Mural on Capitol grounds commemorates workers


On Memorial Day, 2016, a newly-created mosaic mural was dedicated at the Minnesota Workers Memorial Garden on the Capitol grounds.  The images of workers from a myriad of occupations were created by public artist Craig David using pieces he cut from porcelaine floor tiles.  The memorial recognizes the efforts of all workers in building the state of Minnesota, particularly those who gave their lives on the job.  The six workers who died in accidents during the Capitol construction between 1998 and 1903 were recognized at this wall during Workers Memorial Day ceremonies in 2011 and 2012.  Dave Roe, president emeritus of the Minnesota AFL-CIO, was the driving forcce, during more than 17 years, to  secure the location, authorization and funding for the original monument and for the mural that completes the memorial.

Workday Minnesota article on the mosaic - by Steve Share

ST. PAUL - A newly-installed mural at the Workers Memorial Garden located on the State Capitol grounds was dedicated Memorial Day, Monday, May 30 at 10 a.m. A crowd estimated at 500 people attended the ceremony.

Former Vice President Walter Mondale was among the featured speakers and the Twin Cities Labor Chorus will perform. Here is a link to more information including parking.

The Workers Memorial Garden originally was dedicated in August 2010 as a way to commemorate the lives lost by the people who built America, explained Dave Roe, president emeritus of the Minnesota AFL-CIO. For Roe, locating the Workers Memorial on the same grounds as memorials to military veterans was both important and symbolic.

The new colorful mural, installed on the south-facing wall of the memorial, depicts workers and working life in Minnesota.

The mural is the work of Twin Cities artist Craig David, who also created the murals on the exterior wall of Target Field in Minneapolis.

“It’s a cut stone mosaic,” he said. “Every piece is hand-cut. It’s basically a big puzzle.”

“The mural is narrative but it's not an explicit narrative,” he continued. “My hope is that people will come to this wall and develop a relationship with it and find a story…”

“I’ve left the figure images a bit ambiguous,” David noted, “so that people can find themselves in it.”

“Everybody’s going to interpret it in a different way,” David said.


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