Yesterday I dropped off my map drawing of Rondo: Dale to Western at the Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition, so I thought this post should be a shout out to a major source of inspiration for the drawing: Evelyn Fairbanks’ novel Days of Rondo, A Warm Remembrance of St. Paul’s Thriving Black Community in the 1930s and 1940s.
Evelyn Fairbanks (1928-2003) wrote about her life growing up in the decades before the Rondo neighborhood was destroyed to make way for Highway 94. Her story is both an intimate retelling of her experience and a snap shot of the thriving community. A must read for any Saint Paul history buff. It includes the photo featured above, that captures Evelyn at the age of 19 with a bright future ahead of her.
UPDATE: So honored that my drawing of Rondo took first place in the Drawing/Pastel category at the 2020 Minnesota State Fair Fine Art Exhibition! Rondo was a special neighborhood and am glad to help our community remember it.
For information about how to attend the exhibition in-person or virtually: https://www.mnstatefair.org/competitions/fine-arts/fine-arts-exhibition-event/