd of spectators. There was also salsa dancing, ongoing raffles, and budding conversations among new and old friends—all under string lights, the gallery tucked away in the middle of the bustling city. Gamut hosts rotating exhibitions, highlighting artists from in and outside of Minnesota. It welcomes a vibrant art community.

 

 

Gold Medal

This iconic downtown sign adorns what once was the Gold Medal Flour mill. Minneapolis was revered throughout the late 1800s into the latter half of the 20th century as the “Flour Milling Capital of the World.” The first building exploded in a flour fire, but you can now tour these ruins and learn about the connection between the old industry and how it impacted the growth of this city. The day I took this photo was extra special for me: I showed the sign to someone from out of town, someone I had just met earlier that day! Seen from the endless bridge at the Guthrie Theater (another icon), the Gold Medal sign overlooks the Stone Arch Bridge (also worth visiting). Pro tip: Go up to Floor 9 inside the Guthrie for an incredible view of the cityscape bathed in a golden hue.

 

 

Home

Noticing the small things in a stationary scene reminds me that even when things seem stagnant, we are always moving. I am fortunate to live in an old brewery that was converted into artist lofts, so every corner has a bit of history and inspiration wrapped up in it. I try to take time every day in my home to think about where I am physically, where I am emotionally, and where I am mentally. I strive to be creative when I shoot on 35mm film; often my subject matter consists of portraits of friends or spectacular scenic spots, but this photo captures the simple beauty of reflected light and a sunrise.

 

 

Magic

The easiest tricks are the most deceptive. I love finding new experiences and events to explore in the Twin Cities, and there’s always something going on, from magic shows to museums or a brewery off the beaten path. I strive to find a few new places or experiences to try each month. This photo was taken after an intimate comedy show at a small brewery that showcased a series of comedians, magicians, or a combination of both. We were taught how to do some card tricks after the show but didn’t learn them fully–a magician never reveals their secrets, right?

 

 

Night Club

What does contemporary art mean to you? Your experience at Night Club, an art gallery occupying the front portion of a house, may surprise you. This is a new artistic endeavor by a former MFA student from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. From small, cozy galleries to the sprawling art museums, Minneapolis is an art lover’s dream. I snapped this photo on a warm summer evening during the opening reception for a show at Night Club, after viewing the art on display. Visiting art galleries and seeing shows is something I do as frequently as possible—not only to see the art but to indulge myself in intriguing and thought-provoking conversations with fellow artists, creators, and spectators.

 

 

Rose Garden

They say if you stop to smell the roses, you live longer. The Lyndale Park Rose Garden contains rows and rows of flowers across the street from one of the many lakes in Minneapolis. I love to visit this particular garden in different seasons, bringing my film camera and taking in the sights (and smells) as they change. On this day, I caught two older women taking a stroll and couldn’t help but capture their visit. Sitting here reminds me that every city has a bit of beauty around each corner. The sun was shining, the friends were conversing, and the roses were blooming. What could be better than that?

 

 

Second Snowfall

This photo was captured on the second snowfall of the season. After a comedy show, my friends and I walked outside to find our car dusted with snow as big snowflakes fell and covered our heads. A snowball fight ensued, naturally, along with slipping and sliding across the empty roads. Laughter was abundant as we warmed ourselves up with activity. Minnesota winters get harsh criticism (it does get very cold here), but you adapt quickly and find ways to care for yourself and others in the frozen tundra. In the darkest and coldest days of winter, socializing with my friends is important to do weekly, if not daily, to keep my spirits high when the temperature is low.

 

 

Smash Your Smartphone

This film photo is self explanatory in its message. Minneapolis and St. Paul are speckled with public art works, from small signs like this to extensive murals and massive sculptures. I keep my eyes open wherever I go because I am bound to see something out of the ordinary. This sign is on the side of a busy road by my favorite banh mi shop. If I pay attention, I can find new art every day scattered throughout the streets of the Twin Cities. Try to find this one next time you’re exploring!

 

 

Summertime at Nina’s Coffee

Nina’s Coffee, high up on Cathedral Hill in St. Paul, is the perfect spot to watch cars, people, and bikes pass by, whether you’re sitting outside on the terrace or inside in front of these large windows. I stop by Nina’s every few weeks to work on projects, sketch in my journal, or grab coffee with a friend. It’s the perfect haven for artists and creatives to gaze at the historic buildings in the Summit Avenue neighborhood. Venture to the upstairs nook overlooking the rest of the café, or lounge on the couches in the milieu. The café attributes its name (and some fascinating history) to Madame Nina, a business owner who ran the most successful brothel in St. Paul during the late 1800s. But that’s another story.

 

 

Sunset at Lake Harriet

I navigate the seasons of Minnesota through sunrises and sunsets. On this particular day, I snapped a few film photos right as the sun was setting and my friend was coming up to join me on my stroll. In the wintertime, even when it’s incredibly cold, I try to go for a walk every day. Some time outside is crucial no matter what the weather—sweltering summer heat or freezing cold temperatures. Lake Harriet is one of many lakes across the Twin Cities and has a lovely walking path that follows the perimeter of the lake. In this photo you can see that the canoes have been put up for the winter. The air is chilly—can you feel it?—but the capacity for self-exploration remains.