On Memorial Day, 2012, an explosion ripped through the Verso Paper Mill causing the death of one worker and injury to several others. This explosion also led to the permanent closure of the mill. The Sartell Mill Art Project was born out of a desire held by community members to memorialize the plant, its former employees and its importance to Sartell’s history.
The Project has empowered a team of local artists and fabricators to repurpose materials taken from the mill into art pieces. Artists were able to tour the plant during the demolition in order to remove some of the most interesting pieces, including gears, metal pieces and a large part of a metal coal chute. Finished pieces will be installed in Watab Park, Val Smith Park, and at a location near Sartell City Hall.
The Project has received public support and was granted a $24,000 grant by the Central Minnesota Arts Board, as well as $10,000 from the City of Sartell, donations for individuals and service gropus, and significant inkind donations from Northside Welding and AIM. In order to bring this project to reality, we must raise $5000 in private donations from individuals and businesses in our community.