Friends School of Minnesota seventh and eighth graders enjoyed a full day of arts on their field trip in downtown St. Paul. They took the Green Line train from school to Lowertown, met and worked with local creative artists, and had a picnic lunch in Mears Park.

Bellows Recording Studio

Students visited Bellows Recording studio. They met drummer/composer Graham O’Brien and worked collaboratively with him to compose using samples and an acoustic drum set. Graham performed some of his original compositions, and some students got a chance to improvise on the drum set too!

Drummer/composer Graham O’Brien demonstrated his process at the Bellows Studio.
Students tried out the the drum set.

Studio of Sculptor Michael Bahl

Students also met with artist Michael Bahl, creator of “Paleo-osteological” sculptures. Michael collects bones of contemporary mammals and uses those bones to make skeletons of  imaginary creatures and artifacts, often adding new realistic looking paper maché bones. Michael’s art is a perfect blend of deep scientific knowledge and artistic imagination. Students were fascinated by the creations they saw in his studio and in the Union Depot. At the next St. Paul Art Crawl, be sure to stop by Michael’s studio!

FSMN students visited the studio of artist Michael Bahl, creator of “Paleo-osteological” sculptures.

Show Gallery with Midwest Special Services

In addition, seventh and eighth graders had a fun hands-on experience creating art at the Show Gallery with clients from Midwest Special Services. MSS provides individualized programs and support to adults with intellectual and physical disabilities. Through the arts and other activities, MSS helps develop quality relationships that “foster the elimination of attitudinal, social and economic barriers which impede the rights of people with disabilities.” The Show Gallery partners with Midwest Special Services to show their clients’ work alongside local professional artists. FSMN students collaborated with MSS artists to produce mixed media paintings and prints. Some students even got to try out the adaptive equipment to see what it would be like to paint without the use of your hands.

FSMN students collaborated with Midwest Special Services artists.


Some students tried out the adaptive equipment to see what it would be like to paint without the use of your hands.


Art teacher Laura Pereira and I were excited to share with our students a snapshot of the amazing musicians and artists in our own community. It was an wonderful art-filled day!

-Karen Salter, FSMN Music Teacher

FSMN students rode the light rail from school to downtown St. Paul for their arts field trip with art teacher Laura Pereira (pictured) and music teacher Karen Salter. The Green Line is one of the many advantages to our school’s location in the Midway neighborhood!