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.
Heidi Jeub, Artistic Lead
Kyle Fokken, Public Artist and Sculptor
Christopher Zlatic, Painter
Joshua Fay, Painter and Sculptor
Joe Schulte, Community Leader, Welder, Sartell HS Teacher
Process documented by photographers Todd Myra and Bill Jones
Bob Craven, Northside Welding
City of Sartell
Former Mill Workers Alumni
Sartell American Legion
Karel and Mike Helgeson
Retired Firefighters of Sartell
Dennis and Rose Molitor
Ryan Fitzthum, CH Robinson
Judy and Michael Murray
Research and Background Information:
For information on the Sartell Paper Mill, please visit our friends at the Stearns History Museum or the Benton County Museum!
Visit us on Facebook for relevant information on supplies, history and news related to the mill:
Sartell Newsleader http://www.thenewsleaders.net/2014/07/31/former-mill-workers-memories-needed/
St. Cloud Times http://www.sctimes.com/story/news/local/2014/07/28/artists-hear-stories-former-sartell-mill-employees/13266127/