Word Around the Block: New Tower Tunnel Art

August 13, 2020 by DRG

Ron Ridgeway has one goal: to help make the North Loop an art hub of the twin cities! As the resident curator at the Tractorworks building for the last 10 years and the art curator at 801 Washington, it was a natural transition for him to work with the North Loop Neighborhood association on the creation and installation of new art in the Tower Tunnel. Tower Tunnel, located between Tower Lofts and Harvestor Lofts, the tunnel is a gateway to the river and parks of the North Loop.

“The century-old building, now known as Tower Lofts, dates back to the warehousing and industrial period of this neighborhood when most buildings had trains pulling up right behind them to send and receive big shipments”, according to the North Loop Neighborhood Association.

Ridgeway determined the theme of the tunnel artwork would be all about movement. “Movement is the whole thing,” Ridgeway said, “because there’s a lot of traffic going back and forth in the Tower Tunnel.”

The three art pieces that line the walls starts with his first piece titled “Art Crossing”. Ridgeway has always had a fascination with road signs and played on this idea with a superimposed Railroad Crossing sign over a map of the North Loop. And while many saw this piece go up earlier this year, Ridgeway reminds us that his art is still a “work in progress” and will be adding to all three of his pieces through the end of the month.

In addition to Art Crossing, Ridgeway installed “Continue” and “Pedestrian Crossing” both of which are also to be added to. There is also a neighborhood map on the opposite tunnel wall that indicates trails and passageways to the woods and Mississippi river. Ridgeway and the North Loop Association have plans to have the final pieces finished by Labor Day.

“This art project is funded by a local non-profit, Neighbors for North Loop Livability, with help from the North Loop Neighborhood Association. The long-term goal is to have art installed from one end of the tunnel to the other, not only with Ridgeway’s artworks but from other artists as well”, says the North Loop Neighborhood Association.

To learn more about Ron Ridgeway and explore other local art, you can visit his gallery, Art Lab 111, in the Tractorworks building, or wander along the 1st floor to see the walls lined with local art. You can also visit his website at rsrworks.net to learn more about Ridgeway and how you can get involved in the North Loop’s efforts to make the neighborhood a cultural hub for local artists.

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