Unveiling of Minne’aPaul at the Walker Art Center
We first began working with one another through the Knight Errant. Ashley captured photos and Andrew laid out pages for the school publication. Our passion for making stories come to life was a major building block for the beginning of our relationship and still is one year later, as we celebrate the publication of our book, Minne’aPaul.
Humans of New York is a photography book, by Brandon Stanton, which captures images of everyday people who live in New York City. If one person could make a difference through photography in one of the largest cities in the world, why couldn’t we do the same in our home state? Thus, Minnea’Paul was born. Minne’aPaul first became a thought when Ashley was paging through Humans of New York her junior year. Ashley told Andrew, “I want to make a book like this about Minnesota. What if you designed the pages and I was in charge of photography?” to which he responded saying, “Yeah!” And the rest is history.
When Ashley first proposed the idea, the plan was to make a few copies for us and our families, but Ashley’s dad jumped on board right away and saw it as a way to promote his business and our artistic abilities. We never imagined it being this big of a project.
Over the summer of 2017, we encountered various types of people. At Café Lucrat, we met a girl who went to college for nursing but is a cook. A cursive tattoo marked her arm: “Anna I love you- Hunter 09/07/96-04/23/16.” We asked her what the significance meant; she explained it was in memory of her brother for encouraging her to follow a career of her dreams––she dropped out of nursing school to become the cook she is today. When Ashley took her photo, she made sure that her tattoo was proudly displayed.
Minnea’Paul was more than just taking pictures––during the past election, our nation roared with racism and insults at each other. Ashley wanted to combat this by revealing the stories of those around her and break stereotypes within Minneapolis and St. Paul. Without the willingness to listen to one another’s stories and lives, change is not possible.
Our book is sponsored by Cazarin Interactive, a web design and marketing agency based in the outskirts of Minneapolis. The copyright of Minne’aPaul belongs to Cazarin Interactive. A copy of the book can be purchased here.
We hope our readers enjoy paging through this book as much as Ashley and I enjoyed making it. To those who opened up to two 17 year olds, we cannot thank you all enough for your time and contribution to our book. Lastly, thank you to Ricardo and the employees at Cazarin Interactive for backing us from the start. Your support was crucial throughout the development of Minne’aPaul, Faces and Places of the Cities