Comments About Wing’s Projects

Wing’s projects over the past 20 years document the public and intimate realities of the changing American city.  Educators and community organizations have used his projects to encourage discussion and deepen understanding of the ever-changing cultural landscape of urban life. They are documented in three books Frogtown: Portrait of a Neighborhood (1996), Lake Street USA (2001), and Looking for Asian America: An Ethnocentric Tour (2007) The University Avenue Project 2-issue book will be another powerful teaching tool.

"St. Paul's Frogtown is unique and historic but is mirrored in neighborhoods all over America. By listening closely to the citizens of Frogtown and searching through the unblinking lens of his camera, Wing Young Huie gives us all hope." George Latimer, former Mayor of St. Paul

“Wing Young Huie’s remarkable photographs have a touch of early-century Lewis Hine, a hint of the Great Depression’s Walker Evans, and a dash of Edward Hopper’s paintings, reflecting the loneliness and apartness of the them who are really us.” Studs Terkel, Author “Wing Young

Huie’s book Frogtown is a penetrating social document with an important message that seves Minnesota’s history and that of our entire nation as well. It should be read and observed again and again.” Gordon Parks, Photographer, Film Maker, Composer

I’m not a formal educator, but I think I educate my friends and co-workers and acquaintances by telling them about that the stories your photographs show are often the stories of my people. I try to open their eyes to the immigrant and poor community that I was raised in and the pride of those who are able to overcome the struggle.  Your work helps to explain and validate who I am and my people’s experience to others. Shoua Lee, Outreach Coordinator - Metropolitan Council, St. Paul, MN

Wing Young Huie’s photo projects have been an inspiration for me as I teach my students to think about how their art can have an impact on people and on entire communities. I think of him as the model of the socially concerned artist in the way that he throws himself into communities, spends months or years shooting, then mounting large scale exhibitions on or near the streets where he has take the photos. Exhibiting his photos to the sidewalks, businesses, buses, and front yards where he has encountered his subjects is a way of celebrating the lives of people who might not feel welcome in a traditional gallery or museum. Patricia Briggs, ArtForum Critic

As much as any writer, the poet of this new Twin Cities may be the photographer, Wing Young Huie. His book, Lake Street USA, shows how the street Berryman dubbed “the land of the used cars” has been transformed into a tapestry of the new America—multiracial, multiethnic, a complex mélange sorting out each other, strangers encountering strangers and somehow becoming familiar, if not friends. David Mura, Author

Wing’s lecture is a powerful tool for educators. Participants will recognize and process though their media and ethnocentric driven pre-conceptions of how folks develop racial and cultural identity. Wing has the rare talent of facilitating a major paradigm shift through his non-threatening style of communication and the art of photography. John Simso, Middle-School Teacher

The University Avenue Project is presented by Public Art Saint Paul with major support from the Joyce Foundation and funding from Public Art Saint Paul’s program partners: Saint Paul Foundation, Travelers Foundation, F. R. Bigelow Foundation, Huss Foundation, Mardag Foundation, and the Catherine B. Andersen Fund

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